Ministry to tackle topical arts issues

Boniface Chimedza Arts Correspondent
The Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation has given a solid commitment to the arts fraternity towards establishing appropriate national infrastructure to capacitate the productivity and competitiveness of the cultural and creative industries.

The pronouncement was made at the Capacity Building Workshop for Cultural and Creative Industry Practitioners recently held at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe, under the auspices of the Ministry, in partnership with ZimTrade.

The National Arts Council of Zimbabwe, with the strategic support of the National Gallery of Zimbabwe, facilitated the two-day workshop recently.

Addressing the assorted, expectant audience of arts and culture practitioners and stakeholders at the event, the Deputy Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation,Yeukai Simbanegavi, who was the guest of honour, assured the artists that Government has put in place adequate measures to ameliorate the sector’s current status quo.

“As Ministry, we are also seized with the nationwide drive to establish appropriate infrastructure for the creative industry by facilitating the acquisition of equipment for artistic and cultural productions,” said Simbanegavi.

“Ministry is in the process of providing dignified workspaces in the form of multipurpose facilities for sport, arts and recreation being established in the 10 administrative provinces of Zimbabwe. As such, we are actively pursuing local and international investment to partner Ministry in the promotion, production, marketing and consumption of creative cultural goods and services,” Simbanegavi said.

The thrust of the Workshop was to capacitate Artists with entrepreneurial skills and intellectual property know-how, with ZimTrade lining up a number of renowned experts from different disciplines; who gave a series of comprehensive lectures and presentations on the relevant focal areas.

Simbanegavi said the Workshops are part of their quick wins as part of the 100 day activities being executed by the Ministry, in its implementation of the components of the Vision 2030 objectives of attaining a middle income economy for the Arts, Culture and Heritage sectors.

“It is important to underline the fact that these capacitation

Workshops are being conducted to address an observed skills gap raised by the Artists community during the Ministry’s consultative meetings held in March this year,” Simbanegavi added.

Several artistic genres were represented at the Workshop, with musicians, filmmakers, performing artists, sculptors, painters, weavers, poets and other artists from the wider spectra of artistic disciplines being part of the enthusiastic audience.

The ministry also highlighted that it is currently focusing on the goals of the soon to be launched National Arts Culture and Heritage Policy in addressing three key aspects; primarily cultural and creative industry development, education and training as well as culture and international relations.

The Policy will also uphold the need for the protection of the artists’ work as intellectual property, while attending to issues of piracy and copyright infringement affecting the industry.

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