NACZ speaks on National Culture Policy

Boniface Chimedza Arts Correspondent

National Arts Council of Zimbabwe acting director, Nicholas Moyo has shed some light on the relevance of the National Arts, Culture and Heritage Policy, whose purpose is to transform the country’s creative industries.

While this is not the first policy that has been passed to govern the arts and culture sector, it has indeed brought a new ray of hope to stakeholders in the arts industry.

In an interview, Moyo said the policy is an instrument meant to create an operational framework for the birth and sustenance of creative industries.

“The policy is not a law, but its primary purpose is to create an operational framework that enhances the growth and development of the arts and culture sector, culminating in the creation of vibrant creative industries,” Moyo said.

Minister of Sport, Arts and Recreation, Kazembe Kazembe distributed a soft copy of the policy during his first encounter with stakeholders in the sector early this year, in an effort to create an awareness of the provisions of the policy and its relevance to the stakeholders in the sector.

While the National Arts, Culture and Heritage Policy was originally written in English, its abridged version is also available in local languages that include Shona, Ndebele, Changani, Chewa, Kalanga, Nambya, Ndau, Sotho, Tonga and Venda.

“Government should be seen to be in the forefront of the practical implementation of the aspect of using our local languages in doing business. We had to transcend the language barrier through the translation of the policy into local languages to improve the stakeholders’ understanding of the policy document,” said Moyo.

The National Arts, Culture and Heritage Policy is meant to create a framework that will enhance the operations which cover the creation, production, distribution and consumption of the creative artistic and cultural products.

“We need a new breed of the voice of the creators. Government is willing to listen to the sector but the sector should come with issues that are solid and tangible.

Government also recognizes that it has a role and a responsibility to build the capacity of the creators, administrators and managers so that they harness their full potential,” Moyo asserted.

Moyo emphasized that it is in the interests of any creator to acquaint themselves with the policies that govern their trade, adding that the challenge of piracy can also be significantly reduced through having a well-controlled and functional industry.

“An unregulated industry will remain informal and will not realize its full potential because it is unregulated,” he said.

“We want to develop and stimulate the creation of cultural industries. The Industry should have a well-defined value chain for the creation, production, distribution and consumption of creative artistic and cultural products. If these four things are alive then the value chain becomes well defined. In the absence of a well-defined value chain the cultural policy will be a farce,” Moyo stated.

Quality control in the production of creative products and investor incentives such as tax rebates for corporates supporting the sector were some of the focal points that Moyo said Government needs to consider, as that would bolster the support of the sector and transform it into the industry that can significantly contribute to the country’s gross domestic product.

Crafted to resonate with the current national development framework and processes, the National Arts, Culture and Heritage Policy builds upon the previous researches and the Culture Policy document of 2007, while drawing attention to issues that have not received adequate consideration from the previous Culture Policy.

Building on the participation and wide consultations among the stakeholders in the Arts, Culture and Heritage sectors, the policy envisages to address the major needs, concerns and opportunities within the sectors, while enhancing their contribution to national development goals.

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