Minister of Tourism and Arts Sylvia Masebo has observed that there has been a lack of attention and organisation with regards to arts and culture sectors at national, regional and continental level.
Mrs. Maseba, who was speaking to the press in Maputo yesterday, said it was for this reason that the Patriotic Front (PF) government has taken keen interest to invigorate the sector as an urgent priority.
According to a statement contained in a press statement made available to ZANIS by National Arts Council Chairperson Mulenga Kapwepwe today, Mrs. Masebo said as agreed in the SADC protocol, the PF government has put in place interventions on culture, information and sport.
She said some of the interventions include copyright protection, support to the creative industries, protection and preservation of cultural heritage which are addressed in the arts, culture and heritage bill scheduled to be presented to parliament this year.
Mrs. Masebo, who is in Maputo in Mozambique to attend the Southern African Development Community (SADC) ministers’ committee responsible for arts and culture, explained that during the meeting, the ministers will review the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP 2014-2020) and the SADC protocol on culture, information and sport.
She further said ministers are also expected to discuss outstanding issues regarding the establishment of a SADC cultural fund, the SADC hall of fame, and national liberation heritage programmes in line with the African Union liberation programme.
She said the objectives of the Maputo meeting are to evaluate the current role of arts and culture in the process of integration and sustainable development of SADC.
Mrs. Masebo added that among other issues to be tabled will be the evaluation of the significance of cultural industries contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP) in each member state.
The ministers’ SADC committee meeting, which opened on July 3, 2013 and is expected to end today, comes under a theme “turning culture into a tool for SADC integration and sustainable development”.
The ministers’ meeting will be preceded by a meeting of technical experts who will discuss mechanisms for implementing the decisions that will be taken by the committee of ministers.
The expected outputs of the technical experts meeting are the adoption of a Maputo Declaration of the ministers’ committee of SADC responsible for arts and culture and measures to promote a favourable environment for arts and culture in the region.
Among other issues on the coordination level, the meeting intends to adopt measures that will promote a functional and informative relationship between the ministers of SADC responsible for arts and culture and the executive secretariat in Gaborone in Botswana.
The meeting is being attended by Angola, Lesotho, Zambia, Botswana, South Africa, Tanzania, Seychelles and the host Mozambique.
Mrs. Masebo, who is accompanied by Director of Culture and Arts Monde Gwaba and Chairperson for the National Arts Council (NAC) Mulenga Kapwepwe, arrived in Maputo yesterday and was met by the Zambian High Commissioner to Mozambique Japhen Mwakalombe.