The Sunday News
Ngqwele Dube, Sunday Life Correspondent
LOCAL consumption of art and cultural products is projected to increase to 40 percent by 2025 under the first National Development Strategy that was launched by President Mnangagwa on Monday.
The NDS 1 is a five-year plan which charts policies, institutional reforms and national priorities needed from 2021-2025 to achieve an upper middle-income economy under Vision 2030. Under the Arts and Culture section, Government is aiming at widening the uptake of art and culture products by local audiences by 25 percent in the five-year period.
According to the NDS 1, “The objective during the NDS1 Period is to increase the level of local consumption of cultural, sport and recreation products and services from 15% in 2020 to 40% by 2025”.
The strategy document said that in order to increase promotion and safeguarding of arts, culture and heritage, the country needs effective strategies that provide the framework for how to understand, preserve, manage, integrate, interpret and promote heritage and strengthen family values both in the immediate and long-term future. Arts and Culture.
Among strategies set to be employed to achieve the objective include a commercialisation drive that would be anchored on the promotion of investment in the various subsectors while developing sustainable creative economies.
“The following strategies shall be adopted, promote investment in film and audio-visual, music, theatre and visual Arts for commercialisation and industry growth, developing sustainable creative economies, building research and documentation capabilities for arts, culture and heritage;
“Establishing and equipping new arts, cultural and heritage centres and rehabilitation of existing ones; promotion and coordination of development, marketing and management of arts culture and heritage centres, products, goods and services; commercialising arts, culture and heritage activities and training,”
An institutional mechanism with the capacity to identify and nurture Cultural and Creative Industries’ talent, innovations and creativity will also be established.
Government is set to respond to calls from artists for the adornment of Government and the country’s foreign mission buildings as part of improvements on the development of cultural infrastructure.
Creative Community Hubs and clubs are also in the offing as part of the wider efforts to reawaken the arts sector.
Alignment and enaction of laws governing the Cultural and Creative Industries (CCIs) will also be one of the core areas towards the revitalisation of the sector.
According to the paper’s position, culture has the power to transform entire societies, strengthen local communities, foster strong family values and forge a sense of identity and belonging for people of all ages. Culture plays an essential role in promoting sustainable social and economic development for future generations.
“Whereas, national identity is a sense of belonging to one state or to one nation. It is the sense of a nation as a cohesive whole that is represented by distinctive traditions, culture and languages.
“As a collective phenomenon, national identity can arise as a direct result of the presence of elements from the “common points” in people’s daily lives. These include national symbols, music, language, the nation’s history, national consciousness, and cultural artefacts.
“The expression of one’s national identity seen in a positive light is patriotism, which is characterised by national pride and positive emotion of love for one’s country. This is a cross cutting outcome in the priority area. The programmes in youth, sport and culture all contribute towards improved social cohesion, sense of national identity and pride,” reads the strategy document.
Programmes that will be implemented during the period include the development of infrastructure for arts, culture and heritage, conduct arts and culture festivals right from district level, going to provinces, then at national level and also at regional and international fora.
The Government is also se to establish an arts and culture Development Fund, provincial Arts and Culture Hubs and Community Clubs and the review and realign existing policies and legislation.