Culture stakeholders validate Zimbabwe’s Quadrennial Periodic Report

Stakeholders of the Culture and Creative Industries (CCI) in Zimbabwe validated the country’s Quadrennial Periodic Report on the 2005 Convention for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions at a multi-stakeholder meeting held on Friday 16 October 2020 in Harare. The National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ) organized the meeting in close collaboration with the UNESCO Regional Office for Southern Africa.

The meeting, which was facilitated by Mr Farai Mpfunya, a member of the UNESCO/EU expert facility saw cultural stakeholders including artists, media professionals, and civil society representatives reflecting on the report and validating it for onward transmission to the UNESCO 2005 Convention Secretariat. Government officials and representatives from the Ministry of Information, Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation and Ministry of Tourism also participated in the validation meeting.

In his opening remarks the Regional Director and Representative of UNESCO, Prof Hubert Gijzen congratulated the national drafting team for completing the task despite the difficult circumstances caused by the ongoing global health crisis.

Prof Gijzen thanked the Swedish Government through SIDA for their support through the project titled, “Reshaping cultural policies for the promotion of fundamental freedoms and the diversity of cultural expressions” where Zimbabwe and other 16 partner countries benefitted.

In her remarks, Dr Thokozile Chitepo, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation said the Quadrennial Periodic Report would assist the country in shaping its policy direction. She hinted that the Ministry is planning to launch the Arts Development Fund and the QPR will assist in decisions around that Fund. The QPR as an assessment tool would challenge the government to improve its cultural policy and measures.

The Quadrennial Periodic Report is a form that is collaboratively completed by the public, private and civil society actors underlining the state of cultural policies, which is submitted by State Parties to UNESCO’s 2005 Convention every 4 years. The elaboration of the QPR process strengthen the network of cultural policy makers to better monitor the ever-evolving creative industries. The process identifies a number of challenges such as lack of relevant data and information required for evidence-based and transparent policy-making; limited capacity to assess and monitor the impact of policies and measures for the diversity of cultural expressions; fragile networking between governments and civil society.