Project to strengthen institutional capacities to implement Malawi Cultural Policy launched

The project, “Strengthening of the Institutional Capacities in implementing the Malawi Cultural policy” was launched in Malawi on 16 September 2021. The three-year project to be implemented by the UNESCO Regional Office for Southern Africa (ROSA) with financial support from the Royal Norwegian Embassy is in line with the principles of the UNESCO 2005 Convention on the protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions.

Dr Michael Usi, Malawi’s Minister of Tourism, Culture and Wildlife and officials from his ministry attended the launch physically whilst His Excellency Steinar Hagen, the Ambassador of the Royal Norwegian Government to Malawi and UNESCO officials attended virtually. Academics, civil society organisations in the culture sector, heritage associations and individual creators and artists were also in attendance.

Officially launching the project, Minister Usi expressed the government of Malawi’s appreciation for the financial support from Norway and the technical support from UNESCO. He called for project implementation ethics of transparency and accountability.

Speaking at same occasion, Mr. David Mulera, the Acting Executive Secretary for Malawi National Commission for UNESCO mentioned that awareness of the Cultural Policy which was adopted and launched in 2018 had previously been inadequate among stakeholders. He added that aligning the implementation process with the 2005 Convention principles would ensure proper monitoring and evaluation in an inclusive manner.

In his remarks, UNESCO ROSA Culture Programme Specialist recognized the generous support of Norway and reiterated UNESCO’s continued commitment to work with the Government of Malawi. He applauded the important collaboration where the Government of Malawi, the National Commission for UNESCO, the Royal Embassy for Norway and UNESCO Regional Office for Southern Africa join forces to support the creative economy of Malawi.

His Excellency Steinar Hagen was grateful to witness the attendance of the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Wildlife and officials from other government department saying it showed that the government was appreciative of the project. He further explained that the partnership with UNESCO was important for the project’s goal as UNESCO is the custodian of the 2005 Convention.

The launched project will provide the necessary resources for the government to implement the Malawi Culture Policy and create its awareness. It will also strengthen capacities of institutions, organizations, associations, creators and practitioners in its implementation in line with the 2005 Convention principles. In addition, the project will support efforts towards establishing a National Arts Council, development of cultural creative industries, and support of the online initiatives for marketing of cultural and creative goods. A clear implementation strategy with a series of activities will be developed.