Zimbabwe became the 83rd country to have ratified the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions in May 2008. During the fifth session of the Intergovernmetal Commitee on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, Zimbabwean representative Paul B. Damasane, principal director for the Arts & Culture Department in the Ministry of Education, Sports, Arts & Culture, was elected chair of the Committee for its sixth ordinary session at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris from December 10 to 14, 2012.
In this favorable context, Zimbabwe has just finished preparing a five-year plan of action for arts and culture following a thorough consultative process initiated in May 2010. Nhimbe, a non-profit culture and development organization working in the fields of arts education, cultural policy research, and advocacy in Zimbabwe is the organization leading this project.
The involvement of Nhimbe demonstrates the dynamic role that can be played by civil society in implementing the Convention on the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. Josh Nyapimbi, project manager and director of Nhimbe, intends to promote the Convention through networking and exchanges during international festivals such as the Harare International Festival of the Arts (HIFA). “We need to promote and publicize the Convention widely amongst civil society, and provide training on advocacy and monitoring of the Convention. The role of civil society in this exercise is very important for the effective implementation of the Convention by government and allocation of sufficient resources in the national budget,” states Nyapimbi.
To read Zimbabwe’s strategy in the formulation of the plan of action for arts and culture and the plan of action itself, visit the Canadian Coalition for Cultural Diversity website.