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Arts-culture need investment, says minister

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USI—We are doing our best

Minister of Tourism, Culture and Wildlife Michael Usi has said that arts and culture are a lifeline of development and that as such they need more investment and support.

Usi said in an interview Monday as the country joins the African continent today to celebrate Africa Day which this year is running under the theme ‘Arts, culture and heritage Levers for building the Africa we want’.

“We need to invest in arts and culture as well as tourism. We, as a ministry, are doing our best but there is a lot to be done. We have our tourism sites which need to be revived and marketed and this can only be achieved when there is collaboration,” Usi said.

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He observed that marketing of tourism sites and other historical sites had not been done well.

“This is why I am saying there is need for team work. Artists for instance can be used as agents of change and marketing and this is in line with Africa Day theme. We are a happy nation with talented people but we need to utilise this talent for our own prosperity,” Usi said.

He said the country is at the moment scratching its talent on the surface with many players doing things passionately on their own.

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“There has been a lot of talk but with little being done. We have been engaging artists, players in the tourism sector and stakeholders,” he said.

Usi also said he is not putting a lot of attention on arts and culture but rather arts and culture is a package for tourism.

Africa Day (formerly African Freedom Day and African Liberation Day) is the annual commemoration of the foundation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) on May 1963.

It is celebrated in various countries on the African continent, as well as around the world. The organisation was transformed into the African Union on July 9 2002.

Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Culture in conjunction with Ministry of Foreign Affairs and National Commission for Unesco and other partners organised a Cultural Afternoon on Sunday at Chingalire Cultural Centre in Lilongwe where activities such as poetry and music took centre stage.

Some of the acts that starred at the Cultural Afternoon included Rudo Mkukupa Chakwera, Nyandoro Mthenga, Daughters Band, Mvula Band, Ben Mankhamba and Charles Chavaramangwere Mkanthama.

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