Budget offers smiles to creative industry


The creative industry has been sidelined for a long time by the government with most arts associations relying heavily on donor support.

However, the government is now slowly realising the importance of the creative industry national development as it has started allocating some funds in the budget.

Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, Goodall Gondwe, on Friday presented a K1,297,200,000 budget in the august House which, under Youth Development programmes, has set aside an amount to construct an Arts and Drama Academy in Blantyre.


Gondwe said the Arts and Drama Academy will cater for the production of films and movies and other youth entertainment forms.

The allocation according to the minister is within the new Ministry of Civic Education and Community Development.

“A sizeable amount has been set aside to construct an Arts and Drama Academy in Blantyre that will include the production of films and movies and other youth entertainments,” he said.


He added:“It is, therefore, being proposed that over and above the skills vocational colleges that are being set up, an initial amount of K150 million be set aside for the establishment of a Development Programme in the Ministry of Civic Education and Community Development.”

The Finance Minister said the budget should support a comprehensive Youth Social and Athletic Development Programme, starting from this financial year.

The total cost of Youth Programmes is amounting to more than K5.0 billion.

Musician Lucius Banda, who is also Balaka North legislator, hailed the minister and the government for including the creative industry in the budget through its Youth programmes.

“I am very impressed with the way the government has considered the creative industry in that they will set aside funds for an arts and drama academy,” Lucius said.

He said the government has done well in bringing such a consideration budget.

“It’s very salivating and I was all smiles in the House when the minister was announcing this. But now the issue is implementation. Again there are other areas that need support especially in enhancing tourism but as artists it’s up to us to work hard so that this is considered,” Lucius, popularly known as Soldier, said.

Some artists, while welcoming the support, said the government needs to do more and that includes supporting the culture department.

“The Culture Department needs to be supported fully and be given enough funds for its operations to reach out to all the arts fields. At the moment, we are still crying for the rehabilitation of the Blantyre Cultural Centre. Funds were allocated but implementation has been slow,” said an artist who did not want to be named.

He said it is high time the government walked the talk on supporting the creative industry which has a lot to offer in the development of the country.

“For tourism to grow, the creative industry has to play a part and several other areas need arts to help out. But this can only be achieved if there is support. The government needs to help us on the issue of the Arts Council,” he said.

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