Creative players brainstorm on 2005 Unesco Convention

CULTURAL GATHERING—Mpfunya making his presentation during the workshop Tuesday

Creative players from different sectors including the Department of Culture in the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture Tuesday met in Lilongwe where they discussed several issues as regards growing the creative sector but also where countries signed to the 2005 Unesco Convention stand as regards their cultural growth.

The 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions is a legally binding agreement that among others, reaffirms the right to adopt policies and measures to support the emergence of dynamic and strong cultural policies and measures.

The gathering which saw a number of presentations was officially opened by Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture Chancy Simwaka.


One of the facilitators, Farai Mpfunya, from Zimbabwe speaking on the 2005 Convention, role of Civil Society Organisations and reporting framework, said cultural policies were a sovereign right.

“Investing in digital creativity is key and media diversity supports the diversity of cultural expressions and sustainable governance for culture is participatory,” Mpfunya said.

For a long time, the creative industry in the country has bemoaned the lack of support from the government and corporate world which they feel has led to it not making progress.


“We struggle to get support and this is why we have failed to make progress,” Malawi Writers Union (Mawu) President Sambalikagwa Mvona said.

In a statement, Department of Arts, says the refresher workshop on the 2005 Unesco Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions was aimed at exploring the role of the creative civil society in the implementation of the 2005 Convention.

The Department of Arts says it is mandated to coordinate, develop, promote, preserve and present Malawi’s’ cultural heritage through the arts and crafts as part of the country’s cultural heritage and that the meeting was one of the ways of developing the creative sector.

It further says that as one of the measures to ensure preservation of the country’s cultural heritage Malawi ratified the 2005 Unesco Convention on Cultural Diversity in March 2010, the Convention aims at giving recognition to the distinctive nature of cultural activities, goods and services as vehicles of identity, values and meaning.

“One of the obligations for the country is therefore to encourage and promote understanding of the importance of the protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions through, among other, educational and greater public awareness programmes,”the statement reads in part.

Other players who made presentations during the workshop include Christopher Magomero and Ezaius Mkandawire.

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