Creatives back from Tanzania with lessons


 Creatives made up of representatives from 11 heritage associations and others have described their recent 10-day trip to Tanzania as an eye-opener and that there is a need for them to jack up to develop tourism, arts and culture sectors.

Board Member for Malawi Tourism Council responsible for Cultural Tourism Sector Mathews Mfune said Tanzania has a rich culture through the 120 ethnic groups plus their history.

“Their current government has placed culture as one of the priority areas to invest in, hence the Department of Culture is adequately funded for implementation of programmes which are about developing and marketing their tangible and intangible cultural heritage,” Mfune said.


He also said, recently, the Department of Culture in Tanzania established seven cultural tourism programmes across the country to ensure that concerned communities access social and economic benefits from their cultural treasures through visitors who go to appreciate their culture.

“I was also impressed with the way they have put up structures, they have seven museums in different parts of the country according to categories,” Mfune, who is also Executive Director of Sungani Zakwathu Cultural Heritage Association, said.

He also said he was impressed with the working relationship among players such as Tanzania Tourism Board, Tourism Confederation of Tanzania, National Museum of Tanzania and the 120 ethnic groups.


“Tanzania Tourism Board leads the whole marketing activity for all tourism sectors including cultural heritage which has raised the cultural tourism sector in Tanzania. From all this and at a time Malawi has tourism as a third priority in the Malawi 2063 agenda, stakeholders like government, donors, cultural heritage associations and others must jack up and invest in the cultural tourism sector,” he said.

Mfune said it is not all about preserving culture for identity.

“We need not overlook culture if we want to promote tourism in the country,” he said.

Director of Museums and Monuments in the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Wildlife, Lovemore Mazibuko, said there were several lessons learnt from the regional benchmarking visit in Tanzania.

“The visits to various sites and monuments provided an opportunity to see what is promoted in terms of heritage in Tanzania. From this, players were provided with soul searching experience for what they have and can be promoted in their ethnic groups,” Mazibuko said.

He also said the creation of community museums was another learning experience.

“Lessons were also learnt on promotion and marketing of festivals and events. Tanzania promotes and markets its events no matter how small they are. This is something the representatives were challenged to do. Heritage associations and event organisers need to have dedicated promoters and marketers to advertise their events,” Mazibuko said.

He also said festivals in the in Malawi citing among others, Sand Music, Lake of Stars, Blantyre Arts, Tumaini, have to incorporate cultural elements as part of promoting culture.

“The other issue is on local sponsorship for festivals. Festivals are well sponsored by both government and the private sector something which lacks in the country. Representatives and government have to partner to market as well as woo the private sector,” Mazibuko said.

The team went to Tanzania on a Cultural Development Programme in the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Wildlife iaimed at promoting investment and competiveness in the tourism sector.

The project is being implemented by Department of Tourism in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism in collaboration with Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Wildlife, Department of National Parks and Wildlife, Malawi Institute of Tourism and Malawi Tourism Council.

The five-year project (2018 -2022) is a grant provided to the government by the African Development Bank through their Malawi office.

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