Copyright Society of Malawi (Cosoma) which is driving the School for Arts which is the third component of the Integrated Arts Development project, has said there is little progress for the project at the moment.
The copyright body’s secretariat report for the period July 2018 to June 2019, says they could have been at an advanced stage with the project by now as they aim at helping to uplift the creative industry in the country.
The report says that the primary focus in the period under review was to start preliminary ground works.
The project was incorporated into the development budget however, it has received no funding.
Cosoma Senior Licensing Officer, Rosario Kamanga, said lobbying for funds was still in progress and that the copyright body was looking for funds from the private sector under the Public Private Partnership (PPP).
“At the moment, the project has stalled and we have had no funding. We could have been at an advanced stage by now,” Kamanga said.
He said the government approved a budget of over K78 million for the implementation of the Integrated Arts Development project in the year 2018/2019 financial year.
The approved budget according to Kamanga, was for the start of construction of the School for the Arts and the administration of activities for the Arts Production and Marketing Cooperative and Arts Sacco.
The report indicates that during the financial year, the government only disbursed over K38 million.
“Construction work has not started due to no disbursement of funds as well as administrative issues surrounding procurement of services whose processes were too long as it involved the office of the Director of Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets (PPDA) the Department of Buildings,” reads the report.
Kamanga said there was potential in the creative industry and that the School for Arts project was crucial in sharping artists in the country to produce better and quality works.
“We do not have enough arts schools in the country and yet we have so much talent on the ground and so, this is why we embarked on this project of the School for Arts,” he said.
Recently, Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Francis Phiso, said the government was committed to assist the creative industry in some of its projects.
“We will engage different arts players to work on some of these projects otherwise the government is aware of the importance of the creative industry to the development of the country,” Phiso said.