Gvt, Unesco, EU to transform Zim music industry

What’s all the hullabaloo about the Zimbabwe National Music Strategy?

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MANY a local musician is living in abject poverty which relatively speaking,  is miles away from the quality of the music they produce and the investments they have painstakingly put into their projects over time.

The good news is that the government has taken a huge step that is aimed at transforming the music sector into a key contributor to national economic development and employment creation.

Recently Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation minister Kirsty Coventry launched the Zimbabwe Music Strategy 2022-27 in Harare.

Speaking at the launch, Coventry highlighted that music will be a critical gear in the matrix of attaining an upper-middle income society in line with Vision 2030, as well as in implementing the sustainable development goals.

How did this milestone come to fruition?

The epic moment was when the Zimbabwean music and arts stakeholders validated the country’s National Music Strategy during a workshop held on 22 March 2022 in Harare.

The drafting of the five-year music strategy document followed intensive consultations, dating back to March 2020.

Critical, was the cooperation between UNESCO/EU and the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe in coming up with a product that nurtures the culture of inclusive and participatory stakeholder engagement.

This included research and peer-to-peer learning led by the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ) with advice from two members of the EU/UNESCO Expert Facility, Yarri Kamara and Farai Mpfunya.

The experts provided support to the NACZ by analyzing the music sector and researching innovative models from other countries.

Zimbabwe Music Strategy 2022-27
The strategy responds to challenges being faced by the music industry players and contains four priority pillars: Music markets and business development; Intellectual property and related rights; Funding, financing, and investment in Music; and Education, capacity building and training.

Other pillars include Music Infrastructure; Cultural statistics and research; Media, Information and Communication Technologies; Cultural Diplomacy and Global Business; Cultural Governance; and Safeguarding Cultural Heritage, Identity and Celebrating Diversity.

Implementation of the Strategy will address several challenges that hinder the development of the music industry, limiting music’s contribution to the economy and livelihoods.

De-structuring of the music value chain and piracy are some of such obstacles.

Speaking at the validation meeting, the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe Director, Mr. Nicholas Moyo said the main drive of the National Music Strategy was to create a robust, adaptive, and economically sustainable music sector in Zimbabwe.

The strategy will help the music sector operate efficiently and profitably in the national, regional, and international music arenas.

UNESCO Regional Office for Southern Africa Head of Culture Unit, Mr Francisco Gomez-Duran, explained that the process of elaborating this strategy was supported by the European Union through UNESCO, under the EU/UNESCO capacity-building programme entitled, “Supporting new regulatory frameworks to strengthen the cultural and creative industries and promote South-South cooperation, where Zimbabwe is one of the 12 beneficiaries.

The project provides expertise and support for peer-to-peer learning opportunities with fellow public officials in partner countries, thus contributing to the creation of international South-South networks for creativity.

UNESCO provides not only expertise but also peer-to-peer learning opportunities to partner countries that are designing regulatory frameworks (e.g., laws, strategies, measures, and policies) for the CCIs. The peer-to-peer learning platform provides access to all the stakeholders involved in the implementation of the EU/UNESCO project, including national team members and those public actors of knowledge provider countries who share their first-hand CCI policy experience and play a role of peers.

Zimbabwe has managed to peer exchange with Nigeria (virtually) and with South Africa bit physically in a bid to enrich the strategy process making. Zimbabwe did not only become a beneficiary as it also served as a knowledge provider to some countries like Namibia and Uganda.

Source: UNESCO/ additional reporting by Zim Community News

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