The Sunday Mail
Tinashe Farawo in PARIS, France
ZIMBABWE is committed to safeguarding its cultural heritage while promoting cultural diversity as a way of engendering development, a senior Government official has said.
Speaking during the ongoing 42nd UNESCO General Assembly here, Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture Permanent Secretary Mr Nicholas Moyo reiterated the country’s commitment to fully implement the global body’s conventions on culture.
Zimbabwe, he said, was mainstreaming its intangible cultural heritage (ICH).
ICH refers to practices, expressions, knowledge and skills that communities, groups and sometimes individuals recognise as part of their cultural heritage.
“Zimbabwe is very active in mainstreaming intangible cultural heritage, as it is an important factor in promoting, safeguarding and maintaining cultural diversity,” he said.
“We are seized with a lot of programmes and activities to promote and safeguard ICH.
“The Government established a national ICH committee that is in charge of implementing the 2003 Convention in the country.
“In the next two years, Zimbabwe may enact an ICH Bill.”
He said the country was grateful to UNESCO for providing financial support for ICH projects, which will result in more elements of Zimbabwean culture being inventoried.
Zimbabwe, he added, was endowed with a rich cultural heritage and was prioritising the promotion and safeguarding of ICH.
“Each year on our calendar, we have National Culture Month celebrations, which are officially opened by our Head of State and Government, His Excellency President ED Mnangagwa.
“I am pleased to share that Zimbabwe is implementing Education 5.0, whose thrust, among other things, is a focus on heritage studies.
“This is now an examinable subject and is taught from early learning grades up to high school level.
“All the efforts are meant to promote the rich cultural heritage in Zimbabwe by safeguarding our cultural heritage for posterity.”
Mr Moyo said Zimbabwe has a Heritage Sites Development Programme, which seeks to improve the conservation, interpretation and presentation of heritage, as well as community empowerment and tourism development.
As part of the programme, Zimbabwe is facilitating the rehabilitation and redevelopment of the Great Zimbabwe World Heritage Site, which is “progressing well”.
“The State party also started the development of the Museum of African Liberation in Harare.
“Rehabilitation of liberation sites is progressing well, including the rehabilitation of the Pupu National Monument, as an example.
“The same applies to the vibrant Heritage Awareness Programme, which includes the National Heritage Quiz Competition for primary schools.
“Development of a national policy on the management of the liberation heritage is at an advanced stage.”