By Anyway Yotamu
The Ministry of Youths, Sports, Arts and Recreation is set to host a two-day Ease of Doing Business Conference in the city of Kings and Queens (Bulawayo) from the 29th to 30th of this month.
Speaking at a press conference, renowned artists Albert Nyathi and Sera Mpofu Sibanda said the Conference will be held in Bulawayo and run under the theme ‘Leveraging Arts, Culture and Heritage for Enhanced Productivity, Job Creation and Economic Growth’
“The Conference in Creative and Cultural Industries (CCI) on the Ease of doing Business will be held at the National Arts Gallery of Zimbabwe here in Bulawayo and will run under the theme ‘Leveraging Arts Culture and Heritage for Enhanced Productivity, Job Creation and Economic Growth’ at the National Arts Gallery of Zimbabwe,” said Nyathi.
The high profile event will be graced by President Emmerson Mnangagwa and the First Lady. The conference is set to bring together various players in the arts industry to specifically explore the concept of Ease of Doing Business in the Country.
“We have been around as creatives and we have gone on and on creating work be it crafts, sculpture, dance, and painting. As delegates, we will have in attendance the First Lady with expectations of the President joining the deliberations.”
The earmarked conference follows stakeholders’ consultation workshop convened by the Ministry of Youth, Sports, Arts and Recreation in Harare in October which brought together representatives of arts industry from different sectors.
In October 2019, the Ministry of Youth, Sports, Arts and Recreation convened a Creative and Cultural Industries (CCIs) stakeholders’ consultation workshop in Harare. The workshop brought together representatives of the arts sector in dialogue with Government departments, agencies and other private sector stakeholders.
The expected outcomes will see the CCI aspirations resonating with national goals, alignment with 2020 budget, creating opportunities for the integration of property rights and synergies.
The conference theme deliberately aligns with the 2020 national budget. The aspirations of the CCIs inherently have resonance with national development goals. These will help explore the themes of culture led urban regeneration, Intellectual Property Rights and expansion of market linkages.
As an economy in transition, Government policy speaks to strengthening Provincial economies in line with the dictates of devolution of power. The conference will interrogate mechanisms on how policy and legislation can be strengthened to protect artistic creations. Innovation will not be sustained in an environment of wanton intellectual property rights violation.
In an interview, Cal Vin, a hip hop artist, said the conference will be a showcased opportunity for local artists to set aside enmity and hatred
“This conference will be an opportunity for us as artists to air out our grievances in the industry. For instance, we have been seeing segregation where bigger platforms are only reserved for some players while restricting others from growing,” Cal Vin said.