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Zambia’s Creative Sector Poised for Growth After Investment Workshop

The People’s Action for Accountability and Good Governance in Zambia (PAAGZ), in collaboration with the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Art, and the National Arts Council, held a three-day budget consultative workshop from May 15th to 17th, 2024, in Kafue district. 

The workshop, themed “Accelerating Economic Development through Increased Public Investment in the Creative Sector,” brought together key stakeholders from the arts, Ministry of Finance and National Planning, Parliamentary Budget Office, and local artists.

The workshop aimed to stimulate discussion, build a compelling case for investment, and empower the arts sector with strategies for enhancing its contribution to Zambia’s economic growth. 

In his opening address, Permanent Secretary of Arts, Mr Fumba Chama, emphasised the need for substantial investment in the creative sector to unlock its full potential. 

“The creative sector needs more investment than empowerment to contribute fully to the country’s growth. It is critical for the sector to demonstrate professionalism, improve governance structures, and formalise the industry,” he stated.

Participants engaged in discussions on sectoral needs, investment opportunities, advocacy for increased funding, and understanding budgetary processes. 

PAAGZ Executive Director, Mr Khazike Sakala, underscored the sector’s economic potential and the need for increased government funding, in line with the African Union’s goal of 1% funding for arts and culture.

A representative from the Ministry of Finance committed to advocating for increased funding, recognising the arts sector’s revenue-generating potential. Similarly, a National Assembly representative pledged to support advocacy efforts for the arts within parliament.

Key outcomes from the workshop included recognising the potential for economic growth and job creation in the arts sector, particularly for youth, and the need for greater public resource allocation. 

The importance of involving artists in advocacy and capacity-building to influence budget allocations was also highlighted.

Legislative and fiscal reforms were identified as essential for improving the business environment for artists. While progress has been made with the National Arts Policy of 2023 and the revised National Film Policy of 2023, further strengthening of legislation is needed.

In conclusion, PAAGZ and its partners are committed to ensuring that Zambia’s vibrant arts sector receives the support it needs to flourish. The creative industry has the potential to drive economic growth, create jobs, and enhance Zambia’s socio-economic development. 

The government is urged to prioritise and progressively fund the creative industry in line with the AU Declaration to unlock its full potential.

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