Zimbabwe/ 2. General objectives and principles of cultural policy  

2.1 Main features of the current cultural policy model

The broad objectives of the National Cultural Policy of Zimbabwe (2007) are to: - 

  • Promote Zimbabwe culture in multi – cultural society and take into account the different ethnic, linguistic and religious groups;
  • Ensure that all political and economic development programmes take into account the culture of the people;
  • Encourage an environment that allows the growth of traditional cultural technologies as part of development of contemporary science and technology;
  • Make provision for the development of research and propagate Zimbabwe’s history,cultural institutions and traditions as a heritage to protect, project and transform for prosperity;
  • Promote environmental care and improvement as a way to enhance the quality of life through policies and actions aimed at a more efficient management of national resources;
  • Promote the evolution of a dynamic national culture that reflects the historic realities and experiences of Zimbabwe’s past, the changes that have taken place, the present and future directions;
  • Promote those social and moral values that Zimbabwe stands for, patriotism, freedom, independence, democracy, self reliance and the respect for human dignity;
  • Provide for effective suitable cultural administrative structures and strengthen the administrative structure of the Culture Division and departments responsible for culture in various ministries;
  • Stimulate the growth of all development professions such as architecture, town planning, civil engineering and others in order to enhance traditional values in the living environment in Zimbabwe;
  • Provide for all development of traditional medicine and its enhancement of contemporary medicine;
  • Promote cultural expression of different ethnic, linguistic and religious groups in Zimbabwe;
  • Support and develop Zimbabwean individuals and groups working in culture by providing support and promotional systems particularly of training and fellowships;
  • Promote environmental care and improvement as a way to enhance the quality of life through policies and actions aimed at a more efficient management of national resources.
  • Promote the evolution of a dynamic national culture that reflects the historic realities and experiences of Zimbabwe’s past, the changes that have taken place, the present and future directions;
  • Promote those social and moral values that Zimbabwe stands for patriotism, freedom, independence, democracy, self reliance and the respect for human dignity;
  • Provide for effective suitable cultural administrative structures and strengthen and administrative structure of the Culture Division and departments responsible for culture in various ministries;
  • Stimulate the growth of all developments professionals such as architecture, town planning, civil engineering and others in order to enhance traditional values in the living environment in Zimbabwe;
  • Provide for all development of traditional medicine and its enhancement of contemporary medicine;
  • Promote cultural expression of different ethnic, linguistic and religious groups of Zimbabwe;
  • Support and develop Zimbabwean individuals and groups working in culture by providing support and promotional systems particularly of training and fellowships;
  • Raise the level of professionalism in the arts;
  • Promote Africanism by developing knowledge and experience of the culture of other African countries in particular those of SADC and PTA, now COMESA, through cultural exchanges exhibitions and festivals;
  • Promote and reflect Zimbabwean culture internationally with artistic integrity,
  • Promote the African languages in order to make them effective tools in the country’s socio – economic development.

It is not easy to explain the cultural policy model that Zimbabwe is currently using because the state provides very minimal support to arts and culture programmes. A close look at the government’s actions shows some features of a mixture of many models. Firstly the model has some aspects of facilitator where the state uses more of a ‘hands off’ approach which leaves the private sector and the donor community as the main players in supporting arts and cultural programmes. The government in some cases provides tax incentives to artists for the importation of audio-visual equipment through its parastatals like the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority. However the ‘hands off’ approach that is used by the Zimbabwean government is mostly a result of lack of adequate resources. 

A close look at the legal framework shows aspects a model that can be referred to as regulator model. The legal framework is in such a way that it provides powers to the government to make and manage cultural policy. This is done directly by ministries or through statutory bodies/parastatals such as the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe. These bodies are directly controlled by the government and their employees are civil servants. They are the only organisations that receive funding from the government mostly to cover salaries and minimal operational costs. Their role mainly is to regulate the arts and culture sector.


Chapter published: 28-09-2011


EN | ES