Zimbabwe/ 3.4 International cultural co-operation  

3.4.1 Overview of main structures and trends

Zimbabwe is a signatory to many international conventions governing arts and culture. These include the Convention for the Safeguard of Intangible Cultural Heritage of 2003 and the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. The Ministry of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture and the Ministry of Home Affairs remain the implementing agencies for the two conventions respectively. 

Zimbabwe’s National Commission for UNESCO established by a Presidential Decree in 1987 in the then Ministry of Education, Sport and Culture is one of the instrumental apparatus of the government in international cooperation. Its mission is to initiate and develop policy and provide advice, coordinate and facilitate the participation of Zimbabwe nationals in UNESCO activities, projects and programmes that contribute to peace and development by promoting collaboration with the rest of the world through Education, Science, Culture, Communication and Information. In 1988 it was moved to the newly created Ministry of Higher Education and has operated in the Ministry since then. (Source: http://www.mhet.ac.zw/index.php/divisions

There is a specialised standing committee of experts created through this organisation whose functions include to advise the government on the need to develop and or review national policies with regard to Education, Science, Culture, and Communication and Information in the light of current global trends. 

However in Zimbabwe the general trend is that after the government has ratified a convention, it has to be domesticated after which legislation for the enforcement of the convention is enacted. Generally this process happens in a very slow manner. The same applies to conventions that are administered by the SADC and African Union. 

Overally Zimbabwe has ratified the following international conventions: Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage. Paris, 16 November 1972. 16/08/1982 Ratification

  • Convention on Technical and Vocational Education. Paris, 10 November 1989. 29/05/1991 Acceptance
  • Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict with Regulations for the Execution of the Convention. The Hague, 14 May 1954. 09/06/1998 Accession
  • Agreement on the Importation of Educational, Scientific and Cultural Materials, with Annexes A to E and Protocol annexed. Florence, 17 June 1950. 01/12/1998 Notification of succession
  • Convention against Discrimination in Education. Paris, 14 December 1960. 30/05/2006 Acceptance
  • Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property. Paris, 14 November 1970. 30/05/2006 Acceptance
  • Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. Paris, 17 October 2003. 30/05/2006 Acceptance
  • Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. Paris, 20 October 2005 15/05/2008 Ratification

Chapter published: 28-09-2011