Zimbabwe/ 3.4 International cultural co-operation  

3.4.2 Public actors and cultural diplomacy

Zimbabwe hosts quiet a number of cultural organisations of other countries. These include Alliance Francaise, British Council, Spanish Cultural Centre launched in 2011, Chinese cultural centre and the Goethe-Institut Most of the funding for arts and culture in Zimbabwe comes from international donors and embassies.

The former British Council Director, David Martin notes that even if there is a difficult relationship between Britain and Zimbabwe, British Council continues to use cultural diplomacy to maintain a good relationship between the two governments. 

Cultural diplomacy is part of Zimbabwe’s foreign policy. The implementation of  this policy is guided by a number of considerations, namely, forging regional, political, economic and cultural co-operation with Zimbabwe’s neighbors as well as with the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) regions; promoting African unity and solidarity through the African Union (AU); development through regional and sub-regional initiatives; promoting solidarity and cohesion among developing countries through such organizations as the Non-Aligned Movement; promoting South-South cooperation through the Group of Fifteen (G15), the Group of Seventy Seven (G77) and other organisations; and promoting international peace, security and co-operation through the United Nations.

Diplomatic Missions abroad serve as the main agency for interpreting and implementing Zimbabwe's foreign policy as well as tendering informed advice to government on the necessary changes thereof, in an effort to meet new challenges. At the moment there are thirty eight Missions and three consulates. However currently there are a few official programmes run by Zimbabwe in relation to cultural diplomacy and intercultural dialogue with other countries due to lack of resources.

Zimbabwe has numerous cultural agreements with countries such as China, Germany, India, Egypt and Angola. Article 2 of the cultural agreement between Zimbabwe and China provides that, the two Contracting Parties agree to have exchanges and cooperation in the field of culture and art in the following ways:

(a) Exchange visits of writers, artists and cultural experts;
(b) Exchange performing tours by troupes of artists;
(c) Hold exhibitions on culture and art in each other's country.
Source: http://www.chinaculture.org/exchange/2003-12/31/content_342834.htm

However the country remains constrained by the lack of resources to meaningfully implement these cultural agreements.

Chapter published: 28-09-2011