14.12.2009 -

Harare Cluster countries share information on culture conventions

Malawi prepares to ratify UNESCO conventions on cultural heritage.

At a meeting held on 7 September, 2009 in Lilongwe Malawi, culture experts from Zimbabwe shared information and experiences on the UNESCO conventions on the Safeguarding of In/tangible Cultural Heritage in a bid to encourage Malawi to ratify the 2003 and 2005 conventions.

Culture and tradition experts from Zimbabwe, which has already ratified the two instruments, hailed the 2003 Convention as a vehicle offering opportunity to define cultural policies and action in the area of culture.  The standard setting instrument was also seen as a offering members states an opportunity to develop a cultural database and national inventory to enable creation of institutions and centres to safeguard cultural heritage. Although Malawi, has not ratified that conventions, the meeting observed that  the country had otherwise made strides in promoting and safeguarding cultural heritage as evidenced in the institutionalisation of the Oral Traditions Association of Southern Africa, as well as the implementation of the Gule Wamkulu and Vimbuza funds in trust projects for safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage.

The one-day meeting recommended that Malawi ratifies the two conventions (2003 and 2005) and also that both local and international organizations provide assistance for the implementation of the conventions.

Malawi has a deadline of February 2010 to ratify the two conventions.

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