Encourage domestic cultural tourism (National Cultural policy Priority 2, Objective 2, strategy 18.104.22.168): Festival Organizers Consultative Forum
Malawi has in the recent past seen the mushrooming of arts and culture festivals at different levels involving different genres of arts. At the moment there are over 20 notable artistic festivals targeting various art disciplines that are earmarked to take place annually. In view of this development there was need to streamline the objectives and activities of the many arts and culture events to ensure better coordination towards tourism promotion in the country. There was therefore need for a consultative forum for Government involving festival organizers to make a deeper understanding of the contexts, the focus that each festival is trying to address, and the challenges the festival organizers encounter that require Government’s policy intervention. The first consultative forum took place on 29th and 30th April, 2013.
To ensure better coordination and conduction of diverse arts and cultural festivals
- To highlight government policies relating to cultural festivals;
- To streamline the objectives and activities of the festivals; and
- To share experiences in festival management.
- To develop a national festival calendar
A two day workshop was conducted at Grace Bandawe conference centre in Blantyre, Malawi, from 29th to 30th April 2013. The conference was funded by the Royal Norwegian Embassy through a Programme entitled: PROMOTION AND CONSERVATION OF NATIONAL CULTURAL HERITAGE OF MALAWI. The conference had representation from 14 artistic festivals. During the conference Government presented a draft cultural calendar for the festival organizers to confirm their dates. On the other hand, the festival organizers presented their festival concepts to the Government.
Challenges identified in the implementation of this measure:
The main challenge has been lack of funds to:
1.1 Complete the drafting of the festival calendar and a website of cultural events
1.2 Carryout the follow-up meetings with the festival organizers
The country has 20 artistic festivals and 14 of them were represented at the conference. Through the conference Government was able to appreciate the challenges that festival organizers go through and was able to plan accordingly. The meeting ably sensitized the festival organizers on the need to have a cultural calendar with fixed dates for holding their festivals for proper planning and organization.