CfCA supports a Budget Workshop, Mapping a Path for increased Public Investment in the Culture Sector
Participants during the budget consultative workshop in Zambia
Participants during the budget consultative workshop in Zambia

Connect for Culture Africa, in partnership with the People’s Action for Accountability and Good Governance in Zambia (PAAGZ), alongside the Ministry of Youth, Sport, and Art, and the National Arts Council, orchestrated a pivotal three-day budget consultative workshop for creatives and sector players in Kafue district, Zambia.

Held from May 15th to 17th, 2024, under the theme “Accelerating Economic Development through Increased Public Investment in the Creative Sector,” the workshop united key stakeholders from within and beyond the arts realm. Participants included representatives from the Ministry of Finance and National Planning, Parliamentary Budget Office, and local artists, fostering crucial dialogues on securing more impactful investment and public funding for the sector.

This collaborative endeavor aimed to ignite conversation, construct a compelling case, and equip the arts sector with actionable strategies, highlighting its potential value in contributing to Zambia’s revenues, national growth, and development. In his inaugural address, Mr. Fumba Chama, Permanent Secretary of Arts, stressed that “the creative sector requires more than empowerment; it necessitates substantial investment to fully realize its potential in driving the country’s growth.” He emphasized the imperative for the sector to exhibit professionalism, enhance governance structures, and formalize its operations. Mr. Chama further emphasized the sector’s capacity for significant exportation when provided with an enabling environment, a goal the ministry actively pursues.

Through collaborative dialogue and knowledge sharing, participants delved into sectoral requirements, opportunities for value addition, advocacy for increased funding, and comprehension of budgetary processes. Mr. Khazike Sakala, PAAGZ Executive Director, underscored the imperative for recognizing the sector as a potent economic contributor, advocating for surpassing the current allocation threshold towards achieving the 1% government funding for arts and culture as per the AU Declaration. He emphasized that engagements like this workshop, supported by key stakeholders like Selam Sweden through the Connect for Culture Initiative, lay the groundwork for substantiating the case for increased allocation to the arts.

The workshop laid a robust groundwork for advocating to the Ministry of Finance and National Planning for heightened resources for the arts sector, underscoring its socio-economic significance and impact. A representative from the Ministry of Finance highlighted the importance of raising awareness within the ministry about the revenue-generating potential of the arts sector, expressing commitment to advocating for increased resource allocation due to a newfound appreciation of the arts contributions. This sentiment resonated with a representative from the National Assembly of Zambia, who pledged to champion advocacy efforts for the arts within parliament and provide platforms for the project to present its case.

Key outcomes from the workshop included the recognition of the arts and creatives sector’s potential for economic growth and job creation, particularly among youth, necessitating greater public resource allocation. The importance of involving artists as key advocates was also underscored, with one participant remarking, “We need workshops like this not only for technocrats but also for creatives and artists to understand and appreciate the various institutions and opportunities available to influence budgetary allocations. There should be support from actors like PAAGZ in building our capacity to make budget submissions so we can directly influence and contribute to changing our plight as artists within the sector.”

Lastly, legislative and fiscal reforms were identified as imperative for enhancing the business environment for artists. While progress has been made through the introduction of the National Arts Policy of 2023 and the revised National Film Policy of 2023, there is a pressing need to strengthen legislation facilitating a well-regulated, formalized, and professionalized sector prioritized for its contribution to national development in Zambia.

“Given the crucial role public support plays in supporting arts and culture, it is desirable that this support is sustainable and effective,” Selam’s regional programme director Lucy Ilado said. “In order to achieve this, there needs to be a certain degree of dynamism in the nature of support offered by the public bodies. As cultural and creative industries are transforming, innovative public funding methods and policies will be required.”

Adding that: “Besides supporting the arts and culture sector on its own, the government must also play a role in creating necessary incentives for the private players to not just be donors for initiatives, activities and events in the arts and culture sector but to also be active investors. This will create a much-required pool of financial resources that can be utilised for boosting entrepreneurial ventures in the field of arts and culture.

CfCA and its partners remain steadfast in their commitment to ensuring Zambia’s vibrant arts sector receives the support it deserves to flourish and contribute to national development. The creative industry harbors immense potential to drive economic growth, create jobs, and bolster Zambia’s socio-economic landscape. We urge the government to incrementally and progressively prioritize and fund the creative industry in alignment with the AU Declaration to unlock its full potential.


About Selam

Selam is a Pan-African organisation based  in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  Selam was created in 1997 and has since  evolved into an international player, partnering with artists, cultural producers, the private sector, the media, culture institutions, researchers, and national and regional governments across the African continent as well in other regions in the world.

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Contact : Lucy Ilado –  Regional Programme Director  |  Email:    Whatsapp:   +254 700 322 664

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