By Andrew Mulenga
Arterial Network a continental network of artists, cultural activists, arts NGOs, cultural enterprises and others committed to developing African arts as means to contribute to democracy, human rights and development in Africa, whose secretariat is based in Cape Town launched its Zambian Chapter in Lusaka recently.
|Creative practitioners from a cross section of the |
arts take part ina workshop facilitated by
Yezi Arts Promotions during the
launch at Kwithu Lodge in Lusaka -
Picture by Esther Chilala Miyoba
The launch activities were coordinated by Yezi Arts Promotions and involved a media training workshop on arts and culture on August 4 and the actual launch of the network the following day.
It attracted about 30 participants from a cross-section of the arts and the Arterial Network regional office was represented by Josh Nyapimbi, the chairperson of the Zimbabwean Chapter.
Nyapimbi played the role of introducing the network to the delegates as well as giving guidance on how to proceed with the launch of the chapter. He gave a background to the organisation under the theme "Advancing African Creative Sector" highlighting the network’s aims as well as its key funding partners.
The key issues that came out of the presentation were that of the advantages of belonging to Arterial Network, funding to the arts and cultural sector and political will from the Zambian government in supporting the growth of the sector.
With regards funding, Nyapimbi advised that the Arterial Network in itself does not provide funding but provides a channel to accessing pool funding from other donors.
The added advantage of being a member was the readily available information to enhance arts and culture and easy access to certain facilities necessary for the growth of the industry such as festivals and exchange programmes.
In closing the deliberation, it was agreed in the house that we must continue to advocate for a Zambian ministry for arts and culture if the arts are to have any meaningful development as a sector.
During the launch, a national steering committee was elected to oversee the activities of the newly launched chapter for the coming period. The committee comprises Andrew Mulenga as chairman, Becky Ngoma as vice chairperson, Clive Kawana Secretary, Mwape Mumbi committee member, Dorothy Musukwa committee member. Yezi Arts will provide the secretariat for the operations of Arterial Zambia until the chapter can stand on its own.
In March 2007, more than 50 delegates from 14 African countries met on Gorée Island, Senegal to discuss the theme Revitalising Africa’s Cultural Assets. Research indicated that Africa contributes less than 1 per cent to world trade in creative goods and services. Delegates resolved to unite across national borders to address their common challenges. A Task Team was elected to represent the five African regions and a Secretariat was appointed to coordinate the activities of the network.
It held its second conference in Johannesburg in September 2009 with 130 delegates from 28 African countries. A constitutional framework was adopted, a 10-person Steering Committee with Zambia's Mulenga Kapwepwe as interim chairperson was elected and country representatives were mandated to establish branches in as many African countries as possible.
In terms of constitutional framework, the biannual conference of members elects a Steering Committee comprising two representatives per region to provide leadership for a period of two years. A General Council comprising country representatives (the elected chairpersons of national branches) meets at least once per year to evaluate progress and provide direction for the next year. Members in each country elect a national Steering Committee to oversee the affairs of Arterial Network in that country.
It compiles and distributes monthly newsletters in English and French sharing news relevant to Africa’s creative sector and is establishing another publication in Portuguese.