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Government establishes national committee for ICH

Government has established the long awaited national committee for Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) with communities to facilitate the implementation of the 2003 UNESCO Convention on their Safeguard.

And the Department of Arts and Culture under the Ministry of Tourism and Arts has reaffirmed its commitment to strengthen the identification and definition of ICHs in Zambia.

In an interview with the Lusaka Star, Ministry of Arts and Tourism, Public Relations Officer, Kabililo Kalembe said government has since initiated the ‘Training of Trainers’ Workshops under a capacity building stride on the UNESCO 2003 Convention for Safeguarding of ICH.

“We have since held training programmes, starting with Kabwe, on the need to identify ICH’s in order to be effectively positioned as a country in doing so,” he said.

Mr. Kalembe also said members of the committee have been drawn from various stakeholders such as the Ministry of General Education through the Curriculum Development Centre, University of Zambia’s School of Education, and the Institute of Economic and Social Research.

Others include the National Heritage Conservation Commission, Ministry of Chiefs and Tradition Affairs, and the National Museums Board.

He further disclosed that the department recently participated and won in the elections held during the General Assembly of State Parties.

He said this development translates Zambia as being the 48th State Party to the convention and a new member of the intergovernmental committee for the safeguarding of ICH.

Mr. Kalembe explained that Intangible Cultural Heritage means the practices, representations, expressions, knowledge, skills as well as the instruments, objects, artifacts and cultural spaces associated with communities, group’s or individual’s recognition as part of their cultural heritage.
He added that capacity building efforts in the realm of arts, tourism and entertainment are a cornerstone to the advancement of the sectors that can meaningfully contribute to the country in line with the international standards.

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