Sweden, Culture Fund in new partnership

HARARE - The Culture Fund of Zimbabwe have signed a new agreement with the Swedish government that will see the latter contributing $1, 35 million (12 million Swedish kronor) towards a three-year-programme on women empowerment and climate change.

Representatives of the two entities officially agreed on the partnership running under the banner “Culture Actions” in Harare yesterday.

Sweden’s ambassador to Zimbabwe Sofia Calltorp said the new support to the Culture Fund of Zimbabwe was in line with its newly-adopted five-year strategy that gives particular attention to human rights, gender equality, environment and climate change.

“Culture can be a very powerful tool in our box to promote development. Through art and different cultural expressions we can reach out to communities and enhance awareness, stimulate debate and highlight the need for action to combat gender based violence but also to start a discussion around environmental issues and climate change,” Calltorp said.

The new Culture Actions programme seeks artistic interventions that can strengthen women’s knowledge and decision-making capacities in environmentally vulnerable communities as well as initiatives that can raise the general awareness on environmental shocks and climate change in Zimbabwe.

The programme, to be implemented by Culture Fund and future partners, also aims to reduce gender-based violence, combat early marriages and to promote environmental awareness by harnessing the power of transformative arts.

Gift Sibanda, the chairperson of the Culture Fund of Zimbabwe board, said his organisation was committed to making the programme a success.

“Let me take this opportunity to express the commitment of the board in fulfilling the expectations  of this agreement in particular, as they relate to the reduction of gender-based violence, early child marriages, awareness on climate change as well as the result-oriented approaches in our programming,” Sibanda said.

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