Arts and culture should be promoted because they are one of the avenues that can contribute significantly to the economy, North-Western Province Minister Dawson Kafwaya has said.
He said arts and culture were not only a lucrative business but also brought out the identity of the nation.
Mr Kafwaya, in a speech read on his behalf by assistant secretary Peter Chilambwe, was speaking during the official launch of the first art exhibition at Kifubwa Art Centre.
He said arts would continue to be one of the highest revenue generators for various countries because the business was always growing. Mr Kafwaya said the importance of arts and culture cannot be over emphasized as it cuts across, age, race and other social and ethnic differences.
He said Government attached great importance to works of art because they could create employment which remained a priority on Government agenda as a vehicle to meet sustainable development and reduce poverty.
“It is for this reason that Government is putting up structures such as libraries , museums , theatres and art centres such as this one to accommodate personal expression of literature, music and art as preserves of our Zambian history , arts and culture,” Mr Kafwaya said.
He said Government realized that arts and culture have an impact on the nation’s social well-being, cohesion, physical and mental health, educational system, national status and the economy. Mr Kafwaya however noted that the business could only stand the test of time and attract people from within and across the borders if artists had fresh ideas and stick to their true identity.
“Artists should strive to produce quality products that will sell beyond the boundaries of the country,” he said.
Mr Kafwaya commended the artists at the exhibition for using raw materials that are readily available in the locality.
He urged members of the public to invest in local products in order to contribute to the development of the arts and culture as well as the education sector and sustainability of the quality finished local industries.
And Arts and Culture North-Western provincial officer Sara Lumbalanama said there was need to promote of arts and cultural products because they were a vehicle for enhancing national identity.
Mrs Lumbalanama said arts and culture were inseparable because they could contribute greatly to the country’s economy.
She said arts and culture always told the story of the history and identity of Zambians as a people.
“Arts and culture illuminate our inner lives and enrich our emotions because it cuts across age, culture and other barriers as it is a universal language” Mrs Lumbalanama said.