The Department of Culture and Youth is currently hosting a series of workshops to finalise the Draft National Action Plan on Culture. ?In 2001 a policy on culture formulated by the Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs was approved by Cabinet but policy documents do not come with an implementation plan,? Ms, Dineo Phuti the department?s Coordinator for Culture and Performing Arts told The Sunday Standard. ?We got assistance from UNESCO in 2004, who lent us a team of experts, who together with their local counterparts, came up with a draft document.?
The policy had defined parameters within which cultural development should take place and a spirit of tolerance and co-existence of different ethnic groups.
However, the time and methods employed did not allow a final draft, as a result, establishments such as National Cultural Village/Centre due to implementation constraints.
?Because culture is a diverse sector and affects members of the society in various ways that relate to the way of life, it was decided that in finalising the document we must liaise with the very people it affects,? said Phuti. ?People who are conversant in the 24 sub-sectors of culture bring their input. An emphasis has been put on gender, people with disabilities and youth because they crosscut and permeate across culture sub-sectors.?
Dr Wapula Raditlhareng, a member of the consultants? team that includes Professor J. Nenty, a fellow Senior Lecture at the University of Botswana, tendered for the exercise of finalising the draft.
?Components of the action plan had already been identified in the document drafted in 2004,? said Dr Raditlhareng. ?What we are now doing is getting perceptions from stakeholders of our culture. They are suggesting goals, objectives, activities and potential sponsors under the 24 named sectors.
?We have employed three more data collection methods that include interviewing key informants, who are selected on the basis of their involvement in the respective sectors. We have also put in place quality assurance aid of a reference group.
?We also have put in a call for written submissions from members of the public, to send in suggestions and comments.?
Phuti confirmed that documents are being collected from the department and she anticipates that it will result in a number of written submissions.