Botswana’s culture and heritage play a pivotal role in harnessing national pride and unity. Botswana has a lot to be proud of, including internal peace, democracy and socio-economic progress. The Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture held Pitso ya Ngwao under the theme “Consultation; Key to service delivery”. The two day workshop was held at Gaborone International Convention Centre.
The cultural indaba was meant to discuss issues of preservation and promotion of culture and heritage. It also sought to derive maximum economic benefits from sustainable utilization of culture and heritage, and also explain the role of different stakeholders in promotion and preservation of culture.
“This forum should afford all of us a rare opportunity to freely exchange ideas on how our Ministry can best deliver cultural products and services to Botswana”, said Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Shaw Kgathi. He said culture engenders respect for the sanctity of each individual life.
“Culture is the embodiment of the sum totality of humanity, diverse practices and traditions premised on the vastness of human experience, knowledge, acceptance and tolerance among communities”, added Kgathi.
For his part, the Coordinator of Thapong Visual Arts Reginald Bakwena highlighted the successful initiatives of arts organization. He named the creation of the Department of Arts and Culture and the establishment of the Art Gallery as notable achievements.
“Insufficient markets for products and services are a challenge, and lack of curators and skilled professionals in the arts delay progress”, said Bakwena. He also urged government to speed up the setting-up of the Arts Council, and also the need to formulate a national anti-piracy strategy.
The national policy on culture encourages Batswana to develop appreciation and respect for their own culture.
The Head of Projects in the Ministry of Labor and Home Affairs, Modiredi Nthaga, said government has resolved to procure local artistic and cultural creations.
“There is need to diversify tourism products by promoting the development and growth of cultural heritage resources. Also the use of technology and improvement of skills and talent base can play an important role in this sector” said Nthaga.
The cultural pitso was attended by arts and culture practitioners, cultural organizations, researchers and traditional leaders.