YOUTH, Sports, Arts and Recreation permanent secretary Thokozile Chitepo yesterday said the arts sector needed to grow and increase its capacity as a major economic player if the country was to attain economic progress by 2030.

Speaking during the cultural and creative industry strategic planning workshop held at a Harare hotel, Chitepo urged artists to start thinking of critical factors that could help grow the industry.

“The cultural and creative industries sector is poised for growth and as such, it is crucial for those working in it to start thinking of critical factors needed to harness its full potential,” she said.

She urged artistes, particularly film makers, to stop waiting for the government to solve their challenges.“Why should it take so long for you to meet as filmmakers and discuss how to push the sector forward? Why wait for the government? Let’s do what we can to make the audio and visual aspect of art to flourish and then approach the government with our decisions,” she said.

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African Languages Research Institute director and former Great Zimbabwe University vice-chancellor Hebert Chimhundu said changes that have taken place at the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ) over the last 28 months have slowed down the sector’s development.

Chimhundu said every new person came in with different perspectives and approaches, but noted that NACZ was now broadening its mandate and hoped this would address the problem.

“There are lots of changes that where happening in the past 28 months and we probably went a step back in developing the sector. However, the NACZ’s mandate has now broadened for they are supposed to intensively help in the creation of a vibrant cultural and creative industry and for the good of the nation,” he said.

The strategic meeting was attended by a number of artists and key players in the arts industry who included Albert Nyathi, Daves Guzha and Fred Zindi.