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Man wearing a traditional Malawian Mask in Kumbali, Lilongwe. 
Photo: Sigbjørn Skandsen/Royal Norwegian Embassy.Man wearing a traditional Malawian Mask in Kumbali, Lilongwe. Photo: Sigbjørn Skandsen/Royal Norwegian Embassy

Cultural Cooperation

Last updated: 08.10.2014 // Information about Norwegian Development Cooperation in Malawi focusing on Culture.

2013: NOK 6 million ≈ USD 1 million (USD 1 ≈ NOK 6)

Norway has had a long-term involvement in the cultural sector in Malawi. The support has been along two main lines; government-to-government cooperation, and support to cultural actors in civil society.

Government cooperation

Cooperation between the governments have been through the Department of Culture (in the Ministry of Tourism and Culture). This multiyear agreement has cumulatively amounted to NOK 8.1 million, which has enabled rehabilitation and maintenance of a number of historical buildings. These funds have also helped the conservation of prehistoric art forms such as rock painting, and the preservation of Malawian culture through story collection and recording of songs, dances and games (intangible heritage).

Civil society

In civil society, Norway have previously supported Kungoni Arts Centre and Museum at Mua Mission, and the theatre group Nanzikambe Arts. The latter is a theatre group that performed Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House”, and the interactive play “Democracy on Trial.” “The Last Fishing Boat”, a movie about the cultural clash between traditional African values and modernisation, won prices at international film festivals in Nigeria and the U.S. and was supported by the Embassy. In addition, Norway has supported the construction of the amphitheatre in Karonga Museum, and the City of Stars-festival.. The festival had in 2013more than 2000 visitors from the region and Europe. The Lake of Stars Festival in 2014 attracted 4,000 visitors and performers, from altogether 15 countries.

Current partners in the cultural support scheme are Copy Right Society of Malawi (COSOMA) and Music Crossroads International.

 

Copy Right Society of Malawi (COSOMA)

The Cultural Support Scheme through COSOMA was established in 2004 for the benefit of rights holder associations (e.g. Film Association of Malawi). This is a small grant scheme which aims to promote and strengthen the capacity of the associations so that the can serve the interests of their members better. About nine arts associations are assisted with office space and some running costs, in addition to having the opportunity of applying for small funding projects. COSOMA has received support in its work on intellectual property rights from the Norwegian sister body KOPINOR.

 

Music Crossroads International (MCI)

Music Crossroads International is a cultural exchange programme between Malawi and Norway. The major objective is to improve the recognition of Malawian music, participation of female musicians and to improve the accessibility of the public to traditional Malawian music. Norway has provided NOK 5.9 million to Music Crossroads International for the establishment of music academies in Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe in the past years. The academies are innovative initiatives that aims to strengthen the music education in southern Africa by improving affordability, accessibility, quality and relevance of music education to young talented musician aged between 18 and 30 years. In each country, the projects are managed by local offices, which are part of MCI.

 

Other projects

Furthermore, the following projects have been supported from the 2014 cultural allocation:

  • Daughters’ Band Norway tour
  • Kauma Sports Club participation in Norway Cup
  • Lake of Stars 2014 festival

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