SADC Cultural Week in Kuwait
From left to right: Ambassador Dr. Mahadhi J. Maalim, of Tanzania, Ambassador Mzolisa Bona of South Africa, Amb. Mayepedza Lesetedi of Botswana, Amb. Al-Arif Sayed Hassan of Comoros and Mr. Alison Liwanda, Chargé D’Affaires of the Embassy of Malawi Embassies of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries in Kuwait, in collaboration with the Kuwait National Council of Culture, Arts and Letters organized the first ever SADC Cultural Week in Kuwait from 30th September to 4th October 2018.
The eight SADC Embassies in Kuwait which include Botswana, the Comoros, eSwatini, Lesotho, Tanzania, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Malawi held the programme in line with the SADC protocol on culture, information and sport as well as SADC’s Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP).
The SADC Protocol on Culture, information and sport aims at promoting participation in cultural and sporting activities by all nationals of SADC countries whereas RISDP aims at promoting sustainable economic development for the benefit of the people of the region.
The Botswana Ambassador to Kuwait H.E. Manyepedza P Lesetedi (center) addresses the media. He was accompanied by Ambassadors of South Africa Mr. Mzolisa Bona and Tanzania Dr. Mahadhi J. Maalim, Chargés D’Affaires of Malawi Mr. Alison Liwanda, Lesotho Mrs. Palesa Lebajoa, Zimbabwe Mr. Francis Ngwenya and the Kingdom of eSwatini Mr. Sifiso Dlamini.
Speaking at a press conference at Radson Blu Hotel, the Dean of SADC Ambassadors who is also Ambassador of the Republic of Botswana Mr. Manyepedza Lesetedi said the SADC Cultural Week was organized with a view to promote trade, investment and tourism opportunities in the SADC region, as well as to enhance SADC-Kuwait culture relations and exchanges.
He emphasized on the important role that art and culture play in promoting people to people relations as well as the value that people of the SADC region attach to their unique cultures.
The Botswana Ambassador said “Southern Africa is rich in culture which is a source of pride for our people. Culture plays a critical role in the facilitation of the people to people exchanges and the growth of creative industries and cultural tourism as well as trade and investments in art which has proven beneficial especially to rural communities.”
On the economic front, the Botswana Ambassador said “the SADC region provides a huge market of over 286 million people which investors from Kuwait could benefit from. The region continues to experience steady inflows of foreign direct investments throughout it member states, owing to its relative stability and attractive investment climate.”
The SADC Cultural Week involved several activities including an art exhibition, a food festival, community service and musical performances by musicians from the region among others.
As part of the community service, SADC Diplomats partnered with the Kuwait Red Crescent Society (KRCS) to distribute relief items to the needy at the KRCS headquarters.
The art exhibition, which was held at the Modern Art Museum, featured some designers, sculptors, painters and crafters from the SADC region who had the opportunity to share with the members of the public the inspiration behind their artworks.
Malawian painter Mr. Zacaaria Wyson Phiri exhibited his paintings which attracted a lot of attention. Below are some of the paintings that Mr. Phiri exhibited.
On 1st October, there was a musical festival at Abdulhussain Abdulredah Theatre where musicians from Tanzania, eSwatini, Lesotho, Tanzania and Zimbabwe performed.
SADC is a Southern Africa regional organization which was founded on 17th August 1992 with a mandate – to promote and advance regional integration and economic development of the region.
The main objectives of the Southern African Development Community are to achieve economic development, peace and security, and growth, alleviate poverty, enhance the standard and quality of life of the peoples of Southern Africa, and support the socially disadvantaged through regional integration.
The regional body is headquartered in Gaborone Botswana and comprises of 16 member states namely; Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eswatini (Swaziland), Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Madagascar, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.