The Namibian Government has taken positive steps to develop the protection and promotion of its cultural expressions. This is particularly at a time when the industry is fragmented and under-resourced, but however undergoing very positive and significant rapid change.
Therefore, Namibia also experiences challenges in strengthening its position on the protection and promotion of its diverse cultural expressions and has taken up various methods that are being implemented, aimed at developing the sector. The main method was its revision of its 2001 Policy of Arts and Culture of which the main objectives are:
- to promote unity in diversity, were all Namibians, through mutual understanding, respect and tolerance are free to practice any culture, within the jurisdiction of the constitution, while retaining a sense of loyalty to the nation.
- To safeguard, extend and promote physical, linguistic and spiritual heritage that provides a unique Namibian and African identity
- To promote widespread cultural and artistic expressions for all Namibians to participate, enjoy and create opportunities for economic benefits particulalry for creators.
The main priorities of the 2001 policy are not clearly defined and the document does not have a proper strategic and action plan aimed at meeting its objectives. This is something that the draft policy intends to change by aligning to national, regional and international instruments, in terms of the protection and promotion of cultural expressions.
The draft policy interogates and includes objectives from the 2005 Convention previously not included in the 2001 policy, which include the protection of Namibia’s cultural expressions, encouraging intercultural dialogue and international cooperation. Therefore, many points aligned to the 2005 Convention that have been included in the draft policy are covered under various focal points such as Cultural Expressions, Creative Industries, Cultural tourism, Events and Festivals, Infrastructure, Rights and Status of Artists, Building Audiences and Markets, Information, Research and Databases, International Relations, as well as Coordination, Monitoring and Evaluation.
Furthermore, Namibian cultural leadership are being encouraged to become more radical, in terms of support mechanisms in the creation, presentation and marketing of the arts and culture products and services. This is with the aim to create a value chain, as well as to connect artists and/or creators to both national and international markets, and platforms for artists to create, showcase, promote and build followings.