H.E. Ambassador Hanne-Marie Kaarstad`s speech at the signing ceremony with Muda Africa and Nafasi Art Space, 11.10.2017 | LUKAZA BLOG

H.E. Ambassador Hanne-Marie Kaarstad`s speech at the signing ceremony with Muda Africa and Nafasi Art Space, 11.10.2017

H.E. Ambassador Hanne-Marie Kaarstad`s speech at the signing  ceremony with Muda Africa and Nafasi Art Space, 11.10.2017 Dear Executi...

H.E. Ambassador Hanne-Marie Kaarstad`s speech at the signing ceremony with Muda Africa and Nafasi Art Space, 11.10.2017

Dear Executive Secretary of BASATA, Mr. Mngereza
Dear members of Muda Africa and Nafasi Art Space,
Dear members of the press,
Dear friends of arts and culture, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Habari za mchana! / Good Afternoon!

It is a great pleasure to be here with you today at Nafasi Art Space. Norway and Tanzania have had a close partnership during many years. Through our 50 years long development cooperation, we have also had a longstanding
cooperation in the cultural sector. Today is a day where we will continue to
strengthen the bonds between our countries, at the same time as we are helping to secure the future of arts and culture in Tanzania. Supporting the culture sector is also part of Norway’s support to the Tanzanian Government`s poverty reduction strategy, the “National Five Year Development Plan”, which recognizes the importance of culture for development. Culture is not only “something extra”, something expendable – culture is a crucial building block in building vibrant human societies and national identities.

Norway strongly believes that support to culture through local cultural institutions enhances freedom of expression, organizational development, and capacity building. We are convinced that investment into education and the creative industries will be a crucial investment in ensuring a bright and creative future for Tanzania.

The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has in 2017 decided to grant
2 950 000 NOK in support to the Tanzanian culture sector. This is in line with
Norway`s strategy for culture and sports co-operation through:
• Promoting the development of free cultural expression and cultural
diversity
• Promoting the development of expertise, quality and professionalism in
the cultural sector

• Supporting cultural infrastructure, including meeting places that will
provide artists and other cultural actors with opportunities for
development
• Protect and promote tangible and intangible cultural heritage

I have the great honor today to sign the agreements for Norway`s support to two of Tanzania’s leading culture institutions: Muda Africa (1 000 000 NOK) and Nafasi Art Space (900 000 NOK). Muda Africa has many years of experience in providing the Tanzanian people a platform for contemporary and African dance, through arranging an international dance festival, running a dance school - where 80% of its first class of graduates
found employment, and giving girls more access to dance through their outreach programmes.

Nafasi Art Space, which is for many known as Dar es Salaam`s “culture hub”,
has many years of experience in supporting visual and performing artists’
cultural rights and freedom of expression, as well as professionalization through training, exhibition and job creation. Nafasi is also doing an important job in enhancing visibility of female artists, in a sector that is seen to be male dominant.

Norway believes that both institutions are proving encouraging spaces for artists to freely create artwork they believe in. In addition, they are giving the general public access to arts and culture experiences, and – as culture and art is all about communication - invites every one of us to engage in peaceful dialogues in order to better understand our heritage, our identity, the time and the society we are living in- and the challenges we are faced with.
I would like to end with a quote from Mahatma Gandhi:

“No culture can live if it attempts to be exclusive.” With this, please join us and continue to make sure that art and culture is accessible for all people, and that the artists gets room for expressing themselves freely through their creative works.

Asanteni sana / Thank you!

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