Govt Still Working Out Ways To Disburse K30m Fund For Artists

Government spokesperson Dora Siliya says government is currently working out modalities on how the K30 million released for the creative arts industry will be disbursed to various artists across the country.

Ms Siliya, who is also Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services, said that President Edgar Lungu was alive to the numerous challenges hampering the growth of the industry in the country and that was why government announced the setting up of a K30 million revolving fund for those in the sector.

Speaking during a meeting with Film Makers Guild of Zambia at her office in Lusaka on Thursday, the minister said the creative arts industry had potential to create employment for many people especially the youth if well harnessed and supported.

She called on the private sector to join hands with government in revamping the creative arts industry by offering financial support.

The minister said there was need for Zambian financial institutions to take a chance on Zambian filmmakers by coming up with financial products that would help spur the growth of the industry.

Ms Siliya said in countries like India and Nigeria where the sector is a huge contributor to their Gross Domestic Product, financial institutions have played a center-stage role.

“There is need for all Zambians to come together and work on improving the film sector because this is a hanging fruit with potential to grow our economy,” she said.

The minister noted that while Government has a responsibility to facilitate the promotion and growth of film in the country, filmmakers have an equally important role to play in telling the Zambian story.

“There are a lot of stories that you can tell about Zambia. We are tired of hearing stories about politicians, you have to think outside the box so that people can easily relate with their everyday life,” she said.

Ms Siliya said as long as people do not accept the need to watch locally produced content, the industry will continue to face challenges of financing and she challenged artists to organise themselves and avoid working in isolation for the growth of the industry.

She said government built studios in all the 10 provinces of the country in order to reduce the cost of production for artists.


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