Lilongwe — Government through Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Wildlife in collaboration with Malawi Gaming Board has launched Malawi Artists' Welfare Fund aimed at supporting arts and artists behind creative works in the country.
Speaking on Wednesday during the launch at Bingu International Convention Centre (BICC) in Lilongwe, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Wildlife, Dr. Michael Usi said the fund is meant to support artists during their sickness, and demise situations.
"Our artists have lacked necessary support much during their most difficult moments. We have had situations when artist has fallen sick, and die due to lack of financial support," Usi said.
He highlighted that government has secured a start-up capital worth K16 million from Malawi Gaming and Lotteries Board to support the initiative.
He therefore requested national artists' association to support the Fund so that it can be sustained through payment of membership fees.
"Malawi has ten national arts associations and an estimated 10, 000 artists," he said.
The Minister promised to engage other corporate world and stakeholders to contribute towards the fund.
Chief Executive Officer for Malawi Gaming Board, Foster Mulumbe said the board is committed to supporting the Malawian Artists Welfare Fund so that they can improve and promote arts and culture in the country.
"The arts and creative industries play an important role in our society. The arts are medium of our national identity, source of livelihood and is one of the sectors with the potential to contribute to economic development," Mulumbe noted.
He pointed out that Malawi arts and creative industy complements the promotion of Malawi as a tourism destination and other sectors have also been using the arts as an effective tool for social mobilization and civic education.
President of Film Association of Malawi, Izaius Mkandawire thanked the government and Malawi Gaming Board for the initiative.
"The arts and creative industry will contribute to the growth of the broadcasting industry through the creation of local content for broadcasters," Mkandawire said.