Botswana: Minister of Youth, Gender, Sport and Culture (MYSC) Tumiso Rakgare has indicated that the Ministry continues to leverage any available opportunities for artists to unleash their full potential.
He was officiating at the National finals for the Dikhwaere and Choral Music competitions event, which marks the 15th annual National Arts Festival (NAF), formerly Presidents’ Day Competitions.
He said the Ministry serves as a platform for showcasing the country’s cultural diversity. Minister highlighted that NAF competitions are aimed at unearthing and promoting local arts and culture through local, regional and international participation.
Minister Rakgare stated this it is no surprise that Botswana became a State party to the UNESCO 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions on the 7th of April 2020.
The Convention helps in supporting member states to formulate and implement policies and measures to support the creation, production, distribution and access to cultural goods and services while at the same time promoting international cooperation to create conditions for the emergence of dynamic cultural and creative sectors in developing countries.
Minister Rakgare made it public that Botswana has won the bid to host UNESCO’s 18th meeting of the Inter-governmental Committee on the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, popularly known as 18. Com in December 2023 in Kasane.
According to the Minister, this is important because it provides Botswana with the platform to work closely with other nations in sharing culture, peace and development, achieved through mutual understanding and the drive for commonality of purpose.
The competitions are held under the theme “The creative economy: Botswana’s economic future redefined “translated to Setswana as “Tlhabololo ya itsholelo ka dikgwebo tsa botaki le bodiragatsi”.
The Minister admitted that this theme resonates well with the principles and ideals of the Economic Diversification Drive (EDD) and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in positioning the creative arts at the forefront of economic development and poverty eradication. The theme also underscores the Reset Agenda, which calls for a citizenry with globally competitive skills.
Choral standard category – overall winner
- BW Choristers from Kanye
2. Naswibo Choir from Masunga
4. Nxai Choristers from Maun
Choral Large Category
1. Andante Choristers from Ramotswa
2. KTM of Gaborone
3. Gaborone Philharmonic Voices from Gaborone
4. Serowe Symphony from Serowe
1. Badiragatsi of Mochudi (Defending Champions)
2. Thokgamo of Tonota
3. Desert Choir from Maun
4. Mahusane from Kang