There is growing appreciation of the role of culture both as a driver and an enabler of development. Tourism, Wildlife, and Heritage Cabinet Secretary, Hon. Peninah Malonza has said.
The CS said this today while officially opening the 95th edition of the Kenya Music and Cultural Festival, at the Kitui Multipurpose Institute, Kitui County, whose theme is “Embracing Cultural Diversity and Connections in the 21st Century and Beyond.”
“This theme is fitting because the festival brings together participants from all corners of the country to showcase diverse cultural expressions ranging from traditional music and dance, folklore, storytelling, drama as well as emerging expressions such as film and contemporary dances which are more appealing to the youth,” said CS Malonza.
The CS also noted that it is only through the practice and celebration of our cultures that we are able to impart values and behavioral norms on future generations, who are tasked with continuing the legacy of our Kenyan identity.
“Kenya’s cultural reputation has an enormous impact on our global standing, our reputation as a peaceful nation, a place worth doing business with, and as a place worth a visit to experience cultures in its many varied forms,” added CS Malonza.
The CS called upon all stakeholders- International Organizations, Non-State Actors, County governments and the National government and communities to work together to make our cultures the true pride of Kenya.
Malonza also pointed out that the government, through the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Heritage, has provided the necessary policy and legislative framework to foster the growth and development of the sector.
The National Culture and Heritage Policy and the Traditional Knowledge and Cultural expressions Act are some of the legislations enacted to give strategic direction to the sector.
In addition, the government has also joined the community of nations in legislations that promote the preservation of culture by ratifying the 2003 and 2005 UNESCO conventions on safeguarding intangible cultural Heritage and the convention on the protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions respectively.
“By ratifying these conventions, the Government of Kenya gives its commitment and becomes accountable in promoting the preservation of the culture of the Kenyan people,” added CS Malonza.