The Norwegian Ambassador Asborn Eid Hammer says his government is committed to supporting Malawi to improve the welfare of monuments, museums and heritage centres to boost the country’s tourism industry.
During the leadership of the late president Bingu wa Mutharika, tourism was one of the priority areas in attracting foreign exchange for the landlocked country, hence emphasis on improvement of roads and construction of cultural villages by that government.
“Norway has over the years assisted local museums such as Mua Mission and other cultural heritage centres before financially and materially and we shall continue doing so,” he said.
Eid Hammer said this in Blantyre recently when he toured offices of seven rights holder associations which receive funding from Norway through the Cultural Support Scheme (CSS).
The associations include Journalists Association of Malawi (Juma), Photographers Association (Photama), Book Publishers Association, Malawi Writers Union (Mawu), Visual Arts Association of Malawi (Vaam), National Theatre Association (Ntam), among others.
“My visit to Blantyre was mainly to discuss with officials of museums and rights holder associations besides seeing what they are doing in promoting cultural issues,” he said, adding that there is need for such associations to think beyond the box for sustainability.
Eid Hammer said museums are a key resource and Malawi should take pride in their heritage. In line with what the ambassador said, Malawi plans to construct a national heritage centre in Lilongwe where all artifacts for the country’s tribes will be housed.
He was also upbeat with news that Mzuzu Museum wants to re-introduce Ngoni lessons to preserve the Ngoni culture, which other people claim has no language.