My Zimbabwe Story campaign is an initiative set to create an interactive platform for creation, presentation and communication aimed at improving international perceptions of Zimbabwe. It proposes to use multimedia avenues to relay positive messages of Zimbabwe.
With a population of over 12 million and with each Zimbabwean and friends of Zimbabwe yearning to tell their own Zimbabwe story, the platform seeks to provide insight into previously untold experiences and aspirations.
An initial multi-stakeholder dialogue seminar was hosted in Harare. It brought in a small group of creative people from arts sector, policy makers community, civil society, media, business, and international communities of Zimbabwe. They brainstormed on how to collaborate with the media for the My Zimbabwe Story campaign scheduled for 2013.
The overall aim of the dialogue seminar was to construct a series of activities that would allow organizers and participants to observe and explore these complex and essential notions to the overall purpose of improving the local and international images of Zimbabwe, something Steppes in Sync has been doing for almost two years now through our partnership with Afriwood and the soon-to-be-launched Zimcreative Agency.
In implementing My Zimbabwe Story campaign, the arts and culture sector will forge smart partnerships with other spheres of society, especially the media, to create a dialogue platform where ordinary and passionate Zimbabweans and residents share their experiences, lessons learnt and positive aspirations about their imagined futures hence helping improve the international perceptions of Zimbabwe.
The outcomes of the seminar will feed into the next phase of the campaign that seeks to achieve the following:
- Increased self-confidence of Zimbabweans
- Use of multi-media platforms as dissemination and dialoguing tools by ordinary Zimbos, some of whom may later engage in citizen journalism
- Improved international perceptions of Zimbabwe
- Increased investment opportunities for Zimbabwe and Zimbabweans
- New avenues of dialogue between Zimbabwe and the international community such as cultural diplomacy
The project is a partnership between Culture Fund and the United Nations Development Programme Dialogue Financing Facility (UNDP DFF). The facilitation of dialogue is recognized as one of the three main priority areas in the UNDP Zimbabwe’s Country Programme and Action Plan, as well as the Zimbabwe United Nations Development Assistance Framework 2012-15 (ZUNDAF pdf).
The UN’s Dialogue Financing Facility established in 2004 is a flexible fund to promote dialogue initiatives among Zimbabweans with an objective to support the transition process and the development of Zimbabwe while strengthening the existing local community.
We at Steppes in Sync believe that the 20th session of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) General Assembly that Zimbabwe co-hosts with Zambia later this year and the annual Discop Africa media market are top-notch events for the participants in My Zimbabwe Story campaign.
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