Lusaka, June 13, 2019, ZANIS --- Government says it wants the arts to continue to grow and offer more opportunities for people to earn a living, create jobs and contribute to the economy.

Minister of Tourism and Arts Charles Banda said government through his ministry is working to ensure that that opportunities offered through the potential of the arts develop Zambia.

Speaking when he graced the official opening of the inaugural National Arts Council (NAC) Arts Business forum held at Lusaka’s Government Complex yesterday, Dr Banda said Initiatives such as the Arts Business Forum are platforms for engagement on ways to improve the business environment and practices of the arts.

Dr Banda said his Ministry believes that that the arts, offer the country unique competitive advantage and have potential to drive arrivals, lengthen the stay, and increase the amount of money tourists spend in the country.

He said government through NAC, Zambia has focused on increasing the visibility of the arts products and services and linking them more strategically to the wide tourism offering that the country has.

And Financial Sector Deepening Zambia Chief Executive Officer Betty Wilkinson said there is need for arts to attach meaning to their work.

She said their need to find relationships between what people ate doing in the arts and others in other businesses to help the artists to bridge the gap between the spaces.

Meanwhile, NAC Board Chairperson Patrick Samwimbila said the Council, working with our partners and friends of the arts want to focus on the opportunities in the arts.

He said the council will dedicate efforts to find ways of supporting creatives and arts organizations to transform and grow.

Mr Samwimbila said NAC wants to help the talented crafts artisan to move from making little souvenirs to establish their enterprise and to the export market.

The three-day forum closes tomorrow June 14, 2019.

This is contained in a statement signed by the ministry’s Public Relations Officer Sakabilo Zacks.