N.dollars 40 000 allocated per region for annual arts education implementation

WINDHOEK: The Ministry of Education, Arts, and Culture (MoEAC) has allocated N.dollars 40 000 per region towards the operations of the national arts directorate to implement programmes aimed at arts education under the 2023/24 financial year.

Responding to Nampa’s questions recently, the ministry’s Executive Director, Sanet Steenkamp, said a total of N.dollars 66.4 million (N.dollars 66 409 000) was budgeted for the national arts directorate, of which a combined N.dollars 570 000 was allocated for all regions to implement programmes for arts education.

‘Close to two thirds of the budget allocation to the directorate covers staff benefits and salaries, as well as other operational costs, leaving very little left to implement our programmes. The national arts budget represents about 0.00041 per cent of the ministerial budget,’ she said.

Steenkamp explained that salaries and benefits make up 59 per cent of the total budget standing at N.dollars 39 092 000, while subsidies to institutions total N.dollars 22 78
0 000 representing 34 per cent share of the budget, noting the head office including the College of the Arts (COTA) is allocated N.dollars 3 967 000, which includes costs of daily subsistence allowance, utilities, maintains and repairs.

She noted that the arts directorate faces great challenge of funding and as a result does not have enough human resources like necessary specialised experts and researchers, noting that currently the directorate is short-staffed with a total of 12 staff members at the head of office, while the majority (72 employees) are employed at COTA.

Steenkamp further noted that as per the annual plan of 2023/24, the directorate has prioritised reviewing existing legal frameworks including National Arts Fund Act No 1 of 2005, the National Art Gallery of Namibia Act No 14 of 2000, as well as the establishment of a legal framework for COTA.

‘We also plan to improve the operations and service delivery at COTA and carry out research on the cultural and creative sector, as well as formulate
a creative industries strategy,’ she added.

Steenkamp highlighted that subsidised institutions include National Arts Gallery of Namibia with N.dollars 8 348 000; National Arts Council of Namibia, which received N.dollars 5 500 000 and National Theatre of Namibia with N.dollars 8 100 000.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency