January 16, 2014
For Immediate Release
CONTACT: Janet Deutsch
Public Affairs Officer
Lusaka — The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) collaborated with the Zambia Association of Musicians (ZAM) and the Government of the Republic of Zambia to launch a strategic plan that strengthens the capacity of musicians to be successful HIV/AIDS educators and champions for social and community awareness.
Working through the USAID-funded Support to the HIV/AIDS Response in Zambia II (SHARe II) project, ZAM and four Zambian ministries – Agriculture and Livestock; Chiefs and Traditional Affairs; Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education; and Health –developed the Strategic Plan for 2014 to 2018. The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and SHARe II activity encourages and builds upon the tremendous contribution artists can make to society by raising awareness through their lyrics and songs.
“Today’s launch shows a community determined to play a positive role in the future of Zambia’s youth,” noted Ky Lam, USAID/Zambia HIV/AIDS Multisectoral Team Leader. “This plan is an example of how musicians can come together to provide leadership on HIV and other developmental and social issues that are important to all Zambians.”
The Honorable Minister of Tourism and Arts, Sylvia Masebo, was the guest of honor at the launch event, and she was joined by other advocates for arts and culture, including Dr. Charlotte Scott, wife of the Zambian vice-president; Maiko Zulu, Zambia Association of Musicians President; and Mulenga Kapwepwe, National Art Council Chairperson.
During SHARe II’s five-year project duration, USAID/Zambia and PEPFAR will invest a total of $30 million to promote the sustainability of HIV prevention activities by integrating local development goals into broader strategic plans, such as the Zambian government’s Revised Sixth National Development Plan. To date, the program has trained 40 Zambian musicians in messaging, community outreach, and leadership. The musicians have in turn addressed 7,748 in-school youth about these crosscutting social issues and the importance of community service.
This is the first-ever ZAM strategic plan and it provides a definitive guide for musicians and their messaging in relation to HIV/AIDS, governance, education, poverty, and gender issues. The plan also cultivates the artists’ capacity to advocate these issues through music, social commentary, and public awareness.