The festival, themed Re-imagining a Republic of Ideas, included a young women’s conference, arts performances, a human rights film festival and a civil society exhibition at the City Hall car park.
“Our firm belief is that ideas run the world and, given an ear, they could resolve a lot of our governance and social problems. The main objective of this year’s event was to re-strategise and proffer solutions for how we can collectively see and envision a better Zimbabwe,” said Thabani Nyoni, Bulawayo Agenda’s executive director.
Nyoni hailed this year’s event as a success, saying ordinary citizens managed to get a closer appreciation of the work done by civil society organisations and how they could take part in the campaign for a democratic society. Speaking at the young women’s conference, Sihle Nyathi, an academic, called on government to create a conducive environment that allowed women to contribute to the country’s economic development.
“The Zimbabwean economy is male-dominated. As young women, we should start believing that we can make a meaningful contribution to the community development of this country,” she said. “We have to demand equality in economic activities and take up opportunities that come our way.” The conference, attended by more than 200 young women from across the country, also tackled the thorny issue of indigenisation and economic empowerment policy. Participants discussed how young women could take advantage of this opportunity.
As part of the Ideas Festival, Bulawayo Agenda also organised a public policy hearing on the implications of the relocation of informal traders from Basch street bus terminal in the city.
Some of the organisations showcasing their work were Zimrights, Radio Dialogue, Media Institute of Southern Africa, Zimbabwe Election Support Network and the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions.Post published in: News