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Government of Sweden awards Harare City Library with over USD 1 million of renovation money

02 Jan 2013

Source: Culture Fund newsletter

Magnus Carlquist, Chargé d´Affaires a.i. at the Embassy of Sweden in Harare, handing over the grant to Harare City Library Comittee Chaiperson, Mike Curling (Courtesy Culture Fund)

The Government of Sweden through the Culture Fund of Zimbabwe Trust awarded the Harare City Library over USD 1 million. The library renovations will be initiated this year.

On Thursday December 6, 2012, the project was officially launched.

The event brought in over 60 children from different schools.

Speaking at the occasion Magnus Carlquist, Chargé d´Affaires a.i. at the Embassy of Sweden in Harare said, “Today, the library becomes more of a workshop, a laboratory than a silent room full of books. I believe the citizens of Harare have the right to a decent and modern library in the middle of the beautiful city of Harare. I hope personally that the renovation of the Harare City Library is the start of something bigger; we know that there is need for better libraries in many parts of Harare and other Zimbabwean cities and communities.

Young students from primary and high schools around the country provided entertainment on the day. Students from Marlbereign high school played  two  violin compositions,  3 students read an extract of the  famous Swedish children’s storyPippi Long Stocking  in English, Ndebele and Shona. Chipawo children provided backdrop entertainment showing of their multitalented dance and singing skills.

Culture Fund Executive Director Mr. Farai Mpfunya said, “We are here today because library services enhance our culture, one of the reasons why the Culture Fund takes a broader view of our culture; what we have done in the past, how we are living today and how we plan to live in the future. Today we have yet another opportunity to help connect the literary arts with many Zimbabweans. This is exciting in the looming era of peace and prosperity in our country.”

The funding for the Harare City Library Renovation project will be managed by the Culture Fund of Zimbabwe Trust, a long-standing partner of Sweden in Zimbabwe.

The Culture Fund provides financial and technical support to cultural practitioners, institutions, and activities with the ultimate aim of contributing to a dynamic, diversified and sustainable culture sector in Zimbabwe. In addition to the Harare City Library grant, Sweden has since 2006 been injecting approximately USD 1 million annually into the culture sector in Zimbabwe through the Culture Fund of Zimbabwe Trust.

The Harare City Library is a Trust established by Act of Parliament for the benefit of the people of Zimbabwe. It has operated as a library since 1902. Its award-winning building in Rotten Row celebrated its 50th anniversary last year.

See related reading

Venetian-themed Harare City Library fund-raising dinner at the British Ambassador’s residence (March 29, 2012)

What Harare City Library needs to return to its former glory

Fundraising event for the Harare City Library in December