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Sweden funds Harare City Library renovations

THE Harare City Library is set for a major revamp following the injection of a US$1 million grant by the Swedish government.


Under the project, which is being managed by the Culture Fund of Zimbabwe Trust, the major refurbishment works were centred on the leaking roofs, dilapidated facades, internal ceilings, walls, windows, floors and toilets.

A spokesperson for the project said on Friday a large portion of the funds would be used to purchase books, update the computer network and to modernise the electrical wiring at the main library.

“Once completed, the library will provide a conducive environment for people to access information which is paramount to development,” she said. “The project will also provide a basis for life-long learning, as well as injecting new life into the civic centre of Harare.”

The spokesperson said a number of activities had already been held at the main library to bring awareness to library users and other stakeholders of the project and services presently offered by the library and beyond the renovation project.

She said the Swedish grant, signed in November last year,  would lead to the preservation of the main library building, which was of architectural and aesthetic importance to the City of Harare.

The spokesperson said it was envisaged that in 10 years’ time, the library would become a protected building in accordance with the Museums and Monuments Act.

Farai Mpfunya, the executive director of the Culture Fund said the Swedish support was a “catalytic fuel” in the library’s quest to develop into a modern, world-class library service provider.

Harare City Library chairman, Mike Curling was hopeful that like-minded funders would also provide funds to enable the complete restoration and re-equipping of the library.

The eventual total restoration would be of benefit to the Harare public, young and old, and will enable extension of the library’s services beyond the city.

In addition to the Harare City Library grant, Sweden has since 2006 been injecting about US$1 million annually into the culture sector in Zimbabwe through the Culture Fund of Zimbabwe Trust.

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