Formalisation of art in economy


Arts Correspondent
The informal sector covers a large percentage of the Zimbabwean economy promoting the bigger black market. The arts industry in Zimbabwe is part of the informal sector and with the proper intervention and is incorporated into the formal sector, which will benefit the nation.

First of all one should understand that the informal sector is the sector that is neither taxed nor looked over by state and since it is not usually monitored by the Government the output of this sector is not included in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Kasemire (2017) defines the informal sector as an unregistered household enterprises with market value or registered businesses that undertake underground production to evade taxes and this means that they are inherently vulnerable, and timid. This falls in line with the nation’s art scene. A number of artists have not been taking up art as a profession since it is not well established. Formalising the art industry will help promote it.

The informal sector is a prominent characteristic of a lot of developing economies and nations. It occupies a large portion of the economy, then the economy is likely to remain stagnant or will drastically drop.

It is important to note that if there is to be a formal art establishment there is a lot it can offer the fiscus. If proper intervention is made by other business practitioners.

To begin with, the tax collection from informal sector will increase the overall collection. Since the art sector does not get taxed and whatever the artists obtains from selling his artworks goes straight to his pocket, the moment the art industry is formalised this means artists will now be taxed and some of the output received will be set towards the nation’s revenue.

The informal art sector brings about social challenge as artists might succumb to low wages and poverty since they are competing with well established artists. OECD (2012) states that without access to social security mechanisms which are provided by the formal sector informal workers are predominantly exposed to severe risks, particularly when the nation is facing an economic crisis.

Secondly if there is to be a formal establishment of the art industry this means that the art sector will gain a fair representation, this does not only work for the art, but also for different organisations that work towards promoting art and the artists themselves. Artists are able to sell their works in the global market with their names branded on their works.

When they have managed to create a name for themselves through a formalised sector, then better improved skills and education will be more emphasised when formalised. Even with such benefits obtained from formalising the art industry, there are still disadvantages to this noting that once formalised, the workers will be working under Governmental regulations.

Artists will now have to work and meet certain demands as compared to them working independently in the informal sector. This may also mean that for those who have the talent without access to education will have a tough trying to measure up to a required level.

Business intervention can help formalise the art sector and this will ensure that Zimbabwean art sector can now participate in the global market with other bigger well established art organisations.

When artists upgrade their skills they can now meet the demands of the modern economy therefore increasing their chance of becoming successful on a global scale.

When the arts sector becomes formalised through proper intervention, artists will now have more secure profession and can have better access to credit markets. For those who have the desire to expand their focus by having their own private commercial galleries, it becomes easier for them to obtain a loan from a bank and establish businesses.

Above all, it is important to note that with the formalisation of the art sector, art institutions and the artists they represent will get better representation. There is revenue increase through tax payment.

Zimbabwean art will now be recognised at a global scale by other countries rather than before where art is recognised through a singular artist not the country it originates from. Formalising the art scene will ensure that art becomes recognised as a profession and artists will now be able to expand their career as they establish art studios of their own.


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