Cultural Exchanges

The Cultural Affairs Office in the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy offers different cultural/arts programs designed to enhance mutual understanding among the people of Zimbabwe and the United States of America:

The U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) supports the preservation of cultural sites, cultural objects, and forms of traditional cultural expression in more than 100 developing countries around the world. AFCP-supported projects include the restoration of ancient and historic buildings, assessment and conservation of rare manuscripts and museum collections, preservation and protection of important archaeological sites, and the documentation of vanishing traditional craft techniques and indigenous languages. Cultural heritage endures as a reminder of the contributions and historical experiences of humanity. By taking a leading role in efforts to preserve cultural heritage, the U.S. shows its respect for other cultures. Through this fund the Embassy facilitated a) the installation of state-of-the-art electronic surveillance equipment at the Great Zimbabwe Museum to curb thefts and potential abuse of valuable archaeological artifacts in 2007 and in 2013 the restoration and preservation of collapsed and deteriorating walls of the 16th Century archaeological structure – the Naletale National Monument, one of Zimbabwe’s World Heritage Sites. In 2016 the Embassy successfully applied for a grant for the documentation and preservation of Ndebele art and architecture. The project site for this grant is Matobo, a World Heritage Site famous for its distinctive granite land-form.

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African Women’s Entrepreneurship Program (AWEP) is an outreach, education, and engagement initiative that targets African women entrepreneurs to promote business growth, increase trade both regionally and to U.S. markets through the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), create better business environments, and empower African women entrepreneurs to become voices of change in their communities. Through the African Women’s Entrepreneurship Program (AWEP), the U.S. Department of State seeks to dismantle the obstacles to business opportunities and economic participation that African women face. Launched in July 2010, the initiative identifies and builds networks of women entrepreneurs across sub-Saharan Africa poised to transform their societies by owning, running, and operating small and medium businesses, and by becoming voices for social advocacy in their communities. In 2013 Ambassador Bruce Wharton attended the launch of the AWEP Zimbabwe Chapter. The Chapter’s aims and objectives include identifying and building the capacity of women entrepreneurs, buttressing women’s empowerment agenda through programs such as mentoring, information sharing, networking, round tables and workshops on skills development and entrepreneurship.

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The American Film Showcase brings award-winning contemporary American documentaries, independent fiction films, and documentary know-how to audiences around the world, offering a view of American society and culture as seen by independent filmmakers. Funded by a grant from the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) and produced by the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts (SCA), the Showcase highlights the value of film in fostering understanding and cooperation, dialogue and debate. The AFS films explore diverse topics including civil rights, disabilities, social justice, sports, freedom of the press, technology and the environment. To date the Embassy has hosted two filmmakers and two film experts in 2013 and 2016.

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The English Access Microscholarship Program (Access) provides a foundation of English language skills to talented 13-20 year-olds from economically disadvantaged sectors through after-school classes and intensive sessions.  Access gives participants English skills that may lead to better jobs and educational prospects. Participants also gain the ability to compete for and participate in future exchanges and study in the United States. Since its inception in 2004, approximately 95,000 students in more than 85 countries have participated in the Access Program. The U.S. Embassy has partnered with Chiedza Child Care Center in Mbare, Harare and Hope for a Child in Bulawayo to offer and manage the Access program for disadvantaged youth.

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The Fortune/U.S. State Department Global Women’s Mentoring Partnership connects talented, emerging women leaders from all over the world, who are between the ages of 25-43, with members of Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Leaders for a three-week-long program. The program begins with an orientation in Washington, D.C., where mentees meet with senior women leaders in government, business, academia, civil society and the media. Participants are then paired with one of Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Leaders from companies like Time Inc., Google, Inc., and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. in cities across the United States. At the end of the mentorship, emerging leaders reconvene in New York City to collectively reflect on their experience and discuss future leadership opportunities.

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The Fulbright ARS program is meant for university faculty who are working on introducing a new course or degree program in their department/faculty and for whom a U.S. university an appropriate institution to conduct such work and post-doctoral research.

Application and Selection

The call for applications is made each in  year Awards are open without regard to academic discipline, faculty rank, gender and age. Preference will be given to those proposals that will best promote the spirit and goals of the Fulbright Program: to increase and enhance mutual understanding between the United States and African countries through interpersonal contact and the sharing of professional/academic experience and expertise among the widest possible audience. Preference will also be given to individuals who have not visited the United States for any appreciable period within the past five years. A good command of English and at least three years of university teaching experience is essential.  Applicants must be Zimbabwean citizens living and working at Zimbabwean universities and or research institutions.

Postdoctoral Research (awards of three to nine months’ duration)

Applicants should have a productive scholarly record and a project statement directly related to their ongoing teaching and/or research responsibilities. Applicants should have at least 5 years post-doc experience. Funding is normally for one term or semester (about four months). Longer grants may be possible if the research project requires more time, as clearly demonstrated in the research proposal.

Professional Development (awards of three to five months’ duration)

Undertake a planned program of reading and research of benefit to both the scholar and home institution. Proposals should be linked to professional duties (teaching, advising, and administration) and should demonstrate how the scholar would use the knowledge gained to update and improve classroom instruction at the home institution.

The Fulbright Junior Staff Development Program is the largest Fulbright program with Africa and is designed primarily to strengthen African universities through higher degree training.  This program awards scholarships to Zimbabwean university faculty for an advanced degree in the United States. The primary source of funding for the Fulbright program is an annual appropriation by the United States Congress.

Eligibility Requirements

Successful applicants for the Fulbright Junior Staff Development Program should:

–Be Zimbabwean citizens working at a Zimbabwean university as lecturer, research or teaching assistant,

–Be affiliated with, and committed to work at an educational institution in Zimbabwe upon

completion of the designated program.

–Have completed prior academic study equivalent to at least a 4 year U.S. bachelor’s degree,

–Be fluent in English,

–Have outstanding academic records and preparation in their chosen field,

–Have satisfactory required test scores (TOEFL, GRE, GMAT, etc.). N.B. Test fees are paid for finalists by the Fulbright program.

–Have high motivation and a serious commitment to completing the program within a

specific time-frame and returning home immediately upon completion of studies.


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Community Solutions is a professional development program for the best and brightest global community leaders working in Transparency and Accountability, Tolerance and Conflict Resolution, Environmental Issues, and Women and Gender Issues. Participants take part in a four month U.S. fellowship with a local nonprofit organization or government agency; structured virtual learning and networking via the Online Community Leadership Institute; and, the design and implementation of follow-on projects in their home countries.

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The Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship program is a one-year, full-scholarship program is offered to mid-career professionals working at policy-level who have a record of leadership, a commitment to public service, and the initiative to take full advantage of a self-defined program of independent study at a leading American university.  The program brings accomplished professionals from developing countries to the United States at a midpoint in their careers for a ten month/one academic year program of non-degree study and related professional activities.  Successful applicants will be placed at participating universities in the United States. 

Fields of Study

Agricultural and Rural Development; Economic Development; Finance and Banking; Natural Resources, Environmental Policy, and Climate Change; Urban and Regional Planning; Communications/Journalism; Law and Human Rights; Public Policy Analysis and Public Administration; Trafficking in Persons Policy and Prevention; Technology Policy and Management; Human Resource Management; Educational Administration, Planning and Policy; Higher Education Administration; Teaching of English as a Foreign Language; Public Health Policy and Management; HIV/AIDS Policy and Prevention; and Substance Abuse Education, Treatment and Prevention.


Eligibility Requirements

Applicants must have –

–A first university degree

–Five years of substantial professional experience

–Demonstrated leadership qualities and a record of public service

–Fluency in English and be a

Zimbabwean citizen living and working in Zimbabwe at the time of application

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The IWP Fall Residency is an opportunity for established writers who have achieved literary distinction in their own countries, as well as for rising stars who have demonstrated notable literary talent.  Fiction and literary non-fiction writers, bloggers, screenwriters, poets, and dramatists are eligible for nomination.  Except in extraordinary circumstances, candidates should have at least one published volume of work or professional script credit, or works that have appeared in significant publications or attracted significant audiences over a period of at least two years.  Nominees must be fluent in English, comfortable with cross-cultural dynamics, and eager to engage with writers from diverse cultures.  Participants spend 12 weeks in the United States.

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The Museums Connect program is administered by ECA’s Cultural Programs Division in partnership with the American Alliance of Museums (AAM).  Museums Connect enables posts to advance strategic Mission and U.S. foreign policy objectives while engaging and empowering key audiences, especially youth, women, ethnic minorities, and other marginalized communities, as well as the museum/institutions themselves.  Participating U.S. and foreign institutions have opportunities to collaborate on projects that extend far beyond museum walls, expand their engagement with local communities, and generate long-term institutional links.  Collaborative projects must be designed along themes that support U.S. foreign policy objectives (see themes under selection criteria).  Recent projects have empowered youth to explore concepts of democracy and dissent through photography projects (Afghanistan and Philadelphia), taught high school students scientific research skills that fostered respect for biodiversity and environmental conservation (Niger and Chicago), and engaged Muslim women on issues of identity and freedom of expression through art and creative writing projects (Denmark, the Philippines, the United Arab Emirates and San Francisco).

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OneBeat is a music exchange and incubator for music-based social entrepreneurship, where innovative musicians from around the world launch collaborative projects designed to make a positive impact on local and global communities. An initiative of the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and produced by Found Sound Nation, OneBeat is cultivating a groundbreaking international network of leading artistic, technological, and social innovators in music.

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Meridian implements the U.S. Department of State’s Pan-Africa Youth Leadership Program (PAYLP). This dynamic youth leadership program brings together students from across Africa with adult mentors for a three week U.S.-based training and cultural exchange. The program strengthens the students’ understanding of civic rights and responsibilities, respect for diversity, and the importance of community engagement. Also included in the PAYLP design is a series of workshops on social entrepreneurship and two weeks of living with American host families.

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The Zimbabwe U.S Alumni Association (ZUSAA) is a non-profit association that unites alumni of the State Department exchange programs in Zimbabwe. Established in 2010 the association has four functional chapters in Harare, Bulawayo, Gweru, Masvingo, Mutare. Chapters in Gweru, Mutare, Harare and Bulawayo are housed and closely tied to American Corners (ACs); the Masvingo Chapter is nascent and most events occur at a local community center. ZUSAA is administered by volunteers led by a National Coordinator ensures that programs are representative of a collective alumni body and match critical needs as identified by local chapters.

Activities include Food for Thought dialogue sessions in Harare, pre-departure orientations for new exchange participants, including the 30 Zimbabweans selected as Washington Fellows for the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), Ambassador’s Forums, conversations/public lectures, networking events, commemorations and volunteering programs, and hosting of visiting U.S speakers. Outside of the traditional IVLP alumni, ZUSAA incorporates alumni from a variety of other programs to expand its outreach, including YALI, TechWomen, the Business and Entrepreneurship Exchange Program (BEEP), Study of the U.S. Institute (SUSI), VOLVIS, Fulbright and Humphrey Scholars, Community Solutions, as well as EducationUSA returned students. ZUSAA has also brought on board United States Student Achievers Program (USAP) participants, integrating them into ZUSAA activities. PAS currently provides office space for ZUSAA in Harare, ensuring smooth collaboration and coordination of programs with the Embassy.

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