A new UNESCO project is “Re-shaping cultural policies” in Uganda

Kampala, Uganda
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Child of the Sky © Victor Ehikhamenor

The UNESCO project “Re-shaping cultural policies for the promotion of fundamental freedoms and the diversity of the cultural expressions,” funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), was launched in Kampala, Uganda on 31 October 2019. It aims to strengthen the human and institutional capacities of governmental and civil society actors in order to monitor and report on policies and measures that protect and promote the diversity of cultural expressions in Uganda.

Project activities will run through 2021 and include: specialized expertise in the organization of multi-stakeholder consultations, including governmental and civil society actors, on preparation of Uganda’s first quadrennial periodic report (QPR) on implementation of the UNESCO 2005 Convention for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions; trainings on data collection and analysis; inter-ministerial cooperation; and public debates on emerging topics such as gender equality in the culture sector, media diversity and artistic freedom.

Over 80 stakeholders, including government officials, civil society organizations and artists practitioners attended the project launch, which aimed to raise awareness on the UNESCO 2005 Convention, which Uganda ratified in 2015, and to inform a wide range of stakeholders on the participatory process of QPR elaboration to ensure data collection and inclusive drafting.

The government realizes the indispensable contribution the creative industries make towards responding to the challenge of unemployment and limited revenue injected in the economy (...) We are aware that the cultural and creative industries are the most rapidly growing sectors offering employment, promoting tourism, marketing Uganda, and boosting our economy.  (...)  I applaud the creatives for keeping the unique, innovative and creative work that has kept the culture and creative industries vibrant in Uganda, regionally and internationally.

Hon. Charles Bakkabulindi, Minister for Education in charge of Sports

As part of the UNESCO series of talks with artists, academics, policymakers and entrepreneurs to discuss how investments in creativity can have a direct impact on achieving the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, UNESCO organized a first Create|2030: Uganda talk on “Trade in Cultural Goods and Services Regionally and Internationally” during the project launch on 31 October. Panelists included: Mr. Faisal Kiwewa (Bayimba Cultural Foundation), Ms. Dorcas Nabukwasi (Uganda Bureau of Statistics), and Mr. Limala Patrick Zzimbe (and Uganda Revenue Authority), who discussed the mobility of artists, cultural goods and services, taxation and access to funds.

As a first activity of the project, the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, the Uganda National Commission for UNESCO, and the UNESCO Regional Office for Eastern Africa in Nairobi organized a three-day capacity building workshop from 28 to 30 October 2019 in Kampala, which trained the national team on the preparations necessary to compile Uganda’s periodic report in a participatory manner prior to the deadline on 30 April 2020. The workshop was led by Mr. David Waweru and Ms. Ayeta Ann Wang’s, both members of the UNESCO Expert Facility, alongside the national expert, Mr. Amos Tindyebwa. A public presentation of the draft report is scheduled for early 2020.