The cultural and creative industries are fast becoming a major job provider in Uganda especially among younger generations. This ethnically diverse country in East Africa also recognizes the central role arts and culture can play in promoting social cohesion. Uganda Vision 2040, the country’s development plan, refers to the growing importance of the creative sector. The Second National Development Plan, which supports the realization of this Vision, acknowledges the sector’s potential in job creation and labour productivity (objective 1). The promotion of culture for economic development and social transformation, supported by a stronger cultural policy framework, is also emphasised: through its uniting power, creativity can empower communities to participate in country’s development process (objective 2). Latest notable policy developments in Uganda is the 2019 National Intellectual Property Policy. It complements the 2006 National Culture Policy, which serves as a roadmap to a culturally vibrant, cohesive and progressive nation. Multiple analysis of the industries and its workers have identified gaps: ensuring access to cultural content and digital technologies in rural areas, strengthening institutional capacities and data collection, and supporting trade and investments in cultural goods are some areas of future interventions. Partnering with UNESCO as part of the project “Reshaping Cultural Policies for the Promotion of Fundamental Freedoms and the Diversity of Cultural Expressions”, funded by Sweden, Uganda will form a community of practice between stakeholders involved in the culture and creative sector, and put participation at the heart of each step. In preparation of its first Quadrennial Periodic Report on the implementation of the 2005 Convention, Uganda will identify achievements, challenges and relevant data.
A multi-stakeholder consultation was organised on 31 October 2019 in Kampala, Uganda, gathering around 90 participants from government, civil society actors and artists. The consultation was the opportunity to officially launch the quadrennial periodic report process, to increase understanding amongst stakeholders about how the Convention’s basic principles and concepts of fundamental freedoms and diversity of cultural expressions can be translated into legislation, policies and programmes and to kick-start an open dialogue between government and civil society actors for the elaboration of periodic reports.
Following the consultation, a Create 2030 Talk was held on “Trade in Cultural Goods and Services Regionally and Internationally”. The debate was moderated by Ayeta Anne Wangusa, member of the UNESCO Expert Facility and panellists included representatives from the Uganda Revenue Authority, the Bayimba Cultural Foundation, the Uganda Bureau of Statistics and the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development. Discussions revolved around the recognition of the creative and cultural industries as key contributors to GDP and job creation, the need for cooperation to increase the mobility of artists and to include cultural and creative industries data and information in the National Statistical System.
A national training workshop for the multi-stakeholder national team was organised from 28 to 30 October 2019 in Kampala, Uganda, organised by the UNESCO Office in Nairobi and the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development. Facilitated by David Waweru and Ayeta Wangusa, members of the UNESCO Expert Facility, in collaboration with the national expert, Amos Tindyebwa, the training was designed to build capacities of the national team on participatory policy monitoring.
The workshop helped the participants to recognize the role of the 2005 Convention in the creative economy, how the Convention’s Monitoring Framework guides the collection of data and information and informs policy decisions as well as how to collect data and identify relevant information on policies and measures to be reported in Uganda’s periodic report. A drafting committee composed of members of the national team was also appointed and tasked with coordinating collection of data and drafting for one of the 11 areas of monitoring of the Convention.