Uganda: Govt Launches New Programmes to Improve Status of Artistes, Cultural Professionals

The Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development in partnership with UNESCO have launched the Aschberg programme for artistes and cultural professionals.

The ministry also launched the open digital roadmap project for the artistes.

The open digital roadmap project will offer concrete reference activities to protect the means of creation, production and dissemination.

It also offer access and exchange of cultural goods and services in the face of rapid, technological changes.

The two projects have been running simultaneously since February this year.

The programmes will be implemented within the frameworks of UNESCO’s internationally-renowned statutes and programmes on culture, notably the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.

Aggrey David Kibenge, the Permanent Secretary at the ministry said the government is committed to promoting culture and creativity industries.

Culture and creative industry is one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy that cannot be ignored any longer.

He said the sector presents the biggest opportunities for the young people in terms of employment.

“It must be acknowledged that the film plays a vital role in human life. It is one of the most effective arts of communication, education, leisure and promoting social interaction. It has a significant role in creating useful Life for the promotion of moral, social and human department,” he said.

Despite all the efforts to streamline the industry, Kibenge said the industry is facing challenges including inadequate infrastructure, lack of skilled manpower, limited training and capacity building.

Other challenges are: fragmented and inadequate legal and policy regimes as well as under the developed distribution and exhibition systems.

The commissioner for Culture and Family Affairs, Naumo Juliana Akoryo said the projects will strengthen the process of data collection and analysis.

This will help to provide evidence through comprehensive digital archives and studies on the status of the artists.

Upon implementation, the ministry will ensure that a new law is documented through consultations with a number of government agencies for artistes to benefit in government programmes.

She said artistes are in most cases not recognised in the country.

“These programmes will raise awareness of government policy makers and other stakeholders on the status of the artistes,”she said.

This, she explained will be through five regional and national dialogues and build capacity of 10 government agencies in cultural programming through policy briefs to inform provision of measures in their annual plans, programmes and projects.

“Unfavourable regulatory frameworks, limited skills amongst practitioners and limited access to the global market among a host of other challenges have long prevented the local sector from realising its full potential,” she said.

The project activities will include; development of principles for the new law, capacity building workshops for film practitioners.

It will also focused on community screenings for promotion of local content digital platform, regional stakeholders consultations and capacity building for MDAs.