Government partners with UNESCO to support Creative Industries
The Ministry of Gender, Labour, and Social Development (MGLSD) in partnership with UNESCO has launched two projects in Uganda: the Aschberg program for artists and cultural professionals and the Open Digital Roadmap Project.
These projects have been running concurrently since February and are aligned with UNESCO's statutes and programs on culture, specifically the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.
The Aschberg program aims to strengthen the process of data collection and analysis through comprehensive digital archives and studies on the status of artists. The ministry will also work on documenting a new law through consultations with various government agencies to ensure artists benefit from government programs.
The projects will raise awareness among policymakers and stakeholders through regional and national dialogues and build the capacity of 10 government agencies in cultural programming. The challenges faced by the local sector, including unfavorable regulatory frameworks, limited skills among practitioners, and limited access to the global market, have hindered its full potential.
To address these issues, the project activities will include the development of principles for the new law, capacity-building workshops for film practitioners, community screenings for the promotion of local content on a digital platform, regional stakeholder consultations, and capacity building for government ministries, departments, and agencies (MDAs).
The ministry will collaborate with two Ugandan culture industry experts, Amos Tindyebwa, a cultural policy analyst, and Polly Kamukama, a film lecturer at Makerere University, to implement these projects effectively.
Rosie Agoi, the Secretary-General of the National Commission for UNESCO, highlighted the importance of supporting artists, especially women, who often face economic disparities. The projects are expected to boost the cultural sector and create opportunities for the industry's growth.
The Open Digital Roadmap Project aims to protect the means of creating, producing, disseminating, accessing, and exchanging cultural goods and services in the face of rapid technological changes. It will provide concrete reference activities to navigate these challenges.
Aggrey David Kibenge, the Permanent Secretary for MGLSD, emphasized the government's commitment to promoting culture and creative industries. He acknowledged the vital role of film in communication, education, leisure, and social interaction, and highlighted the potential of the sector for youth employment.
However, he also acknowledged challenges such as inadequate infrastructure, lack of skilled manpower, limited training and capacity building, fragmented legal and policy regimes, and underdeveloped distribution and exhibition systems.
Overall, these projects seek to address these challenges and harness the full potential of Uganda's cultural and creative industries through various initiatives, collaboration, and capacity building.
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