Peace Regis Mutuuzo, the Minister of State for Gender and Culture, says as a way of regional integration, the Ministry of Gender has proposed the establishment of a Kiswahili Council to strengthen the learning, use and promotion of Kiswahili in Uganda and the region.
The Gender Ministry has also drafted guidelines to promote the music and film industry in Uganda.
Although these raise a storm among the public at initiation, through consultations with the stakeholders are reaching an agreeable position.
Mutuuzo was Tuesday addressing media at Uganda Media Centre in Kampala, ahead of May 21st World Culture Day 2019 as declared by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation [UNESCO].
“We started commemorating this day from 1999 up to date. We join the rest of the world to commemorate it on Tuesday under the theme:-“Uganda’s Rich Cultural Diversity; Opportunities for Social Development”.
She said the overall objective for commemorating this day is to create awareness on culture especially the importance of Cultural Diversity in relation to Social Development.
“As the Minister responsible for Culture, it is my duty to inform you that the 1995 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda provides for the promotion of culture that is consistent with the fundamental human rights and freedoms.”
She said there are 65 indigenous communities in Uganda, which have diverse norms, values, practices knowledge, experiences and skills and domains.
“The variety calls us to strengthen the way we preserve, identify, organize, sustain and express ourselves.”
It’s important to note that government has moved a long way to promote diverse cultures through restoration of traditional/cultural institutions.
The institutions have played a key role in passing on diverse cultures to the young population.
Mutuuzo said her ministry has documented key practises in different communities to help preserve culture.
It has been done in communities like Ik in Karamoja, Basongora in Kasese, Acholi in the northern region, Alur in Nebbi district, to mention but a few.
“We have also rehabilitated the Uganda Cultural Centre, popularly known as the National theatre to support artistic/theatre works. This was the first major refurbishment of the facility since 1954.”
She added: “We continue to support and participate in different cultural festivals including the East African Arts & Culture Festival (codenamed JAMAFEST), which will take place in September from 21st to 28th in Dar Es Salaam, the United Republic of Tanzania.”
She said the gender ministry has worked with cultural leaders to denounce cultural practises contributing negatively to the development of the country.
These included those that lead to the spread of HIV/AIDS, Gender-based Violence, Sexual & Reproductive Health.
Several activities have been line up to highlight the commemoration of the World Culture Day, 2019. These will include; Media – Both electronic and print media.