The Uganda National Cultural Centre (UNCC) is set to open the first regional centre in western Uganda and will open three others across the country to preserve and promote cultural heritage.
Mr Francis Peter Ojede, the UNCC executive director, said the statutory body’s performing and visual arts have been limited to Kampala but will now spread to other parts of the country.
“Most of the activities have been centred in Kampala which makes it difficult for people upcountry to benefit from them yet there are a lot of talents out there,” Mr Ojede said in Kampala last week shortly after signing a memorandum of understanding with Mghahinga Cultural and Crafts Centre (MCCC) to promote culture.
“This initiative will soon spread out to other regions of the country,” he added.
The new regional cultural centre will be based at Mghahinga Cultural and Crafts Centre in Kisoro District in Kigezi.
Mghahinga Cultural and Crafts Centre chief executive officer, Mr Herbert Mugisha observed that Uganda has rich heritage that should be preserved and said rural people will play a big role.
“Uganda has rich culture which can transform our community once we realise the potential we have and showcase and popularise what we have,” Mr Mugisha said.
He also said the cultural centre will attract tourists to the area and create jobs and minimise poaching in Mghahinga National Park.
Through this regional centre, UNCC intends to involve community in the tourism value chain through promotion of culture, taking theatre to the rural people, identifying and promoting talent and business opportunities in western Uganda and job creation through performing arts.
“We have excluded people because some of them cannot come to Kampala but we want inclusion of people into the tourism value chain to get to local and international tourism through culture,” Mr Ojede said.
The partnership will comprise a series of activities such as the annual Ngagi Festival to create awareness on the plight of endangered mountain gorillas, promotion community conservations and tourism development in the area.
The UNCC annual art and cultural festival is intended to bring together all stakeholders in arts to create job opportunities for women and youth.
“Majorly we want to engage the people especially around Mghahinga to gain from tourism and to promote domestic tourism especially in the community,” Mr Mugisha said.
He further said the activities will also include a cycling expedition in Mghahinga and Icuya trails as new tourism products outside the national park.