Covid-19 pandemic may have negatively impacted various sectors, few were as hard hit as the tourism sector.
With the number of tourists visiting Uganda dwindling drastically from 2020, revenue generation from the sector was adversely affected.
It’s against this backdrop; that the ministry of Tourism has embarked on promoting handicrafts; under a three year Tier II Handicrafts and Souvenir Development Project.
The project is funded by the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) and implemented by the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, with technical support from International Trade Centre (ITC).
Allan Crispus Ategeka, the Project Assistant at the Ministry of Tourism said the objective of the project is to develop the handicrafts and souvenir sector in Uganda.
“Overall, the program looks at creating linkages between the producers, associations and the traders of handcrafted products and the tourism industry to improve livelihoods for some of the most marginalised communities in Uganda,” he said.
Ategeka made the remarks, while conducting a four day training of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) handicraft makers at Kampala Imperial Royal Hotel, on Monday.
He said Interventions emphasise product development and diversification, increased production and quality enhancement.
He enumerated project activities that include; supporting capacity building to producers, associations and exporters of handicrafts and souvenirs; renovate and establish production centres, strengthen market linkages for producers, exporters of handicrafts and the tourism sector and supporting handicraft firms to adopt e-commerce
The handicraft business in Uganda is not new. In the village of Manyangwa, Wakiso district, the crafts business is booming.
Michael Isaac Kuteesa, the founder of La Craft Uganda, refuses plastic to go to waste. He does not want to see Uganda’s environment getting polluted.
In 2014, without any training in industrial art and design, Kuteesa wrapped his mind around the idea of making plastic bottles but it took him two years to produce the first product.
“I was running both my businesses including events management and graphic designing. They are still running although producing crafts from plastic waste takes up most of my time. After doing research on what we could make, we started off with chairs, then earrings and necklaces,” Kuteesa said.