National Theatre hosts cultural day celebrations

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National Theatre hosts cultural day celebrations
Minister Peace Mutuuzo

Uganda today joins the rest of the world in commemorating World Culture Day, celebrated under the theme "Digital Transformation of the Culture and Creative Industries: Packaging Art and Culture as a National Public Good."

The main event is being held at the National Theatre in Kampala, with additional activities taking place across the country.

Speaking to journalists, Minister of State for Gender and Culture Affairs, Mutuuzo Peace Regis, emphasized the significance of the theme.

"This year's theme highlights the need to modernize legal structures to support the digital transformation of the creative industries while ensuring that art and culture remain accessible and beneficial to all members of society," she said.

Uganda has been observing World Culture Day since 1999, aligning with the global initiative declared by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) under the United Nations General Assembly, Resolution No. 51/249. The day serves as a platform to raise public awareness about the importance of cultural diversity and heritage.

"This event aims to create awareness among the public on the importance of culture in development, deepen understanding of the norms and values of cultural diversity, and appreciate Uganda's rich heritage," Minister Mutuuzo added.

"It provides an opportunity for governments, organizations, and cultural practitioners to share and celebrate our diverse cultural heritage."

The minister highlighted that the theme aligns with the outcomes of the Mondiacult Conference of Ministers of Culture held in Mexico in September 2022, where 150 states declared culture a "global public good."

The conference called for culture to be included as a specific objective in the next United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

As culture becomes a recognized public good, the Minister noted the need for substantial regulation of the digital sector.

"There is a need for substantial regulation of the digital sector, notably of the major platforms, for the benefit of online cultural diversity, artists' intellectual property rights, and fair access to content for all," she explained.

Various activities have been organized to celebrate World Culture Day, including interactive sessions between cultural practitioners, artists, and the public to foster a deeper understanding and appreciation of cultural and creative practices. These interactions will take place through both physical events and digital media.

Local governments across Uganda are expected to organize their own events to observe the day and report back to the Ministry on their achievements and challenges.

The government, through the Ministry of Gender, Labour, and Social Development, remains committed to strengthening the culture and creative industry by developing new policies, restructuring the sector, building stakeholder capacity, and improving the status of artists.

"The government is partnering with the Uganda National Commission for UNESCO, Uganda National Cultural Centre, Pearlwood, Cross-Cultural Foundation of Uganda, corporate bodies, and private sector organizations to commemorate this day."

World Culture Day offers an opportunity to reflect on the value of cultural diversity and to advance the goals of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.

As Uganda continues to celebrate and preserve its cultural heritage, this day reinforces the vital role culture plays in the nation's socio-economic development.

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