Uganda’s Creative Industry: A Gold field worth mining

Uganda’s Creative Industry: A Gold field worth mining

In the creative industry, even the tiniest of ideas can flicker outstanding workmanship. The ideas and the people behind the vibrant theories however need guidance and nurturing. In fact, the increasing appreciation for creatives in Uganda and the world over makes it hard to underestimate the benefits of industry on what it can offer to the growth of economies. 

According to The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the cultural and creative industries employed over 30 million people worldwide and generated a record of 624 billion US Dollars in 2015. The creative industry covers a broad set of companies and media types uniting  everyone from technicians, management professionals, artists and designers.

Revolving around  audiovisual products, design, new media, performing arts, publishing and visual arts, creative is one of the most rapidly growing and highly transformative sectors in the world economy in terms of job creations and export. Developing countries averaged a 12.1% annual growth in exports of creative goods between 2002 and 2011, (UNESCO). 

Art enthusiasts admiring a masterpiece during The Innovation Village Jinja monthly pop up gallery.

Uganda’s creative industry has however taken a turn and has adopted technology and digital means to continue its operations after getting hit by the daunting cultural pandemic catastrophe COVID-19 which has led to loss of jobs for thousands. At the same time, businesses continue to grapple with the after effects of the pandemic as has been documented by many reports nearly sterilizing all sectors within the country. 

While creating jobs, the creative industry in Uganda has contributed to the overall well-being of communities, individual self esteem and quality of life hence helping achieving inclusivity and sustainable development for the youth who have ventured into the Industry. Additionally, the Creative Industry has fostered innovation and creativity in the minds of people which in turn has led to an increase in intellectual capital. 

Recently, The Innovation Village in Jinja collaborated with The Creative Tribe to showcase the Monthly Popup Gallery aimed at facilitating the development and displaying the opportunities in the Creative Industry in Uganda. “In 2016, we started a project called the Urban Art Experiment where we collaborated with various artists visiting from various countries in Africa and across the world to use graffiti and street art as a medium to make a collaborative  impact in Jinja Town. When the project was completed, we saw a need to continue supporting creatives in visual arts, paving the way for the monthly popup gallery.” Gloria Kayanga, the Jinja Community Lead in Jinja remarked during the exhibition held on Thursday, August 13th, 2020. “The artists and work showcased through the monthly Popups are meant to mentor and inspire our local creative as well as build capacity to establish a full-time art gallery in Jinja City.” – she added.

Local creatives making the rounds around the pop up Art Gallery

The pop up was primarily attended by local creatives each having various reasons for attending like feeding their curiosity about how a curated exhibition works and opportunities to getting inspiration and mentorship. Jinja has a burgeoning visual arts community interested in producing work that can add value nationally and internationally.