The Uganda Tourism Association (UTA) is implementing an IIDEA project promoting the marketability of East African cultural crafts across the world using an online platform. UTA works together with Eco Tourism Kenya and the National Art and Cultural Crafts Association of Uganda (NACCAU).
The online marketing platform will provide a central marketplace for East African cultural crafts and promote the sale of colorful East African products to the global audience. It will help to improve the quality and standards of these products and build the capacity of the producers to deliver products that meet the demand of regional and international markets.
The project launch in January 2020 was attended by key stakeholders in the Ugandan and Kenyan Tourism sector, and was officiated by Uganda’s State Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, Hon. Kiwanda Godfrey Ssuubi in Kampala, Uganda.
“East African crafts tell our country’s story, and more so our culture. We can use them to promote our region’s tourism worldwide as long as they are of good quality,” said Hon. Kiwanda Godfrey during the project launch. The Minister of State also urged crafts makers to embrace the digital era to market their products and showcase the ‘Made-in-East Africa’ brand.
Richard Kawere, the Executive Director of UTA noted that “Improving the marketability of cultural crafts in East Africa begins with improving the standards and consistency of the products being made. We will be identifying key products in the project areas and work with the communities there to produce quality designs” He added that “There are so many beautiful arts and crafts being created in East Africa. We already have 18 products which will be the basis of the website launch, and we are aiming for another 22. We are hoping to expand this platform across the whole East African Community and showcase to the world the unique products emanating from the region”.