Uganda Co-operative Alliance (UCA) Limited is training the Art and Craft Industry of Uganda to enable them to form their own co-operative union that will ease joint marketing, aggregation and ease access to row materials and capital.
Speaking at the training venue today (November 22, 2022) at Uganda Museum, the General Secretary of UCA advised trainees to form their own co-operative union to be able to “escape” the numerous middlemen who in most cases cheat them by buy their produce cheaply and selling them expensively.
“Coming together will help you influence a policy that will help in streamlining your business.” The General Secretary said. Adding, He wondered why the players have not formalized the and developed standards. “Whenever you talk about the craft industry many people think of the mat in the village” he said.
He noted that co-operation will increase their level of research and innovations
“Even the developed country started with spears but now they have innovated Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles” he added.
Mr. Asiimwe urged them to eliminate competition that may delay their progress.
“How often does Rwenzori Sustainable Trade Center jointly market or even benchmark from Pakwachi Crafts?” He asked.
In a rejoinder the Crafts Manager at Rwenzori Sustainable Trade Center, Ms. Margaret Dear Kasande decried the lack of regulation calling upon the state to act.
“Government should protect the forests where we get raw materials” adding, they should also limit the unlimited crafts from outside Uganda so as to secure market for the local manufacturers” Ms. Kasande said.
According to the ITC Coordinator Ms. Grace Barya, the Uganda Souvenir Development Project (USDP) has been training the craft manufactures since 2019 to date but it is exiting therefore there is need to help the industry to streamline.
Ms. Grace says that the training aims at the sustainability of the project even after the closure of the funding of the project.
USDP is a government project managed under the Ministry of Tourism Wildlife and Anti-Crites in partnership with the International Trade Center funded by Enhance Integrated Fund (IEF).