Makerere Hill, off Bativa road, Kampala | +256 (0) 393 294 675/7
Makerere Hill, off Bativa road, Kampala | +256 (0) 393 294 675/7

Announcing the call for nominations for the 6th National Heritage Awards, 2024

Introduction and call for nominations for the 6th National Heritage Awards 2024

Today, 21st May 2024, on the occasion of the World Culture Day, the Cross-Cultural Foundation of Uganda has launched the 6th National Heritage Awards and call for nominations, at the Uganda National Cultural Centre (UNCC – National Theatre) in Kampala. The event has been organised by the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, the Uganda National Cultural Centre (UNCC) and CCFU.

CCFU is calling upon the general public to nominate individuals, families and organisations that have been instrumental in promoting heritage. One can access an online form to nominate, here, https://forms.gle/YGvgGfgSERqQN6ho9

Every 2-3 years, the Cross-Cultural Foundation of Uganda (CCFU) recognises individuals, families and organisations for their outstanding contribution to preserving and promoting our heritage – whether built, natural or Intangible — through Heritage Awards. This might be an effort to preserve a historical property, an endangered language or custom, an effort to preserve a threatened part of our knowledge and traditions as a family, a community, a nation.

The 6th National Heritage Awards

The 6th National Heritage Awards will be held on 20th September 2024 in Kampala, as part of the early events to commemorate the World Tourism Day. This will be an event to present awards to 7 winners for their heritage preservation efforts, a special Heritage Press Award (inform of a grant) will also be presented to an outstanding journalist.

Over 200 guests are expected to attend: these will be representatives from Government, foreign missions in Uganda, previous heritage award winners, cultural leaders, owners of heritage sites, academia, youth, civil society, representatives from the culture and private sectors, and the media.

Partners including representatives from government (Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development and the Ministry of Tourism Wildlife and Antiquities), civil society, the private sector and the media have been invited to participate in these Awards.

The jury will review nominations and pay verification visits to sites of tangible heritage (where needed) or review the documentation or contribution of intangible heritage. The selection of three winning entries for built heritage, three for intangible heritage and one from the media will be done.

About the Heritage Awards

CCFU initiated the National Heritage Awards in 2013 to recognise individuals and organisations for their excellent contribution to preserving and promoting our cultural heritage – whether build, natural or intangible. 5 awarding ceremonies have been held, so far, with thirty-one awards presented.

The major objective of the heritage awards is to provide a missing incentive – social recognition, publicity, and a small cash contribution, and to underscore the urgency of heritage protection in the country. The awards therefore aim to promote the benefits of cultural heritage conservation by highlighting good practice conservation examples, as well as offering the owners or guardians of our cultural heritage recognition of their invaluable work.

The Awards recognise contributions to cultural heritage conservation, research, education, promotion, interpretation, training and awareness-raising within the region.

At the Cross-Cultural Foundation of Uganda (CCFU), we firmly believe that it is an urgent collective responsibility to help safeguard our heritage, as this is vital for defining the nation of the future.

Background

Over the years, these awards have played a key role in recognizing and celebrating the richness and diversity of Uganda’s heritage and the recognition of awardees has helped to inspire others to get involved in safeguarding their own cultural heritage, fostering a sense of pride and ownership among Ugandans.

Our tangible and intangible cultural heritage is under threat: rapid population growth, demand for land, economic activities and natural disasters, all threaten our tangible heritage; while the influences of modernity (globalisation, formal education and conventional religions) have significantly impacted the perception and values associated with culture. If measures are not taken to safeguard our cultural heritage, as a matter of urgency, Uganda’s heritage will soon vanish! Our tangible cultural heritage, such as buildings and landscapes, books, artefacts and artwork, and intangible cultural heritage, such as folklore, traditions, language and knowledge all need to be preserved and promoted.

Objective 4 of Uganda’s Culture Policy 2006 (under review) is to protect and promote Uganda’s tangible and intangible cultural heritage. Some elements of intangible cultural heritage have been recognised by UNESCO, as well as sites of natural and cultural significance. Cultural tourism is also increasingly viewed as an important source of income and identity. The Museums and Monuments Act 2023 was also enacted (Objective 2a) to ensure the protection of cultural and natural heritage and the environment.

Efforts to promote and protect our cultural heritage, whether by individuals, families or communities, have also multiplied, as the growing numbers of community museums attest and recognition of various cultural values and practices in development increase. These passionate efforts are however often hampered by the lack of support and remain isolated endeavours, for the most part, unrecognised and unpublicised.

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