Uganda Museums Need More Style (allAfrica.com)

Promoters of community and cultural tourism in Uganda have asked the government to set up more museums in the country.

“We need to diversify our tourism sector by incorporating in cultural and community tourism, but this can only be achieved if Government establishes more museums and elect more monuments across the various parts of the country this will not only help in conserving cultural but also source of income to the nearby communities,” James Tumusiime the Executive Director of Igongo Museum in Mbarara western Uganda said.

It was suggested that lack of museums in some parts of the country has affected cultural conservation and community’s participation in the lucrative tourism sector.

Tumusiime, also the Chairman of Uganda Tourism Board (UTB), a government agency responsible for marketing Uganda’s tourism sector, said cultural and community tourism are most popular in the world especially in countries like Switzerland .

Here they have more than 100 museums which has enabled the Switzerland to collect more revenues from International Tourist who visits Switzerland’s museums .

Currently Uganda has only four functioning museums; three are owned by the government and one privately owned.

These are the Uganda National Museum in Kampala, the Karamoja region Museum based at Moroto and Kabale museum for the western region(Owned by Government ) and the privately one is Igongo museum based in Mbarara Town also in western Uganda.

According to museums experts Uganda is not doing even well with these few museums due to lack of qualified staff to work in the museums since Uganda has no institutions which train Museum Curators.

“Uganda lack man power to work in Museums that is why most exhibitions inmost museums are still wanting both Government and Private sector should come up with Institutions that trains Museum related courses that is when Uganda will earn more from cultural and community Tourism” Advised Amon Mugume the Conservator of Natural History at the Uganda National Museum.

However the challenge of lack of professionals to work in Museums very soon will be sorted out after Igongo Museum and the Uganda National Museum have patterned with International Universities to empower Ugandan few curators with skills and New Innovations in the Museum sector.

Addressing Journalist in Kampala Tumusiime said they have partnered with the Ethnographic Museum of the University of Zurich in Switzerland to help local curator to advance in their Knowledge and skills.

Raphael Schwere from the Zurich University told East African Business Week Uganda has many cultural and other products which can be promoted in museums but the challenge the manager’s in the various museum are not aware of such potentiality due to lack of skills.

He said their partnership with Igongo Museum will promote local products such as Milk, he said the process of adding value in the local milk by herdsmen locally if it’s well documented and the literature kept in achieves in the Museums can attract more tourist to visit such museums “Because many International Tourist and researcher are eager to understand the technology local people uses in making ghee from Milk in the region”.

In Uganda western Uganda region is the leading producer of Ghee which is local fermented from locally produced milk.

He said the University will be offering opportunities to local curators to go and interact with Museums experts in Switzerland. However he challenges Government o promote Uganda’s Museums and Heritage sites abroad as way of attracting more International Tourist.

“Uganda has many heritage sites but are not known. International governments tourism marketing agencies should not focus on promoting on natural and wildlife tourism, but also those heritage sites in the remote areas should be given priority” he cautioned UTB.

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