E-commerce portal launched at arts and crafts expo

Yoshiko Yap

On April 7, the Countrywide Arts and Cultural Crafts Affiliation of Uganda and Uganda Tourism Affiliation in partnership with MasterCard Foundation, PSFU, underneath the Covid-19 Economic Recovery And Resilience Response Programme (CERRRP), introduced both the e-commerce portal for art and cultural crafts and the to start with artwork and cultural expo.

For the duration of the 5-day exhibition, the Minister of Point out for Tourism, Martin Mugarra Bahinduka, introduced the associations’ first ever e-commerce portal to relieve the selling of their art and craft to counter the transforming encounter of markets thanks to Covid-19 pandemic.

The expo brought forth exhibitors from all areas in the state, all showcasing the mastery of their perform and demonstrating how these crafts are made.

The transforming face of tourism

In accordance to Francis Kisirinya, the chief membership officer at the Non-public Sector Basis Uganda (PSFU), currently being at the expo and showcasing the nation’s art and craft for the 1st time is like demonstrating Uganda and the globe what she has and is capable of executing.

The sector, Sikirinya suggests, is also patronised by additional youthful females than any other sectors in Uganda, which is why quite a few people today received strike badly when the region was hit by Covid-19 that observed the closure of pretty much every little thing, such as the economic system.

PSFU, in partnership with MasterCard foundation realised that bringing the sector back can probably have a favourable impression on the livelihoods of many people today.

Via the economic relief resilience reaction programme, in which PSFU partnered with Mastercard Basis, they discovered and created programmes geared in direction of reviving tourism to its former glory.

“Through this programme, we are teaching members of NACCAU with craftsman capabilities and high-quality specifications manufacturing of art and craft. We have also prolonged economical resources in buy to convey common consumer services this kind of as devices for sandal and timber creation,  amongst others. This is aimed at improving upon our quality and the amount of our goods,” Sikirinya clarifies.

He says the exhibition is one particular of the responses to support the sector by showcasing and creating awareness on the cultural crafts to boost economic restoration.

Covid-19 has not only altered the livelihood of people today but also transformed the browsing experience. Some folks may well hardly ever go again to the various outlets they made use of to go to physically get goods and it is substantial time the sellers searched for purchasers in spaces exactly where they locate convenience.

With the enhancement in technological know-how, this could not be any less difficult. “Today, we are launching an e-commerce portal, which has been designed to permit craft sellers to avail their products on line to increase their sector so that even individuals persons who do not go to the retailers can still accessibility these solutions,” he states.

Sikirinya provides that the portal makes it possible for sellers of given solutions to add a story on their products so that the buyers get to know extra about the item and the tale that surrounds them.

Apart from the expo availing so quite a few items to revellers in the very same room, it was also an chance for various exhibitors to market their stories and make marketplaces from distinct locations than their own.

According to Bruno Sserunkuuma, a member of NACCAU specialising in ceramic pottery, who also doubles as a lecturer at Makerere College, occasions these as the expo market art merchandise to equally the domestic and foreign consumers and holidaymakers.

“This is an avenue for Ugandans to make and recognize solutions produced by their countrymen. This perform has been designed by our individual men and women. Items from diverse sectors in this expo are proving a benchmark upon which lots of of us can evaluate the excellent of our get the job done and identify areas that require improvement in the chain of manufacturing,” Sserunkuuma adds.

He makes practical and decorative ceramics that can be applied at dwelling this kind of bowls, jugs, vases and mugs, amongst other individuals. He helps make the ceramics from clay, a uncooked materials readily out there on the market place.

“As I pursued science topics back again in Higher University, I was fascinated by the science all around earning ceramics products. Numerous people today use plastics in creating countries, which are risky for human use. Working with ceramics would go a long way in averting this and this is why I choose the route of ceramics,” he claims. Sserunkuuma writes personalised messages on his do the job so a person can get a customised pot or mug for any celebration or belief.

Udota Olum Alwala, the chairperson of Pacer Blacksmithing, Wood artwork and Craft Association, says the expo is a good way of rising their model and also having far more value from their handiwork.

Aside from iron work, the association has a quantity of people today who craft unique things out of wood which includes pens, turtles, the Crested Crane, (wild and domestic animals and birds), musical instruments among the many others.

They too shown at the expo by curving the Crane, turtle among the other crafts. “Our crafts are made by our clan users, who learn the craft from our grandparents. We commenced with blacksmithing and later extended to crafting matters out of wooden,” Alwala suggests. The group is composed of the youth out of faculty, orphans and people with disability and this is an avenue by way of which they receive a living. They are educated and soon after finding out, the merchandise created are taken to the market for sale.

“For numerous of us, this is our task. It is from these crafts that we make income for university expenses and other fundamental products. This aids females not count on their husbands for all the things,” he adds.

In 2012, the affiliation commenced out with 30 men and women 13 guys and 17 girls. They later on mixed with other two teams to focus on artwork and crafts and agriculture as well as build the membership of the affiliation. Alwala claims they are 150 members.

The president of Uganda Tourism Association, Herbert Byaruhanga, lauded the Tourism minister for making an enabling surroundings for the tourism sector to prosper.

As artwork and cultural craft goes on the web, the sector expects to have solutions that meet demanded specifications on the market place.  This is why Ministry of Tourism, Uganda Countrywide Bureau of Standards and other entities are working to make this a truth. 

Martin Mugarra Bahinduka, the Minister of Condition forTourism, receives a gift from 1 of the exhibitors. Image/ Assure TWINAMUKYE

“Skilling folks is a issue of precedence. We require to talent our people to get better from the blow the pandemic,” Byaruhanga suggests.

Considering that its inception in 1994, less than Uganda National Arts and Crafts Association at the Countrywide Theatre grounds, NACCAU has awaited the working day it would organise an expo to provide with each other unique resourceful artists, according to Nuwa Wamala Nyanzi.

That going on this yr is a aspiration occur genuine for the organisation. Leasing house from Uganda National Cultural Centre (UNCC) on which they manufactured semi-everlasting buildings to run their enterprises in 42 outlets, a workshop and canteen room, majority of persons promoting crafts are youthful females.

Their organizations ended up wiped out, with most of their clientele not able to move among international locations and areas. Nyanzi, on behalf of NACCAU, appealed for a stimulus package of at least Shs500m to assist their recovery method. According to Nyanzi, this amount of money will deal with floor hire arrears the organisation owes to Uganda Countrywide Cultural Centre considering that March 2021 to day amounting to Shs300m

 “As a result, little is left for ploughing again into the corporations consequently hampering our growth and advancement,” Nyanzi states. Mugarra pledged to aid NACCAU in its undertakings but also urged producers to spend in promoting their products and solutions for both of those nearby and international markets.

 “As a ministry, we shall supply for additional funding from governing administration and progress companions. There is a substantial untapped market opportunity locally which calls for creative imagination in the way we market place these products and solutions,” Mugarra states.

To promote on the e-industrial portal, craft stores are onboarded by the portal admins on www. admin.craftshop.ug. A seller can article their catalogue of goods on the portal obviously indicating their costs, description and if possible, the tale of the products and solutions.

The products and solutions are subjected to high quality assurance framework, which confirms from the retailer about the consistency and dimensions of the merchandise. The solution has to have conventional high-quality shots and a reserved cost.According to Richard Kawere, the main govt officer of UTA, these producers go through education in advance of their items go on-line.

So significantly 60 vendors have undergone coaching. The education and promoting the products and solutions on the portal are currently no cost for a yr. At a later phase, a compact rate to sustain the support will be levied.  Consumers can browse the offered items, get and include them to the cart on www.craftshop.ug.

The consumer will then be taken as a result of a procedure to know the item will be sent to where by they are. “We are finalising the payment platform that has Visa card, learn card, mainly because 1 of the pursuits for this portal is for Ugandan crafts to entry the intercontinental market as perfectly,” he adds.

“We have also concluded integrating with DHL as a person of our intercontinental couriers all-around the world at the second,” Kawere says.

Unlike the bodily sector, stores will sell to people out of Uganda and supply will be finished via DHL,” Nyanzi says.

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