Since the ratification of the Convention on the safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage in 2009. The following have been achieved;
Uganda has established an environment in which the viability of the intangible cultural heritage can be assured in line with the Uganda National Culture Policy. There is now in place a National Strategy on inventorying intangible cultural heritage to guide the preparation of inventories for the country in future. Government further in 2013, enacted the Geographical Indications Act. A national mainstreaming manual for culture in the District Local Governments was developed and is being used in capacity building activities.
Capacity building activities of the communities, district local governments and NGOs has been carried out by both Government agencies, NGO’s and Uganda National Commission for UNESCO. Mainly on the content of the conventions on safeguarding the ICH, in inventorying skills but also in implementing other safeguarding measures and preparation of nomination files.
The first volume of the National Inventory on intangible cultural heritage with has established as a tool for safeguarding ICH and a databank has been established and can be accessed through Ministry website This provides reference point for further research and safeguarding.
Intense campaigns and awareness raising to inform the public through electronic and print media about the importance of the intangible cultural heritage in the sense of the 2003 Convention. Specifically on barkcloth, the makers have formed groups, Bark-cloth making is now publicizing and included in other information materials, such as a brochure and information boards. There is increased demand for the material beyond the original purposes it used to be for and different and new types are being developed and researched on.
A total of four NGOs are now accredited to the Convention to provide technical advice to the Committee. They are working with the communities to raise the visibility of intangible cultural heritage at the community level. Due to the work of the NGO’s and awareness raised at the community and district level on the need to safeguard intangible cultural heritage five (5) elements have been inscribed to the list of elements in need of urgent safeguarding since 2012. only one element is on the representative list and none in the Best practices list.
Uganda has also benefited from the international assistance fund which led to the National inventorying of ICH in four communities in Uganda, two preparatory assistance for the nomination of elements to the urgent safeguarding list, one for the safeguarding of the element to the urgent safeguarding list and another under the Bilateral arrangement. This have greatly contributed to the success of the implementation of the Convention and the viability of the intangible cultural heritage in the country.
A few challenges still remain. The is need to continually raise and sustainably produce information to share with all the different communities. There is also need to continually strengthen the role of District Local Governments on the implementation of the Convention.
The absence of developed orthography among some communities, thereby becoming very difficult for them to write the inventory in their local language. This calls for more partnerships in training in language development.
There is still lack of enough trees to process the requisite materials for bark cloth making so this does not give an opportunity for many people to practice the skill. Secondly, as much as there are many youth who have been trained, there are many more who need to be trained in the art and skill of bark cloth making.

Sobre elementos de la Lista de salvaguardia urgente

Bigwala: danza y música de trompas de calabaza del Reino de Busoga (Uganda) , inscrito en 2012


pronto disponible

Empaako: sistema onomástico tradicional de las comunidades batooro, banyoro, batuku, batagwenda y banyabindi del oeste de Uganda, inscrito en 2013


pronto disponible


Empaako tradition is a naming system practised by Batooro, Banyoro, Batuku, Batagwenda and Banyabindi communities of western Uganda, whereby children are given one of twelve names shared across the communities in addition to their given and family names. Addressing a person by her or his Empaako name is a positive affirmation of social ties. It can be used as a greeting or a declaration of affection, respect, honour or love. The practice is associated with rituals and ceremonies whose meaning reinforces identity and belief systems. At the time of its inscription on the Urgent Safeguarding List in 2013, the Committee requested an extraordinary report to be examined at its tenth session.

Effectiveness of the safeguarding plan

The main objectives for safeguarding the element were to review the safeguarding plan, increase accessibility of information and knowledge about the element, and enhance the capacity of bearers to transmit knowledge and skills. The main results of the activities undertaken include a participatory review of the existing safeguarding plan; a safeguarding programme and mechanisms established for effective community and stakeholder participation; International Assistance requests elaborated and submitted to UNESCO; the implementation of a three-month pilot Empaako heritage conservation project by Banyoro communities and a fundraising strategy. The safeguarding activities also contributed to an increase in the mobilisation of stakeholders, leaders of rituals and 44 clans from the five communities, to revitalise the element. Public events, press conferences, festivals, workshops, a brochure and activities involving public leaders were reported to be very effective in raising awareness of the element and intangible cultural heritage in general for the specific communities and the Ugandan population. A monthly forum for representatives of the clans, established during the nomination process, has since been strengthened and is very effective in disseminating information and knowledge at the grassroots level. It has also contributed with the involvement of performers and artists for dissemination of safeguarding objectives. For example, regarding the raising of a monument in the main town of Empaako land.

Community participation

Many safeguarding initiatives have been planned, financed and undertaken by the communities, as well as individuals and groups. Members of the forum and cultural institutions within the five communities, such as chiefdoms, kingdoms and voluntary community associations, are responsible for managing these initiatives. During the reporting exercise, leaders from these institutions provided information on views of the communities regarding what achievements and challenges. The report was also sent to the communities for their comments and discussed at two monthly forum sessions.

Viability and current risks

The element is facing loss of meaning, social value and knowledge among bearers. A decline in observance of the naming ceremonies, as well as the number of bearers are among the main threats to viability of the element. Moreover, those who still give their children an Empaako name often abandon the associated rituals. In addition, it has been reported that there have been attacks on the practice from some religious groups mainly because of lack of knowledge about its meaning. In parallel, the language of the Empaako tradition, Runyoro-Rutooro, is declining in usage even among traditional bearer communities in favour of other more dominant languages.

Ceremonia de purificación de los jóvenes varones del pueblo lango del centro-norte de Uganda, inscrito en 2014

La tradición oral de Koogere en las comunidades basongora, banyabidi y batooro, inscrito en 2015

La danza y música con lira arqueada del pueblo madi, inscrito en 2016