CCFU Annual report 2014


The CCFU 2014


This picture and cover photo: scenes from the inauguration of the Thur Community Museum,

Abim, October 2014

Remarks from the Board 4

The cultural year in review 6

2014: Programme highlights 12

Prospects for 2015 18

Appreciation 19

Our outgoing Chairperson’s words…

after 8 years of support to CCFU

more partners in Kitgum, Kisoro, Kotido? In

the end, cost-effective decisions were made,

including buying a second-hand car. In my

26 years of working with various non-state

organisations, I do not know of any organisation

which uses so few resources to produce such

important strategic results.

The hallmark of CCFU is a small, very

professional staff, who are straightforward and

honest. They are also very sensitive to ways of

operating a low-resourced organisation.

I go away with very fond memories of the way

we engaged at CCFU on many fronts, from

deep dialogue with a clan leader from Alur

chiefdom to influencing the work priorities of

the International National Trust Organisation


It has been a challenging journey: I vividly

remember the first two years of difficult

prioritisation – do we, for instance, strategically

locate CCFU offices at the ‘high cost’ National

Theatre or use the limited resources to reach

I will miss CCFU very much. I will miss the lively

professional dialogues in the Board meetings,

the excellent discussions on controversial

sensitive cultural issues and how CCFU actively

influences policy issues at national level.

Patrick Kiirya,


CCFU Board of Trustees

A parting message from our Treasurer

men and women, young and old offer their

time (and sometimes money) in pursuit of the

aspirations of CCFU.

A little over eight years ago now, I recall

receiving an invitation to join a group that

was discussing the future of a new cultural

organisation called the Cross-Cultural

Foundation of Uganda (CCFU). The note itself

was rather shy and the acronym a bit of a

tongue twister. I accepted the invitation. That

marked the beginning of what has been a

rewarding experience; walking with CCFU from

the toddler it was then to a fledging, healthy

and growing child today. Those early meetings

held at the National Theatre were spent

grappling with the nature of the organisation,

its vision, mission and raison d’être.

In my tenure as a board member, it has been

my pleasure to meet, to know and work with

wonderful individuals with a passion for

culture and commitment to CCFU. I have seen

Serving as a board member has had its

challenges and satisfactions. I recall, when

asked to become treasurer of CCFU, accepting

the responsibility rather reluctantly. This is

because I was aware of challenges of mobilising

resources for an NGO with culture as its main

business. However, with the support of an

efficient and committed administration led

by the amiable Executive Director Emily Drani

supported by John De Coninck, this task has

been easier than I had feared. We have seen

the organisation move from operating a shoe

string budget, with barely any donor support

to now a respectable budget with more donors

supporting our efforts.

Now at the end of my second tenure on the

Board, I leave a happy man, satisfied that what

was an idea eight years ago has grown into a

reality. CCFU still has challenges but I am sure

the management, and the board will effectively

deal with them. As a parting note, I would like

to thank the CCFU family for the opportunity

and support given to me to serve as a member

of the Board.

Augustine Omare Okurut,


CCFU Board of Trustees


the year in


Emily Drani, Executive Director

2014 saw

cultural affairs

capture more

public attention

than in previous

years, for

both positive

and less welcome reasons. Two areas have

been especially prominent: the role of cultural

institutions in the life of our nation and the

importance of cultural expression, both in terms

of rights, practices and as opportunities for

meeting our development challenges.

Cultural institutions

Cultural leaders are increasingly recognised as

partners in development, often because of the

influence they wield. In 2014, they were for

instance involved in the fight against HIV/AIDS

and against corruption; they called for public

accountability and security, for the promotion

of cultural values and of cultural tourism.

They raised concern about such “harmful”

cultural practices as widow inheritance, early

marriage, gender oppression and their effect on


Some took the initiative to restore productive

traditions. The King of the Alur for instance

supported the revival of tea growing in the

higher altitude zones of his kingdom. The Kwar

Adhola of the Jopadhola and the Omukama

of Bunyoro engaged in environmental

conservation. In Buganda, the Prime Minister

embarked on a fundraising drive to build old

and new: a commercial plaza at Bulange and the

reconstruction of the Kasubi tombs. His ettoffaali

(brick-by-brick) campaign engaged a wide range

of stakeholders and his self-help approach,

promoting hard work, integrity, voluntarism and

transparency - focusing on development rather

than partisan politics - was perceived as one that

other cultural institutions could emulate.

On the education front, cultural leaders also

proved to be important actors: the King of Tooro

was chosen as a youth ambassador in a global

campaign to end HIV/AIDS in Africa by 2030

while the Kabaka’s Education Fund offered over

1000 scholarships to youth across the country.

The Queen continued to support her popular

cultural values and education initiative, the

Ekisaakaate for young people on vacation.

The new Empaako monument in Fort Portal, erected after this

practice was inscribed by UNESCO on the list of Intangible Heritage

in urgent need of Safeguarding

Meanwhile, in a modest effort to support

development projects by cultural institutions,

CCFU supported a project on the Empaako,

the traditional naming ceremony linked to

tree-planting in Bunyoro and a shea nut tree

preservation project spearheaded by the Aryek

chiefdom in Nebbi.

In line with the Traditional Leaders Act 2011,

cultural leaders demanded (and in some

instances retrieved) some of their assets

held by the Central Government, sometimes

opening up significant economic potential to

generate employment, boost economic activity

and increase tax revenue. In Bunyoro, the King

offered 45 hectares of land for the establishment

of the proposed Bunyoro University.

Controversies however continued to plague

these institutions in 2014. Prince William

Nadiope was elected Kyabazinga of Busoga,

a position that had remained vacant since

2008 but this attracted vociferous opposition

from some quarters. In Lango, the election of

a paramount chief was cause for controversy

among the 150 registered clans. The Bugwere

cultural institution which was gazetted as the

13 th recognised traditional kingdom in Uganda

was also contested.

An inter-cultural dialogue in the Rwenzori region, May 2014

In the Rwenzori region, Major Martin Kamya

was installed as the cultural leader of the

Obudingiya Bwa Bamba, shortly followed by the

crowning of Rwigi IV Rutakirwa Agutamba

Kabumba Ivan Bwebale as the cultural leader of

the Basongora. These developments partly led

to violent clashes as the Rwenzururu Kingdom

and some of its supporters felt that these events

threatened the integrity of their institution. This

resulted in the death of over 60 people, and the

imprisonment of some cultural leaders. In

northern Uganda, clashes between the Madi

and Acholi also resulted in the displacement of

communities and financial and material loss.

Such events were indicative of the potential

damage that can be caused by ambiguous limits

of authority and brought to light the contested

nature of traditional systems, structures,

procedures and interpretations of legal

provisions. A proactive and critical rethink of

traditional governance systems in relation to

changing trends and the dynamic environment

within which they operate appeared increasingly

necessary. To enhance such an appreciation,

CCFU produced a publication on managing intercultural

conflicts in the Rwenzori region and

facilitated training on ‘Culture and the Law” for

cultural leaders in the same region.

Some positive developments were also noted in

2014. Through exchange visits between cultural

institutions from Bunyoro and Lango; Buganda,

Ankole and Kigezi; Busoga and Bunyoro,

their respective leaders ‘walked the talk’ and

demonstrated their appreciation of cultural

diversity and unity. Reconciliation within and

between cultural institutions illustrated by the

Kabaka’s visit to Bugerere county (from where

he had earlier been barred) and peace talks

between leaders in the Rwenzori region, reflected

a marked change of attitude and a progression

towards social responsibility and political

maturity. Amidst these mixed experiences, CCFU

facilitated a national reflection on “Culture in

Governance: drawing lessons and insights from

Ghana and South Africa”, countries which have

progressed in recognising and harnessing the

strengths of traditional institutions.

Cultural practices and cultural


Many cultural practices remain an important

part of our cultural identity: the imbalu cultural

festival which occurs every leap year, for

instance, was initiated in Mutoto, the Bugisu

cultural site in the Mt Elgon region and spread

to other parts of the country. From the same

region, the Tereit Ndorobo who were displaced

from Elgon mountain forests in 1999, and on

the brink of losing their cultural identity, sought

to revive the traditional child naming ritual.

Ethnic minority groups, such as the Ndorobo,

are often dominated by their more numerous

neighbours and little is known or documented

about their culture. The Ministry of Gender,

Labour and Social Development embarked on

inventorying the intangible cultural heritage of

two minority groups, the Ik in Kaabong District

and the Basongora in Kasese District, in addition

to the heritage of the Alur in West Nile and of

the Acholi in Northern Uganda.

Cultural practices however also generated

controversies. In spite of the law banning the

practice (and the risk of imprisonment for those

involved), female genital mutilation continues

to thrive in communities where it is valued,

in part as a rite of passage to womanhood. In

some cases, young girls have fled from their

homes for fear of undergoing this operation.

The Anti-homosexuality Bill also caused mixed

reactions in Uganda and abroad, with cultural

and religious reasons being advanced for

supporting the legislation. The clash of cultures

and contradictions between cultural and

human rights are issues that all cultural leaders

need to anticipate and proactively address in

order to provide much needed advice to their

constituencies and policy makers.

Culture is also about expression and, in the course

of 2014, the Iteso, the Benet and the Sabiny in

the Mt Elgon region held cultural festivals with

colourful displays of traditional dresses, dances

of social and cultural significance, food items, and

artefacts related to traditional medicine, regalia

and ways of life. In Abim, the Thur Community

Museum was launched with support from CCFU.

This diversity of cultural heritage, coupled with

the increased number of museums, including

the proposed one at the Namugongo shrine,

presents opportunities for cultural tourism

and for the celebration of cultural diversity and


Language is sometimes referred to as the vehicle

through which culture is transmitted. In 2014,

there were notable efforts to respond to the

often unheeded appeal to Africa to tell her own

story and to protect this important part of her

heritage. A Runyakore-Rukiga English dictionary

and a grammar book were launched with

much encouragement to the youth to develop

a reading culture and to parents to teach their

children their mother tongue. The Acholi cultural

leader, Rwot David Acana II, drafted a book

on gender violence stressing that the Acholi

culture condones neither violence nor early

marriage. Dr Dominic Dipio launched a book on

Gender Terrains in African Cinema, examining

whether film-makers and critics place gender

in a cultural context and perspective, alongside

Dr Aaron Mushengyezi who unveiled his book

Oral Literature for children: Rethinking Orality,

Literacy, Performance and Documentation

practices, which emphasises the use of folklore

in communicating traditional cultural values.

Cultural rights encompass the right of access

to one’s heritage. In 2014, our collective

responsibility towards preserving and promoting

our national heritage was demonstrated by

cultural celebrations around the pre-historic rock

art site at Mukongoro in Teso; the preservation

and development of Kagulu Hill as a tourist

attraction in Busoga; the documentation of sites

and establishment of cultural trails, traditional

games, and the unveiling of the aesthetic and

historic Biharwe monument near Mbarara. As

places, stories and history continue to bind us

together, the family of the 19 th Century explorer

Samuel Baker, initiated a 805km trail to mark

the locations where Baker and his wife Florence

camped during their expeditions in Sudan and

Uganda. In spite of these efforts, historical

buildings everywhere in Uganda are generally

in a pitiful state of disrepair and/ or at high

risk of demolition to pave the way for modern

infrastructure. CCFU is planning to contribute to

addressing this issue in 2015. We however first

invite the reader to a review of our activities in









John De Coninck, Programme Advisor

In 2014, CCFU

w i d e n e d

its range of

partners and

activities. Our

work on enhancing Ugandans’ cultural rights

took up much of our energy.

Culture and Policy

Cultural rights – the rights to express and enjoy

one’s culture and to have it protected - are

rarely considered vital to human existence.

Nevertheless, some elements of a policy context

exist in Uganda to protect these rights, one of

them being the National Culture Policy.

In 2014 CCFU continued to work in four districts

(Kibaale, Rakai and Moyo-Adjumani) where local

coalitions of civil society and local government

cultural activists developed and implemented 3

district/sub-regional plans to make the National

Policy a reality.

This included the preservation of intangible

cultural heritage (as with bark cloth trainers

in Rakai); protecting cultural and cultural sites

(such as King Kyebambe Tomb in Kibaale and

Amuru Hot Springs in Adjumani), or establishing

a museum (soon to open in Metu, near Moyo

Town). At the national level, CCFU participated in

the design of the second National Development

Plan and stressed the importance of adopting a

culturally-informed approach to major national


Cultural Rights and Minority

Ethnic Groups

In 2014, we continued to collaborate with six

minority ethnic groups (the Ik in Karamoja,

the Benet on Mount Elgon, and the Babwisi,

Bavonoma and Bamba in Bundibugyo) to

develop and implement plans designed to

enhance respect for their neglected – and often

flouted – cultural rights. This has involved the

development of a small ‘house of memory’ or

museum in Ik land, in the area occupied by the

Benet on Mount Elgon and in Bundibugyo, the

latter now open to the public. The three groups

also produced policy briefs – setting out their

agenda with respect to their cultural rights, such

as ensuring access to their cultural sites, even if

these are within National Parks. Beyond these

groups, a call for creative writing entries from

ethnic minority groups elicited 13 responses (in

the form of short stories, proverbs, songs and

Work has proceeded in districts to preserve cultural heritage, such as in Kibaale (Kyebambe Royal Tomb,

Moyo (Artefact at the soon-to-be-opened Metu Madi Community Museum) and Rakai (Namagoma urban forest)


Access to one’s heritage is especially important for ethnic minorities:

the Ik House of Memory under construction (top) and the

inauguration of the Thur Museum in Abim (above)

proverbs) from all regions of the country. This

collection will be published in 2015, to raise

awareness about the culture, language and

creativity of Uganda’s ethnic minorities.. The

year also saw the inauguration of another small

museum, the Thur Community Museum at a

colourful event in Abim.

Working with cultural


Cultural institutions are important partners

for CCFU: they represent our diverse identity;

they are the repositories of our heritage; they

promote our values and are influential. In midyear,

CCFU started work with representatives

from cultural institutions in Bunyoro and

Alur to explore their role in protecting the

environment, especially in future oil producing

areas. This was followed by a call for proposals

so that initiatives could be supported. Two such

proposals were selected: the Aryek Chiefdom in

Nebbi embarked on an initiative to promote the

conservation and planting of shea butter trees

and have established a shea butter nursery (a

first in the region). In Bunyoro, the Kingdom

has promoted the planting of trees linked to the

naming ceremony – the Empaako.

CCFU engaged with cultural institutions far and wide in 2014:

Chief Stanley Ogama from Nebbi (top); Ghanaian representatives

at the “Constitutional Governance” event (above).

Culture, managing diversity

and the Law

As mentioned above, cultural institutions have

been embroiled in conflicts in several regions of

the country, often in relation to land issues. In

the Rwenzori region, CCFU conducted research

which culminated in the launch of a publication

“Managing inter-cultural conflict in the Rwenzori

Region: Interventions and aspirations”. This

showed that cultural institutions are little aware

of the law: we therefore conducted a training

event on ‘Culture and the Law’ and produced

a compendium of “Legal Instruments related

to Culture and Cultural Institutions in Uganda”.

This work not only enabled us to strengthen the

knowledge of cultural institutions on the relevant

laws, but also to deepen our relationship with

the Shalom Mediation Institute, a local NGO

with a focus on peace and conflict resolution.

Managing diversity remains a significant

challenge in many aspects on life in Uganda.

To provide comparative experiences, CCFU

invited a cross-section of academicians and civil

society leaders from the region to share their

experiences in this challenging issue. We heard

distinguished speakers from Rwanda, Burundi,

Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda. This was also an

opportunity to launch a book containing all 19


esearch papers written up in the course of the

last 4 years as part of the Pluralism Knowledge

Programme. Academicians from the region

also explored how managing diversity could be

better included in university curricula in East

Africa. A course outline on “Managing Diversity

in a Global Society” was subsequently produced

in Swahili, French and English. In Uganda several

universities have integrated aspects of managing

diversity in their curricula. This, along with

the production by the Human Rights Network

(HURINET) of a manual on “Managing Diversity

in the Workplace” were the last activities on the

Pluralism Knowledge Programme.

Culture and Governance

Our work with cultural institutions has, over

the years, provoked interrogations about

their real or potential role in our governance

systems. To provide comparative perspectives,

we organised an event to learn from Ghana’s

and South Africa’s experiences in this respect.

Prominent individuals from Government,

academia, cultural institutions and other

sections of civil society gathered in Kampala to

hear distinguished South African and Ghanaian

presenters explain how traditional chiefs and

queen mothers participate in their countries’

governance. Participants expressed a desire

to reappraise the Constitutional positioning of

cultural institutions, in the light of the positive

experiences from Ghana, South Africa and from

other parts of the continent.

Culture and Youth

The promotion of cultural rights must also

involve the youth and CCFU was privileged in

2014 to expand its support to Heritage Clubs to

65 secondary schools throughout Uganda. Most

are linked to a Community Museum in their

vicinity and CCFU support is channelled through

these. The year closed, as has now become

an annual event, with the launch of the 2015

Heritage Calendar, illustrated by the winners of

the Heritage School Competition which received

more than 200 entries from students keen to

illustrate their totems.

2014 also saw the start of our collaboration with

the National Curriculum Development Centre, as

CCFU is keen to ensure that culture and heritage

are fully integrated in the new curriculum for

lower secondary schools. To this effect, CCFU

was able to raise funds which will be used in

2015 to test the cultural elements of this new

curriculum in selected schools.

My totem: Akuri (The dove),

Illustrated by Kinyera Daniel,

Kitgum Comprehensive College

Working with young people continues to be a priority area for CCFU.

The 2015 Heritage Calendar with text and illustrations on totems saw 13 young winners recognised at an awarding ceremony in Jinja


Tangible Heritage

Our partnership with community museums took

the form of support to the Community Museums’

Association of Uganda and several members and

other museum representatives were facilitated

with a number of events, including a visit to

Community Peace Museums in Kenya.

Our international connections proved valuable

as a source of learning and opportunities for

collaboration throughout the year. Our work on

tangible cultural heritage focused on preparatory

work for the production of a map highlighting

Kampala’s historical landmarks. Funding for this

will in great part stem from a fundraising walk

organised by the International Organisation of

National Trusts (INTO) in northern Spain, in which

2 members of the CCFU staff participated. This

was an opportunity for CCFU, which sits on the

INTO Executive Meeting to discuss preparations

for the international conference of National

Trusts in Cambridge (UK) which will follow last

year’s successful event in Entebbe.

Apart from INTO, we continued to work with

UNESCO and attended a number of international

meetings on preserving intangible heritage. We

were also invited by the International Information

and Networking Centre for Intangible Cultural

Heritage in the Asia-Pacific Region under the

auspices of UNESCO to speak at a conference in

South Korea on the role of NGOs in contributing

to the preservation of the Intangible Heritage

in the region. Locally too, we were privileged to

become members of the cultural committee of

the National commission for UNESCO.

Our partnership with Plan continued and

we visited Zimbabwe to support their local

team document their experiences in the use

of a cultural approach to development work,

especially involving the rights of women

and vulnerable children. This experience will

contribute to the development of a new manual

on “Culture in Development.”

Within CCFU, with our growing activities, we

were happy to receive the services of Soline De

Laveleye to help us with our communications

work. In part thanks to her efforts, CCFU has

been able to revamp its website and ‘refresh’

our logo.

The year concluded with an evaluation of our

work and our organisation. This proved to be

an insightful exercise. CCFU looks forward to

implementing many of the recommendations in

the coming year, including the need to provide

the organisation with a stronger profile and

voice to see the changes we aspire to become



Prospects for 2015

As we

continue to

Fredrick Nsibambi, Cultural Heritage Specialist work with

our partner

organisations and individuals under the different

programme areas, CCFU wishes to re-affirm its

mission of making culture play an active and

visible role in Uganda’s development processes.

In 2015, several activities are lined up under our

different programme areas.

Our Cultural Rights Project will be entering a new

phase mid-year. The

project’s main goal will

remain the pursuance

of cultural rights

through the promotion

of heritage. In the first

half of the year, the

implementation of the

National Cultural Policy

through the District

Heritage Development

Plans in the three

districts of Rakai, Moyo

and Kibaale will continue

and we especially look

forward to the opening of museums in Rakai

(Kooki Chiefdom) and Metu (Madi Community


Work with Minority Ethnic Groups in 3 areas

(Bundibugyo, Ik-land and with the Benet in

Mount Elgon) will also be pursued. In 2015, we

expect the remaining the cultural assets centres

for 2 Minority Ethnic Groups to be officially

launched (the centre in Bundibugyo was opened

in May 2014). The publication on creative writing

by Minority Ethnic Groups will also be launched

in early 2015.

CCFU’s ‘Culture in Development’ programme

area will involve further training work and a

second edition of our ‘Culture in Development’


CCFU looks forward to developing its collaboration with cultural

institutions - the Aryek Chiefdom shea butter tree nursery in Nebbi

manual, to include new case study material from

Zimbabwe, Kenya and Uganda.

CCFU will deepen its work with clan leaders

and cultural institutions, as important actors

in local governance and as protectors of our

natural heritage resources, through research,

mobilization and advocacy.

For some years, CCFU’s Cultural Heritage

programme has occupied an important place

on our agenda. We expect to monitor and

strengthen the capacity of the more than 60

Heritage Clubs we support in schools across

the country. We look forward to developing

further learning materials for these clubs and to

hold another national

heritage awarding

ceremony for youth.

In addition, we plan to

offer outreach grants to

6 Community Museums

so that they become

more accessible to

neighbouring schools.

CCFU recognises

the urgent need to

protect the built

heritage, especially in

Kampala, which is in great danger of completely

disappearing in the face of modernisation.

In collaboration with Kampala City Council and

the Uganda Tourism Board, we plan to enhance

the visibility of important historical buildings

in the city. It is anticipated that the historical

buildings map will foster other preservation

efforts in this direction.

We also anticipate to organise the second Annual

Heritage Awards competition, to continue

taking part in the activities related to UNESCO’s

Intangible Cultural Heritage Convention, as an

accredited NGO, and to play an effective role on

the Executive Committee of the International

Organisation of National Trusts.


In the

past year,

CCFU has

e n g a g e d

Petwa Oselle, Finance and Administrative Officer

in a

growing number of activities both locally and

internationally. We would like to thank all our

friends and partners for supporting us.

We particularly thank our partners, schools on

our Heritage Education Programme, Community

Museums across the country, our government

counterparts (nationally and locally), committed

individuals, the media houses who gave us a

voice, and many others. We look forward to

continuing our interaction with all of you in


Our Board of Trustees has continued to support

us with time and insights. We are especially

grateful to our retiring Chairperson and

Treasurer, Patrick Kiirya and Augustine Omare-

Okurut for their 8 years of service to CCFU, not

only for responding to our frequent requests to

support, but also for participating in many of

our field activities.

In 2014, CCFU received financial support

amounting to U.shs. 1.13 billion. These funds

originated from

• ActionAid Uganda

• Bread for the World/Protestant

Development Services


• International National Trusts


• Plan International

• Private individuals and an anonymous


• Uganda National NGO Forum

• UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage


We thank all our supporters for making our work

possible in the course of 2014 and look forward

to our continued partnership in the coming


Our Trustees in 2014: Cato Lund, Augustine Omare-Okurut, Grace Aulo, Patrick Kiirya,

Emily Drani, Prof Mukasa Luutu, and Prof. Manuel Muranga (not in picture)


Off Bativa Road, Makerere

P.O. Box 25517


Tel +256 312294675


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