In Summary
  • According to an American-based research agency, A. T. Study of Sports, the global entertainment industry that comprises sports, creative arts (music, dance, drama, film, comedy), media will be worth $2.1 trillion just by next year

It was all pride watching on TV the Uganda Flag at the centre of Afcon soccer action in Egypt’s Cairo International Stadium. And a sensational feeling of confidence knowing our players were to demonstrate great skills before a global audience of soccer lovers, estimated in millions.

Uganda made significant progress from the previous Afcon, Gabon 2017 performance of a single draw in group stages to an emphatic win and a draw in this year’s Afcon tonourment. It also stretched to the limit tournament favourites - Egypt and Senegal. Bravo our young men! Bravo coach Sebastien Desabre - whose departure ought to be rescinded!

This triggers deep thinking: How to strategically tap into entertainment in general as a lucrative job adding industry. According to an American-based research agency, A. T. Study of Sports, the global entertainment industry that comprises sports, creative arts (music, dance, drama, film, comedy), media will be worth $2.1 trillion just by next year.

In light of this, it is vital sports is separated from Education ministry and made a full ministry of its own. The vote of Shs26b (about $7m) allocated to the National Council of Sports (NCS) in the 2019/20 Budget to share between 48 sports federations is a loud testimony of how far detached we are as a nation from global trends of the 21st Century. Of this, the Uganda Cranes alone requires Shs10b to engage a tenth of its activities so that it stands a chance to progress to quarter stages of Afcon in 2021 and negotiate a slot in the Qatar World Cup 2022.

To redress this discrepancy, there has to be radical changes in government structures. This essentially means to a ministry to be called the ‘Ministry of Sports and Creative Arts.’ This will cause a realistic public investment into the entertainment sector. To fully integrate it in the national development agenda, you need the requisite infrastructure in form of equipped entertainment facilities at the grassroots. You need technical personnel that a full ministry requires

If we are to limit ourselves to opening new factories as the major intervention in addressing the challenge of unemployment, we would need 2,200 new factories every year to absorb 660,000 new job seekers annually, and that is if on average, each factory can offer 300 jobs. This is unsustainable.
Therefore, the entertainment industry offers the most viable alternative approach to sustainably provide the much desired jobs.
Public investment in the 48 sport disciplines recognised by NCS and the vast array of creative arts entails that every able-bodied Ugandan child will have somewhere to fit in terms of marketable talent.
A child who begins to earn from their talent at tender age will be as good as already employed.
Unlike in the current set up where up to the time of graduating from university and college, aged 23 to 25, the youth are dependent on their parents whose natural skills have been developed.

Shuaib-swaib Kaggwa,
shuaibswaibkagwa@gmail.com