ABSTRACT

The purpose of this chapter is to explore the extent to which four important informal economy “craft” activities (pottery, carving, basketry and iron work), which constitute what we call “material culture” have the potential to enhance well-being at the household level in 10 districts of the traditional Ankole Kingdom of S.W. Uganda. In doing so, we seek to determine how far these informal activities might play a signifi cant role in poverty reduction and what transferable lessons might be learnt. Research shows that in Uganda, most of the poor people live in the informal economy and work in small, informal businesses and that there are correlations between poverty and informality (Keene-Mugerwa 2006). Ocici (2006) further posits that the informal business dominates the private sector in Uganda. Many of the businesses (approximately 97%) are not registered and 80% of the citizenry are employed in the sector. More than 80% of the population lives in rural areas (UBOS 2010) and integrate traditional skills and knowledge for their livelihood.