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Uganda’s gain in the Dubai Expo 2020

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The long awaited Dubai Expo 2020 will be officially opened on 1st October, just a day away.

This expo is billed to be the most prominent, highly publicised and the most expensive expo that has been ever held globally in recent times.

The Government of the United Arab Emirates started on the preparation and publicizing this expo 10 years ago. It was supposed to ran for a complete 12 months and was to be held in the year 2020, but had to be postponed due to the Covid pandemic. Adjustments were equally made to the duration which will now be for six months till 30th March 2022.

As a result of the hype and the global overriding desire for economic recovery, vast majority of the countries of the world are set to fully attend and participate in this expo.

The expo will provide opportunity to global key players, buyers, suppliers, innovators, investors and traders to pitch for their share of the global economic cake.

Us here, also not to miss out on this huge opportunity, our country Uganda is participating and will be at the Dubai Expo, thanks to the tireless efforts of our Embassy in UAE.

Our high powered government team of 50 people is expected to attend the opening ceremony.

However, what seems to be paradoxical is that as we are frantically making the final touches on our Ugandan pavilion in Dubai so as to make a lasting first impression to the expo visitors, here back home, we seem to be displaying a not so much impressive image of ourselves as a country.

May be, it might be true that as handlers of the State affairs, we haven’t yet managed to appreciate the direct correlation between the country’s affinity (attractiveness) to attract visitation, trade and investment to a country with its global image perceived or real.

Since we are gearing to take part in this global event, where the international media will definitely be playing the most critical role of hyping a countries potential for trade, tourism and investment, we wouldn’t be wrong to imagine that there would therefore be no appetite for stalking or fermating the usual unnecessary confrontations that we see all the time that doesn’t at all add any positives to the country’s image.

Uganda as a country itself is a beautiful bride that should be a natural magnet to any global suitor that would love to invest and trade in amidst a very friendly environment, but unfortunately our Uganda continues to be perceived globally as having issues of governance and human rights.

That being the case, it would be just logical that we wouldn’t want again to exercibate or help to confirm that perception by doing things that tend to directly play in the hands of the negative forces that want to always depict our country as one where investment propositions shouldn’t be made.

Hopefully, the various State actors together with the agencies mandated to safeguard our country’s image and those that are responsible for promoting Uganda’s potential in terms of tourism, trade and investment will at their soonest sit together and be able to convince themselves of the innevitable correlation of matters of security, peace, governance and human rights on one hand and attractiveness, affinity and ability to get both direct and indirect investments in a country on the other hand.

The sooner they do that the better for all of us the wananchi ultimately.

Author: Edward Balidawa. Credit; Joe Mazige

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