KAMPALA- The South Korean Ambassador, Mr Park Jong-Dae, has urged Uganda to reduce dependence on aid and avoid trading its culture and values for foreign ones.
Speaking at the inauguration of the Korea-Uganda Future Leadership Students Forum in Kampala yesterday, Amb Park said cultural values is one of the principles that define a country.
“The West (the US and some European countries) are always looking at the end results and how they benefit, but this understanding of things has a very big impact on countries that are vulnerable,” Amb Park said.
“Of course it’s a matter of choices and learning to leave without foreign aid is not easy, but the easy way to this is for citizens and leaders working hard to own their country, values, traditions. You have to fight on your own,” he added.
Uganda early this year passed the anti-gays law and several Western countries cut off aid. Donor budgetary support to Uganda used to account for 23 per cent of the total budget.
The government has since been struggling to fix the aid gap from its projected resource envelope of Shs15 trillion for this financial year.
Amb Park said one of the ways to work towards self-sufficiency is to industrialise rapidly and modernise agriculture.
“Uganda should revive the cooperative societies system because it mobilises farmers and elevates agriculture,” he said.
The Korea-Uganda Future Leadership Students Forum is aimed at bringing together university students from both countries every year to share cultural practices and development models.