Use culture to promote development, Ugandans told

Buganda minister for tourism Rita Namyalo Kisitu (R) shows European Union Head of Delegation to Uganda Kristian Schmidt some of the arts and crafts at the Buganda Tourism Expo in Mengo yesterday. PHOTO BY JOSEPH KIGGUNDU.

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The European Union Head of Delegation to Uganda challenges Ugandans to find ways of marketing their arts and craft to develop their communities.


The European Union (EU) Head of Delegation to Uganda has challenged Ugandans to think about the best ways to use culture to promote community development.

Mr Kristian Schmidt was speaking after his tour of the Buganda Tourism Expo in Mengo, a Kampala suburb, yesterday. “My challenge to you today is to think about the best ways in which your traditions, values and culture can be marketed for community development; both to domestic market, as well as to foreign visitors,” Mr Schmidt said. He said the EU is a good partner to Uganda and is committed to supporting efforts that facilitate growth, including infrastructural development.

“Uganda needs Europe, and Europe needs Uganda. We need to understand each other and see our cultural differences as an invitation to debate, not a reason to quarrel.” Ambassador Schmidt said Europe is committing 578 million Euros for the next seven years to Uganda. He warned Ugandans that tourists were increasingly becoming conscious of the impact of the tourism industry on the environment.

“Tourists will turn away if they find themselves to blame for destroying the environment; stressing the lions, diluting local culture and generally ruining your heritage and authenticity. So please go for authenticity.”

The EU representative was flanked by the Germany Ambassador to Uganda and Buganda’s second deputy premier Mohammad Sekimpi Semmambo. This year’s expo is under the theme; “Celebrating Our Cultural Diversity,” and was intended to celebrate the cultural diversity of different kingdoms in Uganda.

Kabaka Ronald Mutebi 11 will officially close the expo which provides a platform to showcase Buganda and Uganda’s tourism potential and how it can be harnessed.