This article is in response to the story titled, “Parliament queries Dubai Expo 2020 stall” that run in The Daily Monitor of August 14, questioning Uganda’s preparedness for the six-month Expo.
Uganda subscribes to the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) to be able to be a part of these International expositions.
Uganda is currently participating in the Beijing International Horticulture Exposition taking place in Beijing China from April to October 2019.
Uganda has also fulfilled all the requirements, under BIE, to participate in the Expo Dubai 2020. More than 133 countries have announced their participation in this event.
Uganda is one of the countries that are receiving support from Expo 2020 organisers, UAE, to participate in this event. Under Expo 2020, there are two types of pavilions: “Self-built Pavilions” and “Supported Pavilions”.
Uganda’s pavilion is under Supported Pavilions category (while UAE and UK are under the Self-Built category). Supported pavilions have been organised into three thematic districts/areas – Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability. Uganda is in the Opportunity Thematic District.
Uganda has enjoyed a special relationship with Expo Dubai 2020 organisers. The National Expo Dubai 2020 Coordination Team is working closely with Expo 2020 Dubai Organisers to ensure Uganda’s successful participation at this expo.
It is through this special relationship that Expo Dubai 2020 has also hosted a number of delegates from Uganda in Dubai taking them to the expo site to witness the progress of the preparatory activities.
The design, construction, beautification and branding of supported pavilions is guided by a programme and workplan that has been set by Expo Dubai 2020. These have been communicated to each of the respective countries. The support of Expo Dubai 2020 and the obligations of the respective partner government are clearly defined.
For example, construction of the pavilion structure (brick and mortar) is entirely being done by Expo Dubai 2020.
In the International Participants Meeting for Thematic Districts in July 2019, it was officially communicated that these structures are now ready for the second phase – the pavilion branding and beautification and the exhibition setup.
This is the reason Uganda’s pavilion, at this point, is not yet beautified and branded. It awaits authorisation for the second phase, as per the workplan.
Uganda Export Promotion Board (UEPB) is coordinating the process of pavilion finalisation. Visitors to the Expo site, after December 2019, will be able to witness the progress of the branding and beautification phase.
UEPB is also engaging relevant stakeholders on other planned activities of the expo. For example, the media on coverage; hotel sector on planning out the special country culinary experiences; and the private sector on participation.
The Government of Uganda is supporting the public and private sector participation at this expo, which takes place in one of Uganda’s key trading partners.
There is a coordination desk for the Expo 2020 at UEPB.
Mr Kamugisha is the executive director, Uganda Export Promotion Board.