By Max Patrick Ocaido
Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga has raised concerns in regards to Uganda’s slow preparations ahead of the 2020 World Expo in Dubai.
Kadaga on Tuesday during plenary tasked the Ministry of Trade and Industry to explain why there has been little progress in preparations as regards setting up Uganda’s stall in Dubai. She said that whereas other countries have already set up their stalls, Uganda’s space which is between that of the United Kingdom and United Arabs Emirates remains empty with no structure.
"Our stall is between that of the UK and UAE. These two have already worked on their stalls while ours is empty. Why? We need answers if it is about money then the minister should let us know,” Kadaga said.
“The ministry knew about this expo, why didn’t they provide for the funding in the budget?”
Masindi Woman MP Jalia Bintu said that this world expo that is expected to attract 192 countries provides a chance for the government to market Uganda to the outside world in terms of agricultural products, tourism, and others.
State minister for Trade Michael Werikhe Kafabusa in his response said that despite the slow pace, his ministry is working closely with the ministry of finance to have Uganda well represented in the world expo scheduled for October 20, 2020.
“Indeed, there is space for our stall already provided in Dubai and my ministry is working closely with the finance ministry to ensure we prepare adequately. Allow me to bring a report on the progress tomorrow and in case we need any finances then we shall let this House know,” Werikhe said.
State Minister David Bahati assured the House that in case Trade ministry was financially constrained, then they will seek a supplementary for that cause.
During the six-month expo, each country is expected to have its own pavilion where they will exhibit opportunities in their country. These pavilions will feature interactive exhibits, live entertainment, memorable meeting spaces, quirky hangouts and plenty more. Expo 2020 expects 25 million visits, with 70% of visitors coming from outside the UAE.