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Diplomats tasked on changing Uganda’s image abroad

Frank Tumwebaze

Lack of adequate knowledge and facts about Uganda, by representatives in missions abroad is denting Uganda’s tourism and investment sector, Information minister Frank Tumwebaze has said.

Tumwebaze says government is now developing a special catalogue to be dispatched to all missions abroad. The guide will contain key descriptive facts about Uganda’s geography, unique features, delicacies, stability and leisure industry among others.

He says that the need for the catalogue was observed during recent events in Washington DC and in Istanbul in Turkey, where Ugandan teams were campaigning for key positions at a global scene.

In the first meeting, Uganda was campaigning for a council seat at the Universal Postal Union (UPU) while in the second; Ugandan Patrick Masambu was campaigning to head the International Telecommunications Satellite Organisation (ITSO) as secretary general. Uganda won in both attempts as a result of what Tumwebaze says, was due to great lobbying and negotiation.

He explains that because Uganda’s image has been tainted by harmful propaganda and that ¬winning the two positions was no mean job. However, Tumwebaze adds, that this new campaign seeks to change the image and ease such processes for Ugandans in future. He was addressing journalists at the media centre in Kampala today.

“And these officers in-charge of these international partnerships for every ministry with key descriptive facts about Uganda’s stability, its unique geography, its unique people and cultures, its places and delicacies. It is important every Ugandan official representative capacity ably presents a good image of our country. It has to always be the best and nothing else”.  

He says a minimum package of information should be given to each Ugandan delegate and heads of ministries traveling abroad to promote tourism and investment.  The information will be in both digital and hard copy form.

Tumwebaze equally appealed to Ugandans not to take Uganda’s internal ambiguities and challenges abroad but promote a single narrative covered with attractive branding while seeking international benefits. He says correct messaging is very vital in the development of Uganda.

Shaban Bantariza, the government deputy spokesperson observes a need to change the image of a volatile state that Uganda is thought to be. He says having many Ugandans speak for the country through different embassies, ministries and delegates will help demystify that.

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