Category: Blog

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Rwabwogo Preaches Unity, Hard Work & Value Addition for Sustainable Growth as over 10, 000 Graduate in Ankole Region

In a moving address, Odrek Rwabwogo, the Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Exports and Industrial Development (PACEID), challenged over 10,000 graduands from Ankole Region to embrace hard work, persistence, and a focus on value addition and above all, unity, as the cornerstones for sustainable economic growth and industrial development.

Addressing the gathering at the Booma Grounds, Mbarara City on Sunday, May 19, 2024, Rwabwogo commended the graduates for their achievements and encouraged them to see this milestone as the beginning of their journey towards contributing to the nation’s growth.

PACEID in partnership with the Directorate of Industrial Training (DIT) facilitated and certified over 10,000 individuals from all the districts of the Ankole Region with a modular category certificate. All these excelled in competence-based industrial assessment after six months.

The graduates were certified in the fields of tailoring, baking, coffee/pig/goat/cattle/bee farming, plumbing, motor vehicle/cycle mechanics, photography, soap and detergent making, dairy processing, mushroom farming, graphic design, computer application, carpentry, embroidery, music, leather design, and banana farming.

Rwabwogo, who arrived for the ceremony in the company of his wife, Patience Rwabwogo, stressed the importance of this training which is to enable more job creators rather than job seekers. “The country has many younger people coming into the employment level but some are not employable. Just graduating doesn’t mean that you are employable, they need a special touch on skilling and attitude. The importance of this training and certification is that you go start your own business and hopefully deal in the 13 products we are involved in for export and hopefully we can catch you on standards, hopefully we can find you a buyer, hopefully we can finance the orders. You have to build each level in order to lead into another.”

He reiterated that it is not enough to merely produce urging the audience to add value to the products and services which enhances their competitiveness in both domestic and global markets.

Rwabwogo also called for unity stating that individualism cannot create industry. “We must work in unity because everybody wants to work on their own in our country. There is no success unless you really bring particular products to create industries. For example, the president launched here(Mbarara) a Tin factory not far from here a month ago. For you to succeed with tin, you must be assembling radios, laptops, and other things. But if you get tin and combine it with copper which we have, then you can make brass. Brass is what we use on bullets and vehicles etc. Industries have to be strong in order for investment to come in. You cannot have one company create an industry, it takes a lot of time. The point of unity is to help us create industries on value addition and processing of those things.”

He added, “By collaborating, sharing knowledge, and supporting one another, we can amplify our impact and drive Uganda’s industrial revolution forward.”

His words resonated with the graduates, who listened intently, inspired by his vision for a future where Uganda’s industries thrive on the foundations of skilled, dedicated, and innovative individuals.

DIT Director Dr. Patrick Byakatonda congratulated the graduates and encouraged them not to stop at this certificate but to aim higher by furthering their learning to fulfill Uganda’s huge industrial capacity. “As we think about the future, we must think about Uganda, our Nation has a huge industrial capacity with one of the most innovative workforces globally. I thank the stewardship of Odrek (Rwabwogo) for unleashing industrial potential for global excellence.”

PACEID Head of Secretariat, Matthew Bagonza expressed gratitude to all stakeholders involved in organizing the graduation. “I am grateful to all the stakeholders involved in organizing this remarkable event. This is a testament to the fruitful partnership between PACEID and DIT, which has empowered skilled individuals and certified them after thorough assessments upon completion of their training programs in their respective fields.” he said before taking the opportunity to communicate PACEID’s mandate of boosting Uganda’s exports and increasing foreign earnings by an extra USD 6Bn in the next five years and USD 100Bn by 2062.

Kole District Member of Parliament Hon. Opio Samuel Acuti applauded PACEID for the vital role it is playing in realizing the vision for a more industrialized and export-oriented Uganda. “We are proud to support this initiative and witness the fruit of this partnership with the Directorate of Industrial Training. This is a momentous occasion for the Ankole region. These graduates represent the future leaders and innovators who will drive Uganda’s industrial and economic growth.”

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PACEID roots for Ugandan exports in Chicago- USA

The Africa Global Chamber of Commerce in Chicago in the state of Illinois in partnership with the Uganda Exports Advisory Committee (PACEID) on Friday hosted over 40 African American businesses in a drive to find buyers of Uganda’s agricultural and mineral products and attract investment in Uganda’s food value chains. The meeting which was attended by bankers, investment and finance, pharmaceutical firms, hospitality companies, leaders of the city of Chicago, representatives of the Illinois House of Representatives, faith leaders in the black community, and business people from the state of Detroit, was organized by Dr. Olivier Kamanzi, Uganda’s trade representative in the USA. Ugandan diaspora led by the former President of the Uganda North American Association (UNAA) Ms. Henrietta Wamala Nairuba attended the meeting along with other Ugandans.

Speaking at the event on Friday evening, the chairman of PACEID, Odrek Rwabwogo gave the history of the relationship between the USA and Uganda in trade, said “Every business or country can compete on multiple fronts based on its resources and products but Uganda has a deeper point of difference it offers the world”. This he said, “is the uniqueness of her centrality on the African market in both geography and free enterprise, market openness, skilled human resource easy to train for high-value production and the availability of raw materials to drive high growth industries such as semi-conductor chip making, electric vehicles and the emerging USD200bn health foods industry in the USA”.

PACEID Chairman Odrek Rwabwogo addressing African American business community in Chicago

Rwabwogo added, “We have had good leadership very much underestimated yet highly effective like your own Abraham Lincoln who saved your country from the curse of slavery and kept your union in 1864. Uganda’s current leadership has been so pivotal in shaping a stable and growing society in our region yet often misunderstood”. He gave an account of Uganda’s history praising President Yoweri Museveni and calling him ‘the Abraham Lincoln of Uganda who helped our country restore a sense of dignity and stability that we never had since 1962”.

President Yoweri Museveni attended the first trade and investment summit of the USA and Uganda in December 2022 in Chicago. Uganda’s coffee, vanilla, leather, fruits and banana flour companies exhibited at the event and took orders for supplies to the retail outlets in the Chicago area. PACEID with a target of USD6bn in fresh revenues in exports has been opening markets, setting food safety standards, and working on infrastructure along with efforts to provide low-cost funding for exporting firms. PACEID plans to open a trade hub with the Ugandan diaspora in the city of Chicago.

Dr. Kamanzi told the gathering, “I grew up in Switzerland and I had never been to Uganda till a year ago and I was blown off by the immense opportunity, the green of the country, its freshness and tastiness of the fruits, its game parks and how welcoming the people are. I think American companies can use Uganda as a base not just to process and export good agricultural products but also get higher returns in investment more than any parts of the world”.

Dr. Kamanzi, who is organizing the first Pan African trade, exports, culture and investment summit in Kampala in June this year, invited African American entrepreneurs like Mr. Robert Blackwell who is a manufacturer of table tennis equipment, Ms. Patricia Hanes of the Chicago Supplier Development Council,  Mr. Larry Ivory, President of the Illinois Black Chamber of Commerce,  Mr. Ousman Conteh, Vice President of the Chicago Hotels Association, Mr. Rifet Durmick Vice President of the BMO Bank and many others to plan their journey to Kampala and “see for yourselves the opportunity in Uganda”.

Uganda’s Trade Representative in Chicago, Dr. Olivier Kamanzi

Mr. Blackwell, a leading African American entrepreneur in Chicago and a friend of former President Barack Obama, later held a private meeting with Odrek Rwabwogo and called for greater connection between Africa and African Americans. He said, “Africa has not taken seriously the bonds of friendship and relations between the continent and their kin in the USA as partners in enterprise development and economic growth”. He added that “corporations in India and China have done a good job connecting their people to the diaspora in the USA and Africa needs to take a cue”

The Commissioner of the Board of Cook County, one of the largest counties in the USA with a budget of over USD6.9bn, Ms. Donna Miller, spoke of the need for a stronger trade and cultural relationship between Uganda and the state of Illinois. The Mayor of the City of Chicago who was represented by Aldermans William Hall and David Moore called for an education exchange program between Uganda and the city of Chicago.

The meeting was also attended by Cody Lorance, one of Uganda’s trade representatives in the USA who spoke about the Endiro Coffee experience trading in the USA in specialty coffees at a consumer level. Endiro has a coffee outlet in the city of Aurora, an hour’s drive north of Chicago city. The PACEID team drove to the city of Aurora on Saturday to gain a better understanding of the coffee and other products retailing needs. The PACEID team will be in Washington DC this week to follow through on trade commitments between Uganda and the USA and hold a conference at the national press club.

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PACEID attracts investment in the cotton sector from China

ENPING, China:

The Presidential Advisory Committee on Exports and Industrial Development (PACEID) trade and export delegation visiting China over the weekend held an inspection tour of one of China’s largest integrated textile plants and asked the owners to channel part of their operation in Uganda under incentives that will allow them to supply the Africa market. The Kamhing Textile Company owned by Mr. Tai Chin Wen with his family and listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange has annual revenues of USD600m and processes 100million kilograms of cotton from lint, yarn, and fabric including knitting, printing, dying, and sells to western retail outlets such as Macy’s, Target, Walmart in the US and high fashion sports brands such as Nike and Adidas.

“We do not know much about Uganda and Africa and how to invest there, especially in a delicate product like cotton fabrics. We are not sure about water because we use a lot of steam, the levels of electricity stability, and the overall safety and security of the continent. If you can guarantee these things, we would consider a visit to explore the possibility of a partnership with the Government to source cotton and produce fabrics for the market there” said Mr. Tai Chin. Kamhing Textile Factory has product outlets on over 300 acres handling an integrated textile production, supplying Africa, Korea, Singapore, Vietnam, and many parts of Asia. “We can invest in phases if there are certain guarantees,” said Mr. Dai, General Manager of the company. The company which employs 5000 people has production facilities in Enping and Guangzhou regions in the southwest of China, with headquarters in Hong Kong.

Odrek Rwabwogo and Brenda Opus from PACEID touring the textile plant

Odrek Rwabwogo who led the nine-person delegation including Ambassador Kiema Kilonzo, Brenda Opus, Allan Mugisha, Joshua Akandwanaho, Enock Isingoma, and others, assured the company saying that “Uganda is at a critical stage of production increases of all agricultural commodities, a young and highly educated labor force and electricity provision at only USD5cents for manufactures. Next year, when we begin production of oil, we anticipate the beginning of a thriving petrol chemical industry that will provide us with dyes for printing for the cotton industry. If you invest today, you are an early bird and President Museveni will offer you all fiscal and market protection to give the country scale in this sector”.

Uganda’s per capita consumption of fabric per annum is 6 meters and total consumption is about 276million square meters, spending substantial amounts of foreign exchange importing used clothing. Both Fine Spinners and Nytil cotton factories in Kampala do not make a significant difference in domestic cloth consumption for imports, giving space for more large-scale investments in the sector to drive productivity at farm and firm levels.

PACEID aims to attract investment in the value chains of the products the country has set its sights on raising USD 6Bn in external earnings in the next five years.

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China’s Benton Technologies to set up an assembly facility for one million laptop computers for schools in Uganda

Benton Technologies Company, one of Shenzhen’s leading manufacturers of laptop computers, tablets, desktops, and makers of educational software will be investing USD30m in an assembly and production plant of one million laptops and tablets for Uganda’s primary and secondary schools. The company officials led by Mr. Li Kaifu and Mr. Victor Zhang on Saturday conducted the Presidential Advisory Committee on Exports and Industrial Development (PACEID) delegation in their high-level 20,000 square meter manufacturing facility on the outskirts of Shenzhen city of Guangdong province. The facility employs 300 people and produces 2000 units per day.

PACEID’s nine-person trade and export delegation comprising of government and private sector officials, was led by Chairman Odrek Rwabwogo. The team was in China to conduct buyer-seller sessions for Ugandan agro-industrial products for the China market and attract investments in food and mineral processing in Uganda. Shenzhen town, which is close to Hong Kong, is one of China’s fastest-growing electronics and export centers in the world. PACEID hopes to attract Chinese wholesale and distribution companies for Uganda’s food products. Uganda has a target of new USD6bn in five years from coffee, grains, dairy, beef, bananas, poultry, fruits and vegetables, tourism, cement, steel, and some others from the thirteen key products the government is focusing on. PACEID has set a target of USD100bn work of exports by 2062 when Uganda makes a century as an independent country.

PACEID Chairman Odrek Rwabwogo during a meeting with officials from Benton Technologies Company

Benton Technologies, said Mr. Li Kaifu, “integrates design, research, and development and is a producer of high-quality products in the computing industry for schools and institutions” He said, “It is a great opportunity to partner with Uganda and fulfill the vision of President Yoweri Museveni to add value to your mineral products by assembling some of our products in Uganda”. He added, “Uganda has provided good incentives to us and if we keep to the schedule, we should be able to bring in some inputs and assemble as soon as practicable”.

The company which sells its products to Amazon, AT&T, Rakuten, and Target Retail, some of the largest retailers and telecommunications providers in the USA, visited Uganda in January this year and met President Museveni who requested them to fulfill the vision of a growing computing industry to support manufacturing in Uganda. The company produces seven- and fourteen-inch children’s tablets for schools, mini personal computers, Point of sales (POS) machines, and conference projection equipment. 

Benton Technologies supplies 30 percent of its products to the US market,15 percent to Africa and the rest to the EU and South America market. It has 31 international customers including the governments of Malaysia, Myanmar (Burma), Kenya and Tanzania. The computing chip sets the company uses are made in partnership with USA’s Qualcomm and South Korea’s Samsung. Odrek Rwabwogo told the Benton Technologies team, “Uganda needs to graduate from the importation of PCs and tablets which cost us more than USD160m annually, and begin assembly and eventual manufacturing of these items in the country.

“The cables, circuit boards, plastic coverings, packaging material, can all be produced in Uganda if we are disciplined and enforce standards and stop taking manufacturing with a sense of casualness”. He added, “I am impressed that the village of Shenzhen of forty years ago, where Deng Xiaoping passed in 1992 before retiring and said China will never be poor again, now receives orders of high-level products from all over the world and it is an excellent city to work and live. I believe that our country too can do this very soon if we keep focused”

Odrek Rwabwogo touring Benton Technologies Company facility

Rwabwogo urged Benton Technologies to think through a full value proposition to Uganda incorporating energy solutions for the laptops to village schools, and internet accessibility to facilitate studies for studies and repairs and maintenance online. He also asked to think through a good distribution network that ensures products reach students and schools on time and are kept in good working condition for at least six years.

On Sunday, the PACEID delegation traveled to the region of Xiamen to meet coffee processors and other commodity off-takers.

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PACEID and Purple Skills Klinic Partnership Graduates over 100 in Various Fields    

On the Wednesday, 1st of May 2024, the Presidential Advisory Committee on Exports and Industrial Development (PACEID) and the Directorate of Industrial Training (DIT), in collaboration with the Purple Skills Klinic Foundation led by Douglas Lwanga, held a graduation ceremony at Eden Grounds in Kamwokya. The event marked the successful completion of a skilling training program by over 100 individuals, encompassing diverse fields; cosmetology, soap making, deejaying, baking, photography/videography, modeling, public speaking, graphic designing, and various other vocational skills among others.

The key speakers at the event were Dr. Patrick Byakatonda, the Director of DIT, and Matthew Bagonza, the Head of the Secretariat for PACEID. During their speeches, they congratulated the graduates and encouraged them to put the skills they had acquired to good use by contributing to the growth of the economy.

Matthew Bagonza, Head of PACEID Secretariat encouraged the graduates to use their acquired skills to better the economy

During his speech, Matthew Bagonza conveyed his heartfelt congratulations to the graduands and thanked Douglas Lwanga for the initiative that is aimed at bettering the lives and livelihoods of the people in the ghettos of Kamwokya before committing continued support for the Purple Skills Klinic going forward.

“The partnership between PACEID and DIT has been instrumental in equipping these young people with the necessary skills to thrive in various industries. We are confident that they will utilize their newfound knowledge and expertise to contribute to the success of Uganda’s exports and industrial development.” Bagonza said adding that the graduates now can use newfound expertise to add value to their respective products and contribute to Uganda’s target of USD 6Bn in the next five years.  

Matthew Bagonza and DIT Director, Dr. Patrick Byakatonda inspecting some of the products made by the graduates

Dr. Patrick Byakatonda took the opportunity to commission the graduates of the Purple Skills Klinic where the graduates were awarded modular occupational competence-based certificates in their respective fields. “The skills they have learned will be invaluable and I believe they will play a crucial role in the nation’s economic growth.”

DIT Director, Dr. Patrick Byakatonda

One of the guest speakers at the ceremony, Duncan Abigaba, a graduate student of international business at the Higher School of Economics in Saint Petersburg, Russia, expressed his delight at being part of the occasion. He extended his gratitude to PACEID for its contribution to empowering the youth in the ghetto with practical and employable skills.

Abigaba emphasized the significance of skilled labor in economic development and advocated for the promotion of locally produced goods in the international market. “Economies are built by skilled people not educated people. I encourage you to use your skills to produce quality goods and services that align with the national, regional, and international standards.”

Duncan Abigaba

Amidst the celebratory atmosphere, the graduates were treated to captivating performances by renowned entertainers including Pastor Wilson Bugembe, Nina Roz, Fefe Bussi, and Karole Kasita. These artistes imparted words of encouragement to the graduates, urging them to persevere and continue creating employment opportunities within their respective fields of expertise.

Douglas Lwanga, the Founder of Purple Skills Klinic applauded the joint efforts of PACEID and DIT for their support towards the success of the ceremony. “Thank you Mr. Odrek Rwabwogo, I know you are not here with us today but we appreciate the good work you and your team are doing not only for us but for the entire country.”

Purple Skills Klinic Foundation founder Douglas Lwanga with Kampala Woman MP, Hon. Shamim Malende

This served as a testament to the positive impact of collaborative initiatives aimed at nurturing vocational skills and enabling economic empowerment within communities. As the graduates embark on their professional journeys, they carry with them not only a certificate of accomplishment but also a sense of purpose and determination to contribute meaningfully to Uganda’s socio-economic landscape.

Douglas Lwanga is congratulated by Eastern Region Youth MP, Hon. Odoi Onen

The graduation ceremony was attended by government officials, industry leaders, and community members, all of whom celebrated the achievements of the graduates and their potential to contribute to the country’s economic prosperity. Prominent among these were Hon. Shamim Malende, Kampala Woman Member of Parliament, and Hon. Odoi Onen, Youth member of Parliament for the Eastern region.

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PACEID roots for market entry of Ugandan products into China

By Victor Musiimenta

In Guangzhou 

A nine person Uganda trade and exports delegation led by Mr. Odrek Rwabwogo, Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Exports and Industrial Development (PACEID), on Friday April 26th, 2024, rallied several Chinese agro-industrial companies that are product off-takers and investors in Guangzhou, Guangdong province of China, to focus on Uganda as a source of good agricultural products. 

The meeting which was attended by over 80 product buyers, investors in agriculture, mining, electronics, logistics and education services was held at the Oriental Resort Hotel just outside Shenzhen city. Rwabwogo praised the leadership of China since 1949 for providing a good example to developing countries on how to restore a nation, make it rich and strong saying, “city of Shenzhen which began experimentation with the Free zones export idea in the 1990s has led China’s economic resurgence and growth in the last 40 years”. The event was co-hosted by the Institute of African studies of the Guangdong university of foreign studies and CN light technologies, manufacturers of LED screens, computers, electronics and household goods. The event coincided with the annual Canton trade fair in China which takes place from April in the city of Shenzhen.

PACEID Chairman Odrek Rwabwogo in China

Speaking at the event, Prof. Liu Jisen, head of the Institute of African studies challenged Ugandan producers to ensure sustainability of supplies they promise to China. “We are working with importation of beef from Zambia. Why would we not try Ugandan beef? It is because we are not sure that even when you fulfill standards required in China, you will sustain the import demand here. China demands more food products and your consistency will be an issue if you do not plan ahead” he said. Prof. Liu asked how many products entry protocols Uganda has signed with China and requested to sign an understanding with the Ministry of Education’s Department of Industrial Training (DIT) in order to improve skills for Ugandan exporters. Uganda has Quota free duty-free product entry into China for more than 90 percent of her agricultural products but few protocols on standards and compliance measures on food safety have been signed by the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal industry and fisheries.

China which exports more than USD1.3bn annually to Uganda has made a case for Uganda’s avocados, bananas, pineapples, mangoes, Sesame, coffee, dried chili peppers, macadamia, castor oil and seeds, sorghum, cocoa and many more products but few Ugandan firms have been able to supply them. Uganda last year sold less than USD100m to China. The airport of Baiyun in Guangzhou handles more than 26million passengers and over 1.8million tones annually. The city and port of Guangzhou is one of the top ten import centers for China. Rwabwogo who presented the history of the trade relations with Asia from the year 1455 with Africa and the current changes Government of Uganda through PACEID has instituted to drive the target of USD6bn, assured the buyers of Uganda’s capacity to use export credit funding for firms that get orders. 

He said “we are improving the phytosanitary standards for our food products, modernizing our laws and regulations and their enforcement and also establishing trade representation in key markets. These are some of the new measures President Yoweri Museveni is applying to remove doubts from buyers of our food”. He added, “we are creating critical awareness about Uganda as a good source of products because of the reforms we are making in infrastructure such as energy, roads and water to reduce production costs for firms and improve the business environment”. Uganda has lately experienced a surge in production of commodities such as coffee, dairy and beverages and Government is investing approximately USD400m annually in Parish development model (PDM) to spur more household production. PACIED aims at connecting markets to the Uganda makes and encourages young people to use new technological channels to trade in the external markets being opened”. PACEID which works as a catalyst for ministries and departments of government that deal with exports and manufacturing, is building export product consortiums at regional level in order to make it easier for aggregators, transporters, financiers and investors in Agri value addition to source easier from Uganda.

The Uganda Consul General to Guangzhou, Dr. Judith Nsababeera who attended the PACEID buyer-seller summit, said, “We are building our own headquarters here for the embassy and we will work with PACEID to have an information centre and Trade Hub for Uganda products”. Uganda sells through Hong Kong small volumes of meat products including Fish maws, casein (ingredient of milk), coffee and grains such as simsim and more. The meeting which was attended by packaging, mining and electrical companies also had firms such as the Guangdong import and export company, wire and cable manufactures, Tourism related firms led by Kenten Structures Limited that specializes in large exhibitions, logistics and many others. 

Earlier in the day, the Ugandan delegation met the provincial government officials of Guangdong and visited CN lights company, meeting with senior officials of the firm. The delegation was conducted around the manufacturing facility which makes LED lights and solar panels. The company is investing more than USD30m in the next five years in an assembly and production plant for tablet computers, solar lights and other household appliances in Uganda. CN light which began in 1992, is listed on the stock exchange in Shanghai. It is led by Mr. Watson Chai and Mr. Dai Jen Wei. It has subsidiaries in production of textiles and fabrics, electronics, data security and computing. The company signed a memorandum of Understanding with PACEID to pursue the search for off takers of Ugandan products and investors in mining and agriculture.

The PACEID team which includes Ambassador Kiema Kilonzo consultant on regional trade and officials from NITA, will today, Saturday visit Foshan region to inspect computer production plants, textile companies and meet retailers of agricultural products.

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PACEID Urges Private Sector to Participate in the Kampala City Marathon to Debut in December 2024

At a press briefing this morning, Monday, April 29, 2024 at the Uganda Media Centre, Matthew Bagonza, the head of the Secretariat at the Presidential Advisory Committee on Exports and Industrial Development (PACEID), urged the private sector, particularly those in the tourism industry, to participate in the upcoming first edition of the Kampala City Marathon scheduled for December 2024.

The announcement was made by the Minister of State for Education and Sports, Hon. Peter Ogwang. The Kampala City Marathon is an initiative aimed at boosting tourism and investment in Uganda.

The Kampala City Marathon is being organized by the government through the Ministry of Education and Sports and PACEID in conjunction with the private sector to profile Uganda’s socio-cultural and economic endowment. The marathon will also aim to promote the health of the population- through engagement in physical activity as a lifestyle to prevent non-communicable diseases.

Minister of State for education and Sports, Hon. Peter Ogwang

In his remarks, Hon. Peter Ogwang revealed that the marathon is a ten-year project to brand Kampala City and Uganda as a preferred tourist destination as well as a strategy to generate revenue for the country.

“The Kampala City Marathon is poised to be one of the top marathon races in Africa that will be key in helping our country attract tens of thousands of visitors to experience the best of the Ugandan spirit and hospitality. It will also offer us an opportunity to showcase our stellar long-distance running tradition and of course, celebrate the beauty and diversity that makes Uganda truly unique. We also have the added benefit of doing this while keeping our people fit and thus reducing the burden of Non-Communicable Diseases.”

Hon. Ogwang also thanked President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, who is passionate about physical activity, for fully funding this first-ever edition of the Kampala City Marathon. “We thank His Excellency the President for his support and commitment to the physical well-being of Ugandans”.

The Kampala City Marathon will have four major races; 42.195km, 29.097km, 10km, and 5km. These events are expected to start and finish at the Mandela National Stadium and will be open to elite and regular local and foreign runners/joggers. The vision is to involve over 65, 0000 participants from all over the world in the 10 years.

Matthew Bagonza, PACEID Head of Secretariat
Matthew Bagonza, PACEID Head of Secretariat

Bagonza, speaking at the briefing, emphasized the importance of the private sector’s involvement in the success of the Kampala City Marathon. “We are excited to be launching the first Kampala City Marathon that will debut in December 2024, and we are calling on the private sector, especially those in the tourism industry, to come on board and be part of this exciting event”.

PACEID under the leadership of Odrek Rwabwogo is working with several government departments to help drive up Uganda’s export earnings through a multi-pronged approach, to increase export earnings to the country by more than 6 billion USD in the short to medium term and the Kampala City Marathon is one of such avenues.

Robert Verbeeck from Golazo will provide his vast experience in organizing international marathons

The idea is supported by the Commonwealth Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Sport, Enterprise and Development who is also the former Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Heritage and Culture, Amina Mohamed. Among her numerous wins are the revamped and very successful Kenya Safari Rally and the Nairobi City Marathon.

Former Cabinet Secretary Amina and her compatriot Ambassador Julius Kiema Kilonzo will be working with PACEID to help realize this dream. They will be supported by the Golazo team, a Belgian event management company with vast experience in organizing international marathons all over the world like; in Berlin, Nairobi, Rotterdam, and Brussels among others.

Robert Verbeeck from Golazo expressed confidence that the Kampala City Marathon will become a premier sporting event in the region, and also encouraged the private sector to get involved to make this a success.

The National Council of Sports and Uganda Athletics Federation are also involved in the organization to ensure that the marathon becomes a success.

The first edition of the Kampala City Marathon is scheduled to take place on the first weekend of December 2024, and organizers are expecting a strong turnout from both local and international participants.

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Odrek Rwabwogo: Eulogy for the late Mzee Ernest Kakwaano

By Odrek Rwabwogo

Chairperson, Exports & Industrial Advisory Committee.

The passing on of Mzee Ernest Kakwaano, 80, on Easter Sunday reminded us again of the sunset of a generation that stood for Uganda when few would; and even more poignantly, how much needs to be done to keep their example of humanness and patriotism alive as our country’s economy and politics continue to shift back and forth. The English language has no verb for the common adjective we use in everyday speech – the word ‘resilient’. If it had, I would perhaps use the verb ‘resele’ to describe this generation that we are fast losing!

Kakwaano became my friend in 1994, a couple of years after he left the Coffee Marketing Board (CMB) back into the private sector. The private sector is where he had horned his skills as an entrepreneur in Kenya in the 1970s, running a Japanese motor vehicle franchise in Nairobi. When we met, he had been dropped from CMB, removed from the property he occupied with his family, and shoved out of the limelight. It was the days of liberalization of the economy, and the end of marketing boards for commodities. It was also the peak of the IMF/World Bank Structural adjustment programs that emphasized getting the government out of social services in return for technical and financial support from the West.

Why I am reminded of this word ‘resilience’, for which I prefer the verb ‘resele’ if it ever appeared in the English lexicon, is that Kakwaano and a number of people like him, who would have had a sense of entitlement for the work they did in exile for the Movement such as saving lives, publicity, treating the wounded, rescuing families of those being persecuted, hiding rebel fighters in transit, etc.; they remained resilient and humble in the face of what often looked humiliating treatment. Kakwaano would have had a ‘legitimate right’ of sorts given he used his car business along with Alice, his wife’s time, to fund some of the NRM external wing activities. He, along with others, genuinely believed he should have been ‘perennially rewarded’ than many newcomers into the system. And in Kakwaano’s calm demeanor, through it all, lies the answer to some of today’s NRM problems. In Kakwaano’s death and his having remained silent about some of his misgivings, we understand the irony of growth and the need to keep certain principles alive. Growth brings change and often that very change can sweep us away. We are called to remain principled as leaders.

When the Movement was still small, the original organ of the National Resistance Council (NRC) of 38 people and even the expanded one in 1989, there were two principles that many of us admired then, when we were in high school. One was the idea of constructive criticism which stipulated that one could contend against the reigning view with good facts, and present a compelling case against a leading position, all in the confines of comradeship, without fear of being misunderstood or losing their job. Constructive criticism saved the young organization from corrupt elements and liars within as they were exposed internally. This method also gave meaning and significance to the value of the Movement’s ideology even to those who were opposed to it at the time. This is why the Movement largely won over people with the power of argument not money or use of intimidation and brute force.

The second idea was collective decision-making by consensus without subjecting key decisions to a vote. A vote would be the last resort if something was deeply controversial and endlessly divisive with a possibility that the public could misconstrue it. That is how many of us young then supported the arrest of Col. Kiiza Besigye, Maj. Gen. David Ssejusa, Gen. Henry Tumukunde, and many other army officers when they dabbled in politics. We understood well that the 1966 crisis that introduced Idi Amin into Uganda’s politics was the genesis of much trouble the country went through. That kind of consensus was an underlying generally accepted way to approach controversial public issues so that our country could heal from the past. And even when consensus failed and a vote was taken, there would be steps taken to heal the side that would have lost the argument and bring them back. The main idea was to convince people to see the correctness of a particular line of thinking and not political posturing. Those who opposed a particular stand in a meeting would be given all the time to speak plainly without fear and if they didn’t convince the majority, they (the minority) would never step out of the room and speak ill of what had been collectively decided on.

These two tools in our work methods were slowly abandoned after 2001 and even worse after 2005 with the pressure to return to party politics. To expand our support base, we dropped or perhaps I could say, watered down, the key values that partly gave us the initial support from intellectuals, workers, and peasants. These groups had been the bulwark of defense against infiltration. The reason the death of Kakwaano reminds me of all this is that the ones who loved the Movement most when these principles were shaken, decided to go silent in respect of the founding principles. The newcomers with limited teaching and awareness, took over and often confused leadership with the titles and positions they came to occupy. They weren’t schooled in these principles and were in a hurry to get to the top. They didn’t understand that leadership is not a job. It is having a burden on how to move society forward. In the watering down of some of these principles and more, we now see results in the quality and depth of leadership in the public sector. Yes, Expansion is good but principles are greater at keeping that expansion within a prescribed growth trajectory that retains values for an organization’s future. If you sacrifice principles at the expense of growth, an organization will struggle to cope with changes in the economy, demographics, and the much-needed thinking on how to organize for tomorrow. I believe that we can remain democratic and still enforce discipline and a standard of leadership for the young people who have joined the Movement over the years.

While I look back reminiscing over the old days, I recognize that every season has its good side and a bad one. There is no neutrality in life. I see that we will not be able to return to the past. We have to build afresh with humility, which is what Mzee Kakwaano’s example reminds us all. In 1994 when I took an evening job at his industrial graphics company, I understood him as a man of few words but a large warm heart. We would work with him on stories to very late in the night for a newspaper he founded called, the Market Place. He would edit the paper with us before it went to press. At about 1 am, he would take us out for a drink and a warm meal in the small corner restaurants of Entebbe town.

There I would pester him with questions about his life, family, work, and how he ended up in exile, and what motivated him as a businessman after losing a job in government. He was always open and we remained friends till he passed on.

While I am saddened by the fact of my not being able to see him on his deathbed given the heavy pressures now placed on our days at work, I have no sense of guilt or shame with him. This is because last year, he made it to a coveted list of mentorship awards that President Museveni gives to those in advanced age who have served our country well. We were able to speak about him among his friends in his hearing and he got to know us younger people and how much we recognize his work for the Movement and the country. On that February day at Sheraton last year, I unburdened myself of any guilty feelings about these old people by saying thank you to them publicly. In one year, three have left us and gone in peace. They include Honorables Henry Kyemba and Cecila Ogwal, now joined by Ernest Kakwaano. They were all on the honor roll for the year 2023.

God keep your soul in peace Mzee Kakwaano.

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Hon. Tagesse Chaffo Dullo, Speaker of the House of Peoples Representatives

MENTORSHIP 2024: Hon. Tagesse Chaffo Dullo’s full keynote speech

Your Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni;

Excellencies;

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Gyebale Ko

Greetings,

First of all, allow me, Your Excellency, to extend my sincere appreciation and heartfelt thanks to the people and government of Uganda for the warm welcome and hospitality accorded to me and My delegation since our arrival to Uganda, the pearl of Africa. I would particularly seize this opportunity to appreciate Honorable Anita Annet Among, Speaker of the Parliament of the Republic of Uganda, for welcoming me from the moment I disembarked from the plane.

Let me begin by expressing my heartfelt gratitude to my brother, His Excellency Yoweri Museveni, and his government for establishing a national platform to recognize public servants who served their country with integrity and courage that future generations of this great country will undoubtedly look up to as modeling a character. We must acknowledge African role models and create avenues for them to shine, inspiring African youth and beyond.

We must empower and pave the way for African youth to assume their rightful positions through the right mentorship and guidance. As we strive for Economic growth, innovation, peace, and stability, we must not just include young African leaders but also actively engage and empower them. Their unique perspectives and talents can significantly contribute to these vital goals of our well-being. We must also acknowledge their outstanding achievements publicly on such a decorated platform.

I know that the Right Honorable Dr. Jacob Oulanyah is a brilliant and ambitious young African who has dedicated himself to improving his nation and Africa. I would also like to congratulate the family of the late awardee for leading by example. Regrettably, he could not accept this honor in person and spend more time with his loved ones while serving his beloved country.

But his loved ones, those who survive him, are honored by his services, and I believe they will carry on his legacy. Seeing Hon. Andrew Oulanyah, his son, following his father’s example filled me with immense pleasure. This is a testament to his father’s leadership and values passed on to the next generation, who deserve recognition.

Your Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni;

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen

Such recognition platforms spearheaded by His Excellency President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, also the storehouse of Wisdom of Africa, empower African youth to learn from relatable role models to demonstrate the distinctiveness of African heritage, values, and societal fabric. Africa’s vast and diverse heritage, shaped by thousands of years of history, traditions, and practices, has significantly influenced agricultural, medical, and architectural industries worldwide.

This legacy displays the innovative thinking and inventiveness of its citizens. The great achievers have had. The current African generation needs to get the great lessons from our ancestors and bring Africa to its rightful position in the world. With the current global situation, young African leaders must adopt a unique and practical approach to lead their communities to a brighter future.

In order to achieve success, we must strive for excellence by setting a grand vision and putting in the necessary effort with impeccable time management Skills. Let us aim high and work diligently to reach our vision. I can assure you with the right eye, provision comes. My message today for African Youths is to celebrate and honor our distinctive African values, no matter what challenges come our way. Let us follow in the footsteps of Ugandans who are making every effort to preserve these values with utmost dedication. Let us not forget that our values define our very being and form the foundation of our cultural heritage.

They are the essence of our identity, and we must honor them by passing them on to the next generation. With pride and reverence, let us hold our values close, for they are the key to our future. It is high time to trust in our abilities to solve African Issues. We know what goes wrong with us better than anyone else, so why should we invite foreign interference? Let us embrace African solutions for African problems and take control of our destiny. By implementing this concept in Ethiopia, we overcame challenges and reap the benefits. Similarly, having 60 percent of the population without access to electricity is a problem.

To address this problem, we envision building a magnificent Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dame, and to make it a reality, we invested 4.7 Billion USD from our coffers. It wasn’t an easy feat- we encountered numerous challenges, including accessing international organizations’ finances. However, we persevered and overcame the issue of finance coordinating our population. Now, we are proud to say that we are exporting electric power to our neighboring countries as a testament to the success of our efforts. Ethiopia’s Prime Minister, Dr. Abiy Ahmed, the only Peace Prize winner among African leaders, is a young leader like you. He got the prize for his capacity to bring African solutions to African Problems. Problems are meant to be solved, and instead of being discouraged by difficulties, we should embrace them as opportunities. We have several tangible African testimonies that can inspire the present youths. As our world-class long-time athletic legend Haile Genresilassie said, “It’s possible. I repeat it: it is possible.

Your Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni;

Excellencies;

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a known fact that we Africans are a continent that is a cradle of civilization, from Ethiopia’s monolithic churches of Lalibela to Uganda’s Kasubi tombs, from Kushite Egypt’s and Sudanese pyramids to Great Zimbabwe ruins, from Ashanti to Timbuktu, every one of which speaks to our magnificent past. This demonstrates Africa’s significant contributions to world civilization in critical areas such as science, technology, and education, all of which our young should learn from.

To unify Africa, the founding fathers had first to break free of colonialism. They had to pay the price for winning a long and difficult battle against exploitation. The battle of Adwa dealt a crushing blow to colonialism and became an emblem of hope for black people in Africa and around the world. In gold letters, history chronicles the names of our ancestors who fought to transition the continent from colonialism to independence and union. Their anti-colonial souls sang to the tune of Pan-Africanism. The founding forefather envisioned a united continent adorned with solidarity, where generations lived their passions to the fullest and worked for the betterment of their children while bound by sovereignty and cooperated.

The Adwa of our time, a battle we must win, is to overcome the bleak legacy of colonialism and neocolonial practices by steering a new version of Pan-Africanism to free Africa from the shackles of underdevelopment. Governments should circumvent the neocolonial system and adequately address the continent’s ongoing challenges of economic reliance, corruption, and stagnant development. We must work together to capitalize on Africa’s immense natural and human resources to benefit her children.

It is our collective responsibility to leave a better Africa for the next generation through the execution of the following fundamental measures:

Your Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni;

Excellencies;

Ladies and Gentlemen,

First comes achieving tangible prosperity by establishing a solid national and continental identity, promoting the rule of law, committing to a peaceful transition of power, establishing competent administration, and prioritizing growth.

They are cultivating industrious and inward-looking youth with indigenous ideals such as Medmer/synergy so that they are conscious of their communities, countries, and continents, as well as the strength and resources they have to succeed in a changing world. Today’s Leaders are expected to demonstrate Pan-Africanism and educate our youth that we flourish in unity and collaboration.

Targeting Universal Education is one technique for creating a knowledgeable generation. Restoring religious institutions, schools, and media is crucial for the holistic development of our youth. Our students should benefit from technology literacy; thus, broadening their experience in this area is vital.

Second, it is vital to develop open economies and domestic asset bases while encouraging trade and commerce. We must continue to deepen regional integration, such as expediting the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA) and increasing infrastructural connectivity among our countries to connect communities, enhance trade, and enable economic integration. Building roads and expanding rail networks, communication networks, and pipes to fulfill the rising need for clean water and energy is a critical step toward realizing the benefits of regional and continental integration. Import substitution, industrialization, and strengthening regional trade ties are also essential.

Third, we strive to realize the Africa we want by meeting Agenda 2063 milestones and other continental and global strategic frameworks. While we appreciate and acknowledge our accomplishments thus far, we must guarantee that we remain on track for the future. In this way, our struggle against neocolonial systems will be on the right track.

Fourth, sustaining peace and stability is critical to economic and social progress. We must use more innovative and indigenous approaches to dispute resolution that align with our maxim “African solutions to African challenges.” In today’s post-fact circumstances, young people need to be able to recognize legitimate and advantageous information. This empowers our young people to promote peace and stability by addressing problems and grievances through appropriate channels.

The National Leadership/Mentorship Award is an excellent reminder to leaders and public servants of their responsibilities. Today’s awardee has been dubbed a “man of three principles” because he made decisions by asking the three questions: “Is it okay with God? Is it okay with the law; will I sleep well if I do that?” He wanted his children to be proud of “using his name and was focused on doing good, winning fairly, and eating only his share.” The Ethiopian proverb “ስም ከመቃብር በላይ ይውላል” translates to “reputations outlive graves.” This award demonstrates that the late Right Honorable Dr. Jacob traveled the path of integrity until the end, which is the kind of character to model for youth.

Public servants should exemplify such integrity by addressing injustice and unfairness, refraining from power abuse, and prioritizing the next generation. We consider ourselves a steward of a magnificent country and content, passing them down to future generations. Our civil service systems and government structures should allow for significant youth representation and co-creation of solutions, hence contributing to sustainability.

Your Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni;

Excellencies;

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Being a public servant is an honor as it is a service to the nation and its people. Let us keep this in mind while we serve our nations and continent with dedication.

Congratulations again to the late Right Honorable Dr. Jacob’s loved ones on this outstanding award.

Thank you! Weebale

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Odrek Rwabwogo’s full speech at the 2024 National Mentorship Awards Luncheon

Mr. President

The visiting speaker of the House of People’s Representatives of the Federal Republic of Ethiopia, the Honorable Tagesse Chaffo Dullo.

The elders who will be awarded today,

Cabinet Ministers

Members of Parliament,

Young people, who joined us at this year’s mentorship luncheon

I thank you very much Mr. President for allowing to host this luncheon and to award the crop of old people we chose for 2024. Last year, you were kind enough to send us the retired PM Hon. Amama Mbabazi (who is here) to preside over the mentorship dinner at Sheraton.

I thank the Prime Minister of Ethiopia Hon. Ahmed Abiy whom Your Excellency sent us to, for in turn sending us Speaker Tagesse to be our keynote speaker today.

Some of the yardstick we use to arrive at cohorts to award annually include the following traits:

  1. The years of service a person has put into work for Uganda,
  2. The quality of decisions they made when they had authority,
  3. The depth, intensity, and character of the person,
  4. The kind of changes or reforms they instituted
  5. The impact they have even in retirement

As you might notice, the categories we choose cut across science and technology, art and culture, enterprise and manufacturing, politics and religion, and many other areas of life. Uganda has many good people who have laid foundations for our country but few are known and even fewer are celebrated. I got to know this when we began with nominations last year that ran into 60 + people yet we wanted few. We were not sure who to pick and who to leave out.

That gave me hope to know there are many people out there who build in silence but in the end, our country keeps united, stable, and growing.

To mentor is to guide; to illuminate a path for a young person by an elder, a sort of apprenticeship in life by the older to the young. Often it can be reversed given where one has knowledge and the young can mentor the old too. Mentorship is a good classroom for young people in leadership but sadly we haven’t been deliberate at it. We have not been intentional in creating seedbeds of leaders to guide institutions and the country in a world so competitive and set against Africa.  I woke up to this reality years back when I would be teaching and young people ask questions that show they are unhinged from the reality of what it takes to build a home, a business, an institution, or a country. Many come into leadership without preparation and they often confuse leadership with positions and titles.

There are about four mental architectures I get from young people especially because of the changes wrought by the internet and social media.

The first category is Avoidance. Young people severely reduce quality relationships for fear of opening up to causes that are bigger than them. They do not want to be hurt; they pretend all is well using clean-cut social media images of themselves; they appear strong on the outside but pretty weak inside; they do not want to be vulnerable by consulting elders on what they don’t know. They assume they know it all. In the end, they do not fulfill their purpose, and their potential remains underutilized. This category I meet regularly and they are full of criticism and less knowledgeable on what to do.

The second category is those who suffer from what psychologists call Deprivation. These were raised by self-centered caregivers who showed them that their needs do not matter. They develop an inner critic that tells them, ‘You don’t matter to the world, you are on your own’. These youth often have unworthy feelings and they struggle to fit in. This category is easily abused by peers and led into alcohol or drugs because deep in their hearts they have a yearning to fit in.

The third category is the ones we call overreactive youth. Often, they were abused when they were young and threatened by circumstances. Those thoughts stayed with them through life. They see no neutrality in anything. Everything that doesn’t take their view is menacing and should be fought!

The world to them is a dangerous place and there should be no compromises. They overreact and lash out at small inconveniences. They don’t want to wait. They are impatient and confuse time with seasons. (Cronos versus Kairos). These miss the calling on their lives and rush into instant gratification and kill their tomorrow.

The fourth category I meet is passive aggressors. This group has repressed anger over the years, probably against parents or their caregivers and peers. They sidestep open communication to avoid conflict and confrontation even when this confrontation might heal them of this anger. They have trouble dealing with negative emotions; they turn this passive aggression into a subtle power play. They manipulate others so that they can make them feel guilty and in return get their affection.

All the above categories need mentoring because these are the young people who will come into leadership with these emotional, social, and political deficits. These mental frames are the raw material a country has to produce leaders of tomorrow. It is the reason we use these mentorship sessions annually to create a bridge between the young and the old. A bridge is a good metaphorical example in life. It helps you cross to the other side so you can understand it better. If you keep this side of your river, you will never know that life has to be lived on both sides for a sense of maturity and leadership to emerge. These old people have crossed that bridge of life and returned and they are good examples to study from. Mentorship isn’t just verbal. It is also watching the actions and reading the thoughts of those ahead of you and discerning what to do for your time.

Take Mzee Kintu Musoke as an example. At age 14, he watched his uncle Simeoni Kintu, arrested in 1949 simply for asking to be allowed to go in his cotton farm. He saw a force of Turkana men imported by the British to quell the Katwe riots, descend on fellow Africans, and beat them badly. Kintu Musoke would join Ignatius Musaazi as a young boy to campaign for independence. When he got to India for his studies, he mobilized two other young men – Kirunda Kivejinja and Bidandi Ssali and; together they forged a bond that helped them deal with the politics of Uganda over the years, as a team. They remained committed to Uganda and each other’s ideas. Why don’t you as young people ask them the questions of life, parenting, ideology, and how to keep a country united even if there are political pressures from all corners, internal and external to not work together?

These values of commitment to something higher are partly why we remember Jacob Oulanyah too today. I thank his family for allowing us to use him as a point of connection to illuminate the path for young people and to celebrate the life of these old people when they can still hear and see us. Every time we celebrate the life of old people when they are alive, I feel a burden lifted off my shoulders, a sense of relief. This is because speeches at funerals aren’t helpful to the ones you would have told when they were alive so that they can know you value(d) their life.

Jacob Oulanyah and his first wife Jennifer, were my friends and I know they cared much about the quality of institutions for the country. They also had a deep sense of fairness and justice. Jacob in particular knew how to suspend judgment and hold two opposing opinions and still walk gingerly through life. He had a sense of commitment to what he chose to do. Commitment to something higher than self is what brings true meaning and significance to life. When you commit to something, you are not just making promises. You are re-ordering your life to fulfill this commitment. Jacob understood that choices mean depth and not superficiality and that each choice we make has costs.

For example, when he left one side of the political spectrum, he was not liked where he left. Some members of the group he joined were suspicious of him preferring to keep a distance. It is standing at half-way house and not knowing who to trust. He moved on nevertheless. He was also a peacemaker and without him in the Juba peace talks, perhaps, we would have missed the very compelling voice of some diaspora groups that didn’t understand the war in northern Uganda yet kept pushing for its continuation out of selfishness. He spoke plainly and convincingly when he took a stand on an issue. This is why we use his example this year as a connecting bridge between the young and the old.

Perhaps Jacob picked his reconciliation and forgiveness pathway through his suffering as a student and beyond – both mentally and physically. I know very much that those who suffer forgive most. The playwright Thornton Wilder in his short poem from the play, ‘The Angel That Troubled The Waters’, says “Without your wounds, where would your power be? It is your very remorse that makes your low voice tremble into the hearts of men. The very angels themselves cannot persuade the wretched and blundering children on earth as can one human being broken on the wheels of living. In love’s service, only the wounded soldiers can serve”.

I am glad we celebrate you, old people and remember Jacob on a day just before Good Friday. May the example of unity of generations we see today, mend our broken areas and keep us strong as a country.

Now to you, young people who came to witness this occasion, keep doing the right thing even if you are under pressure to digress, to join the crowd of wrongdoers in your offices, farms, or the private sector. Last night I was listening to a country singer called Johnny Cash, who died in 2003. Its words say, “No, I won’t back down, there is no easy way out, I will stand my ground, I won’t be turned around, because, I know what is right. I got just one life and, in a world, pushing me around, I will still stand my ground. You can stand me at the gates of hell but I won’t backdown”

I ask that you look at those who have done well by serving our county and learn from them. Don’t back down from doing the right thing.

And to our elders, it is in the sunset of our lives that we get tired and make mistakes. We ask you to remain a shining example to our young people to the end in your word and deed. It is in your good example that together with young people, we can create a RAFT to help us cross to a brighter future for all of us as a country and a continent.

Once again, I thank H.E. the President for allowing us to do this here and for gracing this event with his presence

Speaker Tagesse for being with us

Speaker Anita Among who came to the airport to receive our gest with us

The state house team that helped us with this work

PACEID team of young people

Thank you and the Lord God bless you all.

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