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Diaspora Events | Uganda Embassy DC | Independence Day Celebrations 15th Oct 2021 – Bethesda North Marriott Hotel, MD

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Posted October 23, 2021 by Ugandan Diaspora News Team in Uganda Embassy DC ~ 1,713 views

     


Special Report — On Friday October 15th all roads led to the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel and Conference Center in Maryland as Uganda’s Embassy in Washington DC celebrated Uganda’s 59th Independence Day celebrations. Presided over by H.E. Amb. Mull Sebujja Katende event was a colorful evening that featured traditional dancers from Uganda, members of Congress, Diplomats, Heads of missions from across Africa and many other friends of Uganda in the tour and travel sector.

Chief guest and representing the US government was Ms. Chidi Blyden Rowe, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for African Affairs at The Pentagon. In her remarks Madam Rowe reaffirmed the friendship between Uganda and the USA that has lasted many years. She also acknowledged the devastating effects of the pandemic on the global economy.

She informed her audience that the US had contributed more than 100 million dollars in direct assistance to help detect, prevent and respond to covid 19 cases in Uganda. She appreciated Uganda as a valued partner in the prevention of the spread of terrorism in East Africa. Uganda’s tireless efforts in stabilizing the East African region as the largest contributor of the African Union peacekeeping force in Somalia was equally appreciated.

She noted that most recently, the government of Uganda had given the Afghan refugees a safe passage and temporary shelter before they move on to their onward destinations a gesture that has won Uganda many friends on the International stage. However, there were sticking issues and this she also addressed that as friends there are areas where Uganda and the US disagree, citing the conduct of the recent elections and the violence leading to the run up of those elections. She also observed the continued suppression of those organizations working within the democracy and governance space and the need for a vibrant civil society in Uganda. She then congratulated all Ugandans on their 59th Independence anniversary.

In his opening remarks Amb. Katende acknowledged the warm congratulatory messages from President Biden and Secretary Blinken together with all the other countries accredited to the Washington embassy. 
He was quick to mention the impact of covid on the global economy and the many disruptions the pandemic has caused both in Uganda and abroad. He however noted that due to the resilience of the Ugandan people and after more than 59 years of independence, The Ugandan economy had grown USD $1.3B to USD $42B annually since the NRM came to power.

Amb. Katende also reminded his audience that the Uganda embassy in Washington DC was established in 1964 following the establishment of the UN Permanent in Newyork. The Ambassador also applauded the long starting partnership with the US Government in areas of Health especially more recently were the US has provided Uganda with more than 2.3m Covid vaccine doses under the COVAX arrangement that the Biden administration is using to provide safe and effective vaccines across the globe.

In partnership with the US Department of Defense the Uganda government has been able to promote regional peace and obtain technical support to combat terrorism and secure East Africa’s most troubled spots like Somalia. Other areas of cooperation have included refugee repatriation and resettlement. Currently Uganda hosts the largest number of refugees in Africa estimated at more than 1.4 million. This means that those who face security challenges in their countries choose Uganda as their first choice of safety in our region. It is also in this spirit that Uganda recently welcomed distressed Afghans for temporary relocation, at the request of the U.S Government. 

Ambassador Katende also reiterated that it is also in this spirit that Uganda recently welcomed distressed Afghans for temporary relocation, at the request of the U.S Government at Entebbe. Other areas of cooperation Ambassador Katende noted that the AGOA partnership will be under review at the AGOA Ministerial meeting, among which to assess the efficacy of the AGOA U.S-Africa partnership. Whereas AGOA is the best that has happened in U.S-Africa relations, for some endogenous and exogenous reasons its impact remains debatable. He later proposed a toast to the good health of US President before cutting the independence day cake.

A special thank-you to the embassy staff for putting together a colorful celebration. Video courtesy of Diaspora Television. All images appear courtesy of Uganda Diaspora News. (Click on the 8 page gallery below)


About the Author

Ugandan Diaspora News Team

Ugandan Diaspora News Online is an independent, non political news portal primarily aimed at serving Ugandans who work and reside outside Uganda. Our aim is to be a one stop shop for everything Ugandan and the celebration of our Ugandan heritage.

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