PUBLISHED — 14th, November 2023

Uganda's readiness for the 19th NAM Summit and Third South Summit has been emphasized at the grand media launch held at Serena Hotel, Kampala on Tuesday.

During the event, the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs in charge of Regional Affairs, John Mulimba rallied the media to join forces in sensitizing the public about the upcoming 19th Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit and the Third South Summit.

The two Summits are scheduled to take place from January 15th to the 23rd  2024, at Speke Resort Munyonyo.

“You are partners in this and I want you to engage in sensitization efforts, report responsibly, and promote the positive aspects of Uganda.” Mulimba said.

He urged the media to join hands in marketing the event to the public and the international community.

Lucy Nakyobe, the Head of Public Service and chairperson of the National Organizing Committee of the NAM-G77 Summits, emphasized that the event's objective was to provide a comprehensive update to both the national and international communities regarding Uganda's readiness to host these significant gatherings. The aim is to bring together global leaders to address pressing global issues and enhance cooperation among member nations.

Addressing the media, Nakyobe emphasized the collaborative nature of the preparations, stating, "We are in this together – you, the media, and us. It is our role to ensure that these summits are attended in big numbers and are held successfully."

Highlighting the themes for the two summits, Nakyobe revealed that the NAM Summit's theme is 'Deepening Cooperation for Shared Global Affluence,' while the South Summit will focus on 'Leaving No One Behind.' Both events are expected to foster international cooperation and address global challenges.

“I want to assure you all that the country is secure to receive the international visitors coming in January, and everything is ready. We are ready for our guests. But I still call upon the general public to continue the vigilance,” Nakyobe said.

The media launch showcased the planning in progress since November 2022, with confidence expressed in Uganda's readiness to host these significant global gatherings.

As part of the comprehensive preparations, crucial infrastructure enhancements are underway. Road repairs, including those leading to the Summits, are in progress. The Convention Center at Munyonyo is on track for timely completion, and maintenance work at the airport has been successfully concluded.

The airport, a focal point for international arrivals, is undergoing extensive readjustments. These include the expansion of the main terminal building, the construction of a VVIP parking area, and the establishment of a new search area, which is already completed. The additional terminal block is set to be operational, enhancing the airport's capacity.

Nakyobe informed that the main framework of the NAM outcome document is ready for adoption, building on the Ministerial meeting outcome document agreed upon in Baku in July 2023. Work is ongoing for the G77 outcome document.

Ensuring comfortable accommodation for delegates, including VVIPs, has been a priority. All hotels have undergone sensitization and inspections, assuring their readiness to receive guests.

Dorothy Kisaka, the Executive Director of the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), highlighted the city's efforts to ensure trade order and cleanliness.

"Ensuring trade order is a mandate of KCCA. Our enforcement team, which includes the Rapid Response Unit (RRU), is dedicated to ensuring that trading activities occur in authorized locations. We are actively dismantling illegal structures and addressing the issue of street children." Kisaka said.

She appealed to residents to refrain from trading in illegal areas and called on the media to assist in creating awareness about responsible city practices.

"Our teams are actively engaging communities on the ground to raise awareness, and we're committed to installing dustbins in areas lacking them. However, it's crucial to recognize that cleanliness starts with individual responsibility. We call on all leaders to endorse and support these initiatives." Kisaka said.

In preparation for the summits, KCCA has undertaken road repairs, maintenance, enhanced drainage and flood management, street lighting, and construction projects in the city.

Amina Zawedde, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Information, Communication Technology, and National Guidance said the upgraded internet infrastructure promises efficient and uninterrupted connectivity during the global events.

Ambassador Adonia Ayebare, introduced as Nakyobe's deputy, further emphasized the strength of the team leading the preparations.

“There are many benefits for Uganda hosting these summits. These countries are developed countries like India, China we can leverage this to get Foreign Development Investment like all the other countries that have chaired the summits,” Ayebare said.

Development partners