By Najib Mulema
The Chinese Embassy in Uganda has injected shs200 million in this year’s Dragon Boat Festival.
The event is scheduled to take place on 16 June, 2018 at Uganda Wildlife Educational Centre (UWEC).
This was revealed by the Chinese Ambassador in Uganda Zheng ZhuQiang during the Dragon Boat media launch which took place on Wednesday at Arirang Restaurant in Kampala.
Mr. ZhuQiang applauded China Africa Friendship Association in Uganda (CAFAU) for keeping the promise of making Dragon Boat Festival an annual event.
The Ambassador also revealed that in this second edition of the festival, a number of committees responsible for several activities have been put on board to make sure that the event is successful.
He said that this year, they expect the festival to be more secure, professional, joyful and much bigger than the first edition.
At the same event, State Minister for Tourism Godfrey Kiwanda said the Dragon Boat festival is a big milestone to Uganda since it creates and enhance cordial relationship and cooperation between the two countries.
He noted the festival promotes Uganda’s tourism, sports as well as culture and it is through those activities that Chinese are attracted to invest in the country thus boasting the economy.
The minister further disclosed that Uganda targets four million tourists by 2020 and Dragon boat festival is one of the attractions the country has improvised to hit the goal.
He said if Uganda could get only 1% of Chinese tourists, it would be among the most visited countries in Africa by the Chinese.
“Dragon boat festival is one of the activities Uganda is promoting to boast tourism. If we could get 1% of the Chinese tourists then Uganda will be among the most visited African countries by Chinese nationals,” said Mr. Kiwanda.
The minister also requested CAFAU to organize dragon boat racing on every water body in the country to create awareness as well as bringing the activity closer to people in various parts of Uganda.
Eng. Benon Mugarura, the CAFAU chairman commended the relationship between Uganda and China.
He said the Dragon Boat Festival is helping the two countries to strengthen their cordial relationship through creating interaction and friendship.
Unlike in the first edition, Mr. Vincent Musubire, the Director external relations at CAFAU also overall coordinator of the festival revealed that this time round they expect to have more interesting activities though boat racing will headline the event.
He said there will be kite performance, Chinese lions games, local canoes, Chinese food tasting among others.
Mr. Musubire also said various Chinese associations in Africa and China are expected to attend the event and there will be participation from all those sides.
“We have already prepared very active training grounds because we want participation to be more professional. We also expect various associations in Africa and China to attend the function. This will make the event more colourful,” he said.