Article from November 19th, 2013
At Yokohama City University, we aim to cultivate human resources who can be globally active in the international community. As part of this, we invite VIPs from various countries every year to give lectures. In 2010, the invited speakers were US Ambassador John V.Roos and APEC Executive Director Muhamad Noor Yacob. In 2011, it was the turn of Italian Ambassador Petrone. And 2012, German Ambassador Stanzel. This year, Uganda Ambassador Akech-Okullo gave a lecture entitled “Uganda: Pearl of Africa” dealing with Uganda’s economy, business, politics, and so on. In each case,the discussion was held in English, and the event provided valuable experience for the students who participated.
The Pearl of Africa—Uganda—
11/19/2013, I attended the lecture about Uganda presented by the ambassador. Uganda is called “The Pearl of Africa”, it is named by former prime minister of the United Kingdom, Sir Winston Churchill. Uganda has beautiful jungles and various kinds of creatures, but there are not only positive things in this country.
In Africa, there was a dark history and Uganda is not an exception. In 1804 pre-colonial history in Uganda started. Then that year, some same ethnic groups were divided into different countries because the British, France and other European countries did not consider the ethnic identities when they drew the borders. I was shocked hearing that because the same ethnic group people were forced to live as foreigners. I can’t imagine how they felt.
After Uganda’s independence, Uganda experienced large economic growth and became one of the most important countries in Africa. For example, it has large export of fish, coffee and flowers. I think Uganda will develop more and more because they have many investment opportunities that they have not been invested in yet, like tourism and Communication Technology, especially in IT.
Uganda is now developing in many respects and more development is expected. What is needed for more development in Uganda’s future? I think it is the full establishment of education system. I had a question during the lecture. It was about gender equality. Uganda is the first African country with a woman holding the highest political office and women make up 40% of cabinet and parliament. This is because they’re promoting “Affirmative Action” which are effective tools for redressing the injustices caused by the nation’s historic discrimination against women. However, for young children like elementary school students, this action is not effective. According to H.E. Betty Grace Akech-Okullo, after school girls are forced to help their mothers at the kitchen. This means girls don’t have time to study. To raise women who will play an active part in the world, education is crucial. For further development in Uganda, many talented people are going to be needed and they are not only boys but also girls. For that, higher quality of education system is required.
Uganda is much more developed about the movement of women into society than the other developed countries today. I think Uganda has possibility to become “Pearl of the World” not “Pearl of Africa” in the future and lead the International Society.
I learned so many things during this lecture though it was only 90 minutes. I’ll continue to study to gain more knowledge about Uganda.
Written by Kaoru Nagasawa,
Junior, International College of Arts and Sciences