Uganda will participate in the Expo 2020 Dubai which has kicked off today 1st October 2021 and will run until 31st March 2022 in the United Arab Emirates.
Hon John Mulimba the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs told the media in Kampala on Friday, that Uganda will join over 190 countries and international organizations to participate in Expo, following an invitation by the organizer – the Government of UAE and the International Bureau of Expositions.
The theme of the Expo is “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future” with three (3) sub-themes of “Mobility”, “Opportunity” and “Sustainability.” The Minister says Uganda is participating under the “Opportunity” subtheme.
Uganda’s objectives for participation in Expo 2020 Dubai are; To promote trade between Uganda and the greater Middle East market which had a total import bill of US$ 1.889 billion in 2020, initially targeting; United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar, and Oman.
The priority products for promotion during the Expo also include; Coffee, Black tea, Cocoa, Fish and fish products (Nile perch and tilapia), Fruits (avocado, bananas, mangoes, and pineapples); Vegetables and spices including hot pepper (capsicums), ginger and cardamom, Kidney beans, mung beans, and sesame, Dairy products, especially milk powder, and Processed food products particularly dried fruits (mango, pineapple, papaya, and jack fruit).
Minister Mulimba says that from their analysis, there is great untapped market potential with products such as coffee whose current market size is US$ 1.1billion but Uganda’s market share is only US$ 11million; tea with market size of US$ 1.2billion but Uganda’s market share is only US$ 220,000; milk powder with market size of 2.85 billion but Uganda’s market share is only US$ 374,000.
“The Middle East Market is huge, and Uganda stands to gain significantly by effectively promoting the above products during and after the Expo, using Dubai as the distribution hub into the greater Middle East. We have profiled all the above products, together with their major exporters, capacity, and contact details for dissemination during the Expo” the Minister noted.
The second objective is Attracting investments into the profiled investment projects The investment projects include:
Fourteen (14) infrastructure projects – including the Rapid Bus Project, Rehabilitation of the Gulu – Pakwach railway and development to Inland ports;
Five (5) mining sector projects – including the Bahati Wolfram project and the Iron and steel processing project;
Five (5) health sector projects – including medical equipment manufacturing and management center and a specialized hospital;
Twenty-one (21) agriculture and agro-processing projects – including the establishment of aqua parks, the establishment of an instant soluble coffee plant, and a modern cattle abattoir;
Five (5) real estate projects – including Construction of Low Cost and Medium Cost Housing Kireka Slum Rejuvenation Project and The Dairy House;
Twelve (12) tourism sector projects – including the Cable Car Project and Source of the Nile Development Project;
Three (3) energy sector projects – including Geothermal Exploration and Development at Buranga Prospect and Kyenjogyera Mini Hydro Power Generation Project;
Five (5) IT and IT Enabled services projects;
Five (5) oil and gas projects – including Uganda Oil Refinery and East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) Project;
Two (2) industrialization projects – including the Sino-Uganda Modern Economic Development Special Zone.
The third objective is to promote Uganda’s tourism (“Destination Uganda”) which has won international recognition as a premium tourist destination.
The tourism products to be promoted include; Gorilla tracking, Bird watching, Mountain hiking especially the Rwenzori Mountains, Home-stay, and, Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions (MICE)
Uganda also wants to enhance bilateral relations especially with the organizers, the Government of UAE
How is Uganda going to participate in the Expo?
i. Country Pavilion
With the support of the Government of UAE, Uganda has been offered a 213 sq. meter 2-floor Pavilion in the Opportunity Thematic District. This is in line with Expo management’s “One Country, One Pavilion” policy. The Pavilion will have the country exhibition on the ground floor; office and conference facilities on the upper floor.
ii. Uganda National Day 3rd October 2021
This is the day that has been dedicated to the promotion of Uganda by the Expo management. On this day, there will be an official government-to-government ceremony in the morning and additional country promotion programs in the afternoon. However, the official ceremony will be restricted to fifty (50) delegates from Uganda and the UAE respectively in compliance with the COVID-19 SOPs.
The additional country promotion program will include business meetings, road-show (flag procession), cultural performances, and food tasting (culinary) experiences.
iii. Tourism, Trade and Investment Forum 5th October 2021
The National Day activities will also include a Tourism, Trade, and Investment Forum, business-to-business (B2B), and business-to-government (B2G) networking events on the 5th October 2021.
iv. The 6-month Country Marketing Programme at Expo and outside the Expo Grounds in UAE
In view of optimizing our participation and visibility at the Expo and facilitating consistent engagements between the participating countries and the private sector in Uganda, a detailed six (6) month program has been drawn up.
This program includes business delegations; thematic weeks (such as the Tourism Week from 4th to 10th October 2021); Single(solo) country exhibitions, Participation in Expo thematic events (such as the Livelihood and Agriculture Week in February 2022), and Market scoping activities and working visits to various businesses across Dubai and neighboring markets.
The Minister urged all Ugandans with potential in the above-mentioned areas of interest to get in touch with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Uganda Export Promotion Board to discuss how they can benefit from this 6(six) months event in order for Uganda to tap into available opportunities that the Expo 2020 Dubai.