Yeosu Korea Expo 2012: Uganda Wildlife Authority participates in International Expo
Yeosu, Republic of Korea May 12 – August 12, 2012
The International Expo officially opened on the May 11, 2012. The President of the Republic of Korea, His Excellency President Lee Myung-bak presided over the glamorous ceremony and urged the international community to jointly work together to protect and conserve the Oceans, Seas, Lakes for livelihood of the current and future generations. Uganda's participation at the Expo 2012 Yeosu Korea has been spearheaded by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Co-operatives and the Uganda Export Promotion Board (UEPB).
In attendance were Commissioners of Section and Pavilion Directors and Staff from 105 participating countries and prominent private sector players in South Korea and beyond. The International Expos are held on a rotational basis bearing in consideration the theme and different regions of the globe. The previous Expo was held in Shanghai-China in which Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) and Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) participated. The Uganda Export Promotion Board (UEPB) was the main organizer for Uganda during Shanghai Expo 2010.
The Expo 2012 Yeosu Korea has attracted 105 countries that are participating under the theme "The Living Ocean and Coast." The Expo will take place from May 12 to August 12 over a 3 month period. Whereas Uganda has no coastline, Lake Victoria – the blue pearl of Africa is its signature mark in the pavilion.
Furthermore, with a third of its land area covered by water, her features such as lakes, rivers, swamps and streams qualified her to competently show case at the Expo under the adapted theme; "Uganda the Blue Pearl'' which is a constituent of the more renown - "Uganda the Pearl of Africa".
Participating countries at the Expo 2012 have been creatively clustered by Ocean proximity – Indian, Pacific and Atlantic blending geographical and cultural uniqueness in addition to separate stand alone Pavilions. The Republic of Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania are housed in the Indian Ocean pavilion. Uganda has been represented by; the Uganda Export Promotion Board (UEPB), Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) and the Uganda Africa Craft Exporters and Producers Association (UGACEPA). In Expo 2012 Yeosu Korea the 3 main strategic sectors considered were Coffee, Tourism and Handicrafts which explains the institutions that have formed the fabric of Uganda's presence.
The Uganda pavilion is decorated with some of the country's major attractions; Lake Victoria, River Nile, Ruwenzori Mountains and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. A huge Gorilla mould is a major attraction centre in the pavilion in addition to lobelia plants, and a Bamboo forest around. Many visitors take pictures at this spot.
Visitors are excited when they get to Uganda's Pavilion. The Uganda commercial section selling coffee and handicraft is among the most visited in the Indian Ocean pavilion. Participating countries have national days in which publicity is focused on that country. During a Country's National day, the gist of the Expo focuses on showcasing the best that the country has to offer in terms of culture, export and investment opportunities, business ties and the warmth of its people.
The Republic of Uganda National Day was held on Friday June 22, 2012. Uganda's delegation had a parade with the National Flag held up high. The Korean marines led a march from the VIP gate to the Expo Hall. The National Anthem was sung at a unique flag raising ceremony and later cultural performances in the Expo hall and Indian Ocean Joint Pavilion.
Some of the VIPs that have visited Uganda's pavilion so far include; Ambassador Julius B. Onen the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Trade, Industry & Co-operatives – the Commissioner of Section for the Republic of Uganda, 2 high ranking Ministers from the Republic of Kenya; Mr. Moses Wetangula (Trade and industry), Mr. Danstone Maazo (Minister of Trade) and the Prime Minister of the Republic of Bangladesh.
EAC BROTHERHOOD: The Commissioner General of the Expo.Organizing committee, Mr. Lee Joon-hee (behind in Spectacles), Minister Moses Wetangula (Minister of Trade and Industry) in the centre and Mr. Danstone Maazo (Minister of Tourism Kenya) visit Uganda's Pavilion. The Deputy Commissioner of Section and Pavilion Director of Uganda, Mr. Daniel Karibwije guided them around.
GORILLA TREKKING? Korean Visitors admiring a Mountain Gorilla Mould at Uganda Pavilion.
The Expo is expected to market Uganda Natural Resource Potential among the Asian and other countries in view to attract them to visit Uganda especially the Protected Areas, experience our cultural heritage displayed in artifacts, foods and dances and boost our economy by purchasing and drinking our home grown coffee, invest in the Tourism and agricultural sector and others
Pictorial view of events at Uganda's Pavilion Expo 2012 Yeosu Korea
Uganda's' Pavilion in the Indian Ocean Joint Pavilion
The Minister of Commerce of the Peoples Republic of Bangladesh (Left) Mr.Ghulam Muhammad Quarder , Commissioner of Expo 2012 Mr. Lee Joon-hee (3rd from left in spectacles). 2nd right, Mr. David Kiwanuka, Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) and the Chairperson of Uganda Africa Craft Exporters and Producers Association (UGACEPA) Mr. Alon Kabaale pose for a photograph.
NETWORKING: The Bangladesh delegation pays a courtesy call at the Uganda Pavilion in the Indian Ocean Joint Pavilion. This was during the Bangladesh National Day. Bangladesh is part of the Indian Ocean Joint Pavilion countries.
TOURISM PROMOTION ACROSS AGES: A young Korean girl delighted by 'Two Gorillas'.
PROMOTING TOURISM: Uganda Wildlife Authority's (UWA) Joshua Masereka poses with two young Koreans who visited Uganda's Pavilion. Cultivating the spirit of tourism among the youth is a strategic initiative by Uganda's Pavilion at Expo 2012 Yeosu Korea.
PROMOTING TOURISM TO MIDDLE EAST VISTIORS: A Cultural group from Qatar and a Ugandan poses for a photo at the Gorilla Mould in the