KAMPALA – The much-anticipated Uganda-France Friendship week that was due to take place from Saturday, March 21-28, has been put on halt due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
This was revealed by H.E. Jules – Armand Aniambossou, the French Ambassador to Uganda at a press conference held on Monday, March 16, at the French Embassy in Nakasero.
The eight-day celebrations that are focused on cementing the working relationship between both nations are the biggest series of events in the country conducted by diplomatic corps.
H.E. Aniambossou said that for many years they have been working with partners and stakeholders to organise the Uganda-France Friendship week.
“I was positively surprised because of great partners such as MTN among others that have put in a lot of money but they decided to embrace the decision,” he said.
“As believers we plan but God is always at the forefront and has the final say. The Corona Virus does not know any borders, my country has had challenges and we need to be very careful. I met the Minister of Health and with my experience in many African countries, we met and planned a visit at the places that were to host the activities and received them for proper risk assessment,” he said.
The Ambassador added that “Everything needed to combat this is possible together, making it serious and bigger all parties must be in a good mood. We have decided to postpone all the events in order for us to have a better event because we do not want to play with the lives of Ugandans and French people.”
William Blick, the President of the Olympic Committee in Uganda explained that they are still looking forward to having this event and that in light to the prevailing Coronavirus, they have decided to postpone the event until further notice.
“In solidarity with the whole world and people of France. We have other windows in July and September to organise this and though it had been a hard decision to take it off. Uganda is fully behind you and at its an opportunity to have it better though they handover the all-weather courts to this Friday from the previous proceeds,” Blick said.
“It is sad moment that the most advertised event all over that was targeting over 100, 000 people in attendance and over 3million using media other platforms is pushed further,” he added.
Balaam Barugahara, a Proprietor of Balaam Marketing Agency said “In regards to Kassav band and the all-star football match we said no, knowing that life is bigger than the money we had to take it on. I will do this assignment of filling up the venues like I do everywhere and since we have agreed to have this in three months’ time around July. All the players were ready and some of their representatives are already here but nothing to do about it. Friendship is key and just imagine just being metres away it does not bring out the best moment.”
The Uganda-France Friendship week would feature all-star African players such as Samuel Eto’o, Yaya Toure, Nkwanko Kanu, Taribo West, Al Hajji Diouf among others tussling it out with old guns like Hassan Mubiru, Hakim Magumba, Geoffrey Massa, Nestroy Kizito to mention a few.
It also intended to have a series of activities like Fashion, Rugby, Culinary, Culture and Francophonie day and entertainment.