KAMPALA/MBARARA – The Embassy of Ireland in Uganda and Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) have on March 10th kicked off St. Patrick’s Day events in Uganda by greening the as well as the Amahembe g’ente (Horns of the Cow) at Igongo Cultural centre in Biharwe, Mbarara city. The two tourist sites will be illuminated green from Thursday, March 10 to Sunday, March 20, 2022.
These two monuments were selected because they represent some of Uganda’s unique and iconic landmarks and monuments. In the previous years, the Embassy and UTB have greened the Equator Monument in Kayabwe, the Jinja Nile Bridge in Jinja and the Igongo Eclipse Monument. The greening event is geared towards bringing awareness of Uganda’s tourist attractions to the global scene.
This year’s greening ceremony will mark the eighth year Uganda is participating in the Global Greening initiative that kicked off 12 years ago globally and has seen more than 300 famous landmarks and iconic sites all over the world go green like the Pyramids of Egypt, the Great Wall of China, Table Mountain in South Africa, among others.
Commenting during the Greening launch event at Speke Road, Kampala, UTB CEO, Lilly Ajarova said that St. Patrick’s Day has been a great opportunity for them because they have been able to show the world some of the pearls Uganda has.
“We have been to the equator, source of Nile, we have been to different other monuments around the country and today we are here. Today we actually showcasing two things; the Independence Monument which marks the Independence of this country. It is very significant especially for this year because we are making sixty (60) years of Independence. In addition, we have another team lighting up the Ankore cow monument at Igongo Cultural Center in Mbarara. We are showcasing who we are as a country but we are also showcasing our cultural endowment through the monument of the long-horned Ankore cow,” she said.
Ms. Ajarova revealed that Ireland, UK and Germany are Uganda’s biggest source markets for tourism in Europe, saying that by celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, Uganda is showcasing the variety that it has to the people of Ireland and to the whole world.
“This joint celebration of the greening initiative is part of our long-term working relationship with the Embassy of Ireland. The initiative has supported Uganda to showcase her unique tourism offerings to the International community while also strengthening our collaborative ties with Ireland; which is one of our key source markets for tourists.”
Speaking at the event, Ambassador Kevin Colgan said they were so honored to green the Independent Monument for the first time ahead of this historic event.
“This monument was elected merely weeks before Uganda become a republic and stands as a proud reminder of the country… and the progress it has made from its beginning.”
The Ambassador said they are aware of the importance of marking such occasions and congratulated the people of Uganda and the government on this important anniversary.
“Ireland also has its own celebration… we mark 100 years of taking power for the first provisional government. We are 40 years ahead of you and it’s a great honor to be here. Ireland and Uganda are both proud republics and this year as we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day event, the embassy will be underlining the values we share as republics.”
By greening this monument, Ambassador revealed that they will showcase Uganda’s proud Independence and the value of the two republics.
“We hope to be able to show to our Irish community here in Uganda but also those overseas the beauty of Uganda.”
He lauded UTB for the long partnership, saying that Ireland also depends a lot on tourism.
“The Embassy of Ireland and the Irish people are glad to partner with Uganda Tourism Board again to mark St. Patrick’s Day by greening these two uniquely Ugandan monuments. The Global Greening campaign has been a continued success for St Patrick’s Day across the world. We are happy to shine a light on Uganda’s amazing tourism sector – in this case a green light. Uganda is a country with amazing potential. The Independence Monument is one of the most important pieces of Uganda’s heritage. The Horns of the Cow monument at Igongo Cultural centre in Mbarara clearly speaks of the uniqueness of Uganda and the Ankole people.”
About St. Patrick Day
St. Patrick’s Day is a cultural and religious celebration held on 17 March, the traditional death date of Saint Patrick, the foremost patron saint of Ireland. Saint Patrick was a fifth-century Romano-British Christian missionary and bishop in Ireland. The day commemorates Saint Patrick and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland and celebrates the heritage and culture of the Irish in general
The Independence Monument
Positioned in the heart of Kampala City at Speke Road, with an elevation of 6 metres. The Independence monument is an iconic sculpture and landmark that portrays the centre where Uganda received her Independence 60 years ago on 9th October, 1962. This elevated monument signifies a new born country that has been set fee.
Igongo Cultural centre long-horned cow statue
Located in Mbarara City at Igongo Cultural centre. The long horned cow statue natively called, “Amahembe g’ente” signifies a symbol that the Mbarara and Ankole region as a whole is truly the land of milk and honey.