The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting which was graced by Queen Elizabeth II saw leaders discuss issues affecting member states. The event which ended last Sunday (Nov 25, 2007) also tackled climate change and education improvement among other concerns. The Prince of Wales, Prince Charles and Britainís Prime Minister Gordon Brown, also attended the 53 member country meeting. Judith Auma of The African Executive asked some Ugandans if the country had benefited from the event in any way. The following responses were given:
Osero Williams: 35 year old Sociologist
CHOGM is just a group of delegates who came together to discuss their own countryís problems in Uganda. I do not see anyone benefiting from Uganda except a few corrupt individuals, who have enjoyed the money that was meant to revamp certain sections of the country. Concentrations were made only on a few sections of the city centre where the queen and heads of states passed. Meanwhile some people even in Kampala did not understand what was going on.
Ogola Mary Fortunate: 23 year old Business student
To hell with CHOGM and the queen! She is too fragile; she must have come with her own oxygen. We donít want a third world war.
Ogola Michael: 40 year old Environmentalist
Like the advertisements say, 54 heads of states, 1.6 billion eyes on Uganda, what more did we want? The international exposure is incredible, international trade is going to be boosted, Ugandaís currency appreciated and most importantly, the foreign direct investment to Uganda will be high in the nearest future.
Ayepa Daniel: 48 year old investor
Investment opportunities are going to soar. Kampala is looking beautiful and organised. The security has been beefed and at its best, that says a lot about investment security in the country. This can only be good news for international business community; hence will prompt a lot of investment interest. The queenís husband visited Queen Elizabeth National Park, being a royal figure, that was covered and that means our tourism sector will benefit from that exposure soon or later. As an individual, I am proud to be a Ugandan.
Jovina Akaki: 50 year old Former Minister Tourism
Yes, Uganda and some individuals have benefited from CHOGM. Just look at the exposure and the infrastructure! I can guarantee you that Uganda will never be the same again if we utilise this chance to the maximum!
Ambrose Toolit: 28 year old Community Development Worker based in Northern Uganda
Maybe it benefitted those people based in the city.
Paul Kagumire: 30 year old Marketing Manager
Maybe bothe indirectly and directly. What do you think?
Kafeero Daudi: 32 year old Casual Labourer
What is CHOGM all about? I do not know anything about it.
Simon Okiror: 40 year old Librarian
I do not see anything that CHOGM brought apart from the nice roads and a few hotels that benefited. Money has been chewed by some unscrupulous and greedy individuals.
Murefu Pius: 30 year old Journalist
CHOGM is a blessing to Uganda and its people because it will take long before Uganda hosts an event of such magnitude. But the dynamics around its preparations were not good. Itís a shame for people to mint money yet there are people living below a dollar a day.
Hon. Nandala Mafabi: 45 year old Politician
Adakun Robert: 27 year old Chemist
Honestly, there was no benefit to Uganda. This was a big inconvenience. The city centre was in a crazy state, roads were blocked and everything brought to a standstill.
Oroma Chris: 32 year old Teacher.
Neither Uganda nor I benefited from CHOGM. Probably some people who managed to sneak their way where the money was.
Monday Achen: 38 year old Entrepreneur.
It was a big interruption for my business. I was not able to sell anything for those days. The city was mostly deserted due to blocked roads and the tight security everywhere.
Baingana David: 35 year old
Uganda has gained exposure and earned credibility when it comes to its ability to host high profile events. We might see Uganda hosting events of the same kind in the nearest future. However, the world did not focus on Uganda during this event in the manner that we expected. The focus was on how the queen was moved by HIV/ Aids children at Mildmay center, which is British founded. What kind of exposure is that? How will that benefit Uganda? The international media totally ignored Uganda.
Comment on this article!