The upcoming 19th Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit and Third South Summit, scheduled to take place between January 15-20, 2024, will incur a cost of sh53 billion for Uganda. John Mulimba, the State Minister for Foreign Affairs, highlighted the government’s readiness to host the summits during a media briefing on November 26, 2023.
About 10,000 guests are expected to attend the conferences, benefiting from accommodation in various hotels, access to tourist attractions, unique culinary experiences, and entertainment. Mulimba emphasized the positive outcomes expected to outweigh the costs associated with hosting the international events.
The theme of the NAM Summit is ‘Deepening Cooperation for Shared Global Affluence,’ while the South Summit will focus on ‘Leaving No One Behind.’ Both summits aim to foster international cooperation and address global challenges, with the participation of Members of Parliament expected.
To facilitate transportation during the summits, the government’s fleet of vehicles will be utilized, including those donated by China and India. Mulimba reported that vehicle inspections have been conducted, with additional checks planned at the end of December and early January. China has donated 70 vehicles, with an additional 70 arriving in the country. India’s contribution includes 10 executive buses and five ambulances expected by the end of November 2023.
Infrastructure preparations include road improvements by the Kampala City Council Authority and Uganda National Roads Authority, focusing on projects such as the Kampala Flyover Project, conversion of the Kajjansi-Munyonyo spur way into an expressway, and enhancements to the Kampala Northern Bypass.
In terms of accommodation, Mulimba stated that 59 hotels in Kampala and Entebbe, offering a total of 6,248 rooms, have been inspected. Grading by the Uganda Tourism Board for the first batch of 32 hotels has been completed, with additional grading expected after a follow-up visit this month.
The Non-Aligned Movement, established in 1961, comprises 120 member states, 18 observer countries, and 10 observer organizations. It originated from the desire to avoid polarization between pro-capitalist and pro-Soviet countries.