By Patrick Jaramogi
Libya and Uganda have signed a memorandum of understanding to bolster trade and tourism among the two nations. The partnership signed during the visit of Libyan Roving Scouts to Uganda last week will also boost networking between scouts in East Africa with their counterparts in Libya.
“As we recover after the revolution, we want to send a ray of hope to the youth in Libya through such cultural exchanges that there can be peace and reconciliation after war,” said Idris Elahalafi, the deputy general manager, Tropical Bank. Elahalafi, a former Libyan chief scout himself, said more Libyan tourists would visit Uganda once an ambassador is appointed.
“Just like in many other nations, there is still no official Libyan ambassador to Uganda, but we are optimistic that soon this issue will be sorted out so that we can boost trade and cultural exchange visits among the two nations,” he said.
He made the comments at a reception in honour of the visiting 15 Libyan scouts held at the Lake Victoria Libyan Hotel in Entebbe on Monday.
The Libyan scouts aged between 16-25 years are part of 50 others from Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan and Uganda that have been attending a week-long camp at the national scouts camping ground at Kazi.
Moses Engadu, the director resource mobilisation and capacity building at the Uganda Scouts Association, said the cultural exchange and camping was geared towards enhancing the three fundamental aspects of scouts; peace, environmental sustainability and development.
“We wanted the scouts from East Africa to learn more from their Libyan counterparts,” said Engadu.
Richard Okello, the executive secretary of the Uganda Scouts Association, said the Libya scouts visited Sipi Falls in Kapchorwa, Queen Elizabeth National Park and other heritage and cultural sites across the country.
“Apart from scouting, the Libyans will inspire others to come here,” said Okello.
The Libyan scout team leader, Hassan Diban, said the visit had opened their eyes to Uganda’s beauty.
“What we have seen and experienced, is not what all knew about Uganda. Uganda is the paradise of the world. We shall lobby more tourists to come to Uganda,” he said.