Sunday, 17th June 2018
By Vincent Ogal
King Oyo Nyimba Kambamba Iguru Rukidi IV, King of Tooro has commended Uganda National Commission for UNESCO for the role it is playing in building peace, promoting heritage, eradicating poverty and achieving sustainable development not only in Tooro region but alsothe whole of Uganda.
The cultural leader who also doubles as USAID Goodwill Ambassador for Youth was speaking during a breakfast meeting organized by the office of the King of Tooro at his Tooro Royal Palace Muyunyo on Saturday, 16th June 2018. He acknowledged the contribution Uganda National Commission for UNESCO is playing in fostering and promoting cultural tourism in the region.
The king further alluded that, “we as cultural institutions in Africa and Uganda in particular have a lot of culture in us that we can be proud of, for example the Empaako.” These richness and diversity in cultures are what makes Uganda a country worthy to be visited according to the King Oyo.
As a country, King Oyo noted the Uganda has not done enough to market her cultural tourism because we are now living in a world where a lot of people have been drawn to politics and culture is left behind. “before you become a politician you have your roots where you come from, you have your culture, so this things (culture) should not be ignored.” The king stated.
The Secretary General Uganda National Commission (UNATCOM), Ms. Rosie Agoi who led the 6 man delegation that comprised of UNATCOM and UNESCO staff members to a meeting that took place at the Palace.
His Majesty the King Oyo and Tooro Kingdom is keen to partner and collaborate with the National Commission in promoting and protecting heritage as well as engage in the fight against HIV/Aids. He firmly believes in the transformative power of culture.
Ms. Rosie while delivering her remarks thanked His Majesty the King for reaching out to the National Commission for UNESCO and noted that the meeting will go a long way in fostering lasting relationship that will build peace, promote culture and protect heritage as well as other engagements in UNESCO’s fields of competence.
She congratulated the King upon his success in steering the Kingdom and being a global icon who is passionate about building peace in the minds of men. She recognized his contribution to the attainment of various developmental projects not only in Tooro Kingdom but Uganda as whole.
Ms. Rosie noted that Uganda National Commission for UNESCO acts as an interlocutors between the government of Uganda and UNESCO which is head-quartered in Paris, France.
While addressing the meeting, Ms.Rosie informed His Majesty the King that UNESCO has five major programmes; namely Education, Natural Science, Social and Human Science, Culture and Communication and Information. She noted that UNESCO has worked with the Kingdom in advancing at least 3 core programmes of UNESCO;
In Rwebisenju, Ntoroko distict, the National Commission for UNESCO built the capacity of 60 Primary Schoolteachers and District Education officials on competence based teaching in an effort to achieve the Education 2030 Agenda. “As much as teaching and learning in going on in the class room setting,certain things are not being done correctly, hence this deliberate intervention to ensure that our teachers are on the right track,” Ms. Rosie noted. She therefore hoped that with the success of this specific intervention in the first phase, the project can be rolled out to the entire kingdom and Uganda at large.
In this specific of Natural Science, the Secretary General informed the King Oyo that, Tooro region is blessed with a number of historical and geological features which can be nominated and designated as potential Geoparks and Geosites, giving it an International status as UNESCO protected areas.
In this regard the Secretary General informed His Majesty the King that a team of experts from various line Ministries, Departments and Agencies under the guidance of the National Commission for UNESCO has already visited three sites in the region plus many more sites in all the regions and conducted ground study. Ms. Rosie stated, “a study must be conducted to ascertain the value, what can we achieve as a result of gazetting the sites and what do west and to lose if we don�t.”
The sites found specifically in Tooro include;
- Katosha Catholic Shrine, found in Kyenjojo because of its religious significance to the people of Uganda.
- Amabeere ga Nyinamwiru found in Nyakasura knownfor its scenic beauty
iii. Nkuruba crater lake, which is known for geological interest
The National Commission for UNESCO has also had a lot of engagement with the kingdom of Tooro promoting culture for sustainable development. Among this include assisting the Kingdom in documenting and preserving the Intangible heritage of ‘Empaako’ tradition inform of sensitization and revitalization of the practice.
The Commission also partnered with the Kingdom to promote creative designs and entrepreneurial capacity building to market the cultural products made by the practitioners.
Ms. Victoria Kanobe Kisaakye, UNESCO Head of Project office Kampala expressed her gratitude to His Majestythe King for inviting and having a dialogue with UNESCO and expressed her commitment to work with the kingdom to achieve its mandate in the coming future.
In recognition of his dedication and tremendous work in peace building and fostering reconciliation, the University of Vietnam awarded His Majesty King Oyo, an Honorary Doctorate as Messenger of Peace.