His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan has been awarded the highest civilian honour in Uganda, the Most Excellent Order of the Pearl of Africa, Grand Master medal, in recognition of his exceptional efforts towards economic development in the country.
The Aga Khan IV, who was a special guest at the 55th Independence Day celebrations, arrived in the country yesterday for a four-day visit that has seen him visit Bushenyi, the venue for this year’s national celebrations.
“I am honoured to celebrate this day with you as you celebrate 55 years of Independence. I wish to thank the President for inviting me; I will carry this day in my thoughts and in my heart until my last day on earth,” the Aga Khan said in a brief speech after being decorated.
At the celebrations held under the theme: ‘Uganda’s freedom must be anchored in the spirit of hard work, resilience and commitment’, President Yoweri Museveni urged Ugandans to fight against massive unemployment. “This country is very rich and we have to make people know how to behave in a modern money economy,” the President said.
He called on political leaders to carryout business awareness programmes and good working ethics for the development of this country.
“A leader who can’t tell people the bitter truth is not worthy of being called a leader,” Museveni said, and vowed to identify new methods of fighting crime.
In a related development, this year only 12 medals have been awarded to outstanding personalities, a huge deviation from the previous years where hundreds of medals were given out.