President Yoweri Museveni is expected to be Chief Guest at the 2017
Bamasaba Convention and Festival to be held in Mbale Town on December 15-16, Senior Presidential Press Secretary Don Wanyama has confirmed.
According to Mr. Wanyama, the President was invited for the two-day event that is organised by the North America Masaba Cultural Association (NAMCA) in conjunction with the Bamasaba cultural institution, the Inzu Ya Masaba, by the Minister of Energy Irene Muloni in her capacity as a Minister and daughter of the soil.
The event which includes a five-kilometre run will take place at Mbale Resort Hotel and Malukhu grounds.
“December 15 will be for leaders and stakeholders deliberations on key development issues in the sub-region and a fundraising dinner. And on December 16, we shall have a run and cultural festival to climax the activities,” says Nicholas Wakou, chairman of the organizing committee.
“The convention and festival seek to bridge the gap between the interests and aspirations of Bamasaba at home and those in the Diaspora to create greater cooperation and foster a sense of common purpose,” he added.
According to Wakou, the festival is intended to raise funds for the construction of an educational resource centre and to showcase the Bamasaba culture including art, food and history.
President Museveni is expected to launch the construction of the 10-storeyed resource centre in Mbale Town. The facility will house a library, a vocational centre, museum, auditorium and health facility.
Under the theme: ‘Empowering Bamasaba through Unity and Development: Local and Diaspora Efforts’, the runners will be flagged off by the Umukuka (Chief Elder) of the Bamasaba, Bob Mushikori.
The Convention and Festival will be held in partnership with the Bamasaba in Kenya and will bring together Bamasaba from all over world and backgrounds including business, government, and nonprofit organizations to deliberate on key development issues and celebrate the richness of our culture and the values of our heritage.
“We plan to have an array of cultural entertainment extravaganza with traditional music and dance, showcasing of art, design, food and other festival activities,” Wakou says.
NAMCA is registered in the USA as a cultural non-profit organization and in Uganda as a Non-Government Organization (NGO). It was founded in 2001, and is one of the oldest Ugandan Diaspora organizations that seeks to promote culture abroad and to advance development at home.
In the past, NAMCA donated computers and scholastic materials to improve the quality of education in Bugisu; pediatric mattresses to Bududa Hospital; a high-speed duplicating machine to Manafwa district; and sewing machines to women’s entrepreneurial groups in Sironko district.
NAMCA and the Diaspora Bamasaba are well positioned to lend support in attracting both investment and charity initiatives to Uganda and especially to Bugisu sub-region.