Uganda’s Ambassador to the United States, Robie Kakonge and staff of the embassy joined the Ugandan Community in the Washington DC, Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania area for the annual Uganda independence day community picnic and a friendly soccer match at the Fairland Recreational Park in Burtonsville, MD.
The event which is a collaboration between the Embassy and the Community brought together Ugandan families, friends of Uganda and local government officials in the state of Maryland.
The gathering was addressed by Amb. Kakonge who thanked the Ugandans for being an exemplary and upstanding community, respected by authorities and admired for their warmth and peace-loving nature.
Stating that the diaspora is a priority development area for the government of Uganda which stands ready to support them, she encouraged the Ugandans to work together to grow their businesses and to plan for innovative ways to contribute to the economy back home.
The community also heard from representatives of the Montgomery County Board of elections and were encouraged to interest themselves in the candidates running for various offices in the US mid-term elections.
They were advised that as a community, it is important to be recognized in order for their voice to be heard.
The community was also addressed by local government officials from the Montgomery County area including the Office of the Governor Dr. Antwan C. Brown, Administrative Director of Middle Eastern American Affairs and African Affairs of Maryland about various opportunities and resources available to residents.
They were encouraged to engage in community service and to play their part in contributing to area development and local politics.
The event was graced by US army officers of Ugandan descent, Lt Simon Sekitoleko and Lt Col Frank Musisi who accompanied the US Coast Guard outreach team to educate the community about the opportunities available for the Ugandan diaspora in joining both the United States Army and Coast Guard.
As part of the highlights of the day, Ambassador Robie Kakonge officiated at the launch of “The Odyssey of the Nubi”, a book by 2nd DPM Gen (Rtd) Moses Ali.
The book is an autobiography which details the struggles of the Nubi Community as minorities often ostracized and marginalized and at some point, exiled and the journey to full recognition under the 1995 Constitution.
The evening was crowned by a friendly soccer match between the “Uganda Cranes” vs “Liberia” which Uganda won 6-2.
Uganda will tomorrow Monday, officially celebrate her 61st independence anniversary, having got self-rule from the British in 1962.