G77/NAM, 2024: Let’s Be Good Hosts; And Seize the Opportunities -By Moses Watasa
In another endorsement of our global stature, Uganda will host the Group of 77 (G77) and the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), summits, in January 2024. Formed during the ‘cold-war’, NAM was meant, initially to foster non-alignment with then, two world superpowers i.e. the Soviet Union and USA.
After the end of the ‘cold war’ NAM continued to evolve, and now has 120 member states. G77, a 59-year grouping now, coalesced from its inception around promoting joint socio-economic aspirations. G77 has currently has a membership of 134 developing countries.
The acronym was modified to G77+China after their co-option with observer status in 1994. Currently, the G77+China is the biggest inter-governmental grouping under the auspices of the UN. A member of both, Uganda was, after scoring highly against the criteria, chosen to host the 2024 G77+China/NAM summits.
Criteria include the status of governance, support for international initiatives, core infrastructure, security, progressive socio-economic indices, etc. Kampala will now host the NAM from January 15–20, 2024, under the theme “Deepening Cooperation for Shared Global Affluence”.
The G77+China summit runs from January 21–23, 2024, under the theme “Leaving No One Behind“, to continue working towards global Sustainable Development Goals. Confirmations of attendance are already streaming in, including from heads of state from Africa, Latin America, and Asian countries.
At the end of the two summits, Uganda will assume the chairship for NAM and G77+China, from Azerbaijan and Cuba, respectively. Uganda would then be in charge of the Secretariat for coordinating the G77+China within the UN establishment. Our mission at the UN will, similarly, take over coordinating issues pertaining to the NAM.
Beyond the visibility, therefore, Uganda, is amassing diplomatic leg-room, which we can leverage to reap solid benefits for our country. This includes the huge business potential from chairing a grouping with 130+ member states, including China, the world’s second biggest economy.
For that matter, Government has structured the program for the G77+China/NAM summits in Uganda, to include business networking sessions and exhibitions, so that our private sector can pitch-in. This calls for facts that strengthen the case for Uganda’s products and services, with G77+China/NAM member countries. Our private sector should look-out, especially, for opportunities at the Government-to-Business, and the Business-to-Business fora.
We will also provide information that triggers investment in Uganda. This includes shedding a spotlight on our border-to-border security, liberal fiscal policies, core infrastructure, stable electricity supply, improving internet connectivity, incentives from industrial parks, growing domestic and regional markets, an abundance of raw materials, stable macro-economic fundamentals, etc.
We shall similarly show-case Uganda’s huge tourism potential. Alongside excursion trips, should have our G77/NAM visitors appreciate the ‘Pearl of Africa’ is an ultimate tourism gem. Our rich menu includes awesome physical features, flora, fauna, culture, fine weather, etc. We have started mobilizing and disseminating content that markets Uganda, including through our G77+China/NAM website; www.nam.go.ug which is already functional.
Thumbs-up then, to President Museveni for that leadership that has delivered credentials that render Uganda an ideal destination for major international events like G77+China/NAM. Credit to Ministry of Foreign Affairs, for, through Uganda’s Mission at the UN, managing successful behind-the-scenes engagements. Credit, too, to our National Organising Committee under the stewardship of Uganda’s Head of Public Service, which is seamlessly putting finishing touches to all items required to host the G77+China/NAM summits.
To our citizens, let’s receive, and accord our visitors the warm hospitality Uganda is famed for. A memorable experience for them will ease the efforts by Uganda’s Leadership, and our Diplomats, as they press for more opportunities for us, during, and beyond the 2024 G77+China/NAM summits.
Moses Watasa is the Commissioner of Communication at the Ministry of ICT and National Guidance in Uganda.