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The annual event that brings together two countries France and Uganda to celebrate their long-term friendship while observing the countries’ cultures and traditions has been called off.
The long 8 day fun filled highly anticipated event featuring over 9 events where the two Countries Uganda, France are joined by others to celebrate and embrace culture, sports, music, art,defense cooperation and gastronomy among others, had been scheduled for March 21-28.
As it has always been the case for the last 3 Years, the event was to kick start on March 21 with the Francophone (Culture) celebration which was to be held at the French School Les Grands Lacs in Lugogo, followed by All Stars football game featuring Yaya Toure and Samuel Eto’o among others against the Uganda Cranes Legends.
While addressing journalists and sponsors Monday morning, H.E Jules Armand Aniambossou, the French Ambassador to Uganda noted that though Uganda – France Week is one of the most important events to both countries, it wouldn’t be good to feast in Uganda when France is mourning due the Corona Virus pandemic.
“The situation in France in regards to the Corona Virus is very alarming, our fellow countrymen are suffering due to the pandemic and for that matter; there is no way we have to feast here in Uganda while our country is mourning.”
Aniambossou said, “We would be able to follow all the measures given to us by Ministry of Health, but we are not in the mood of feasting when others are suffering, yet it is the friendship we are supposed to be celebrating. For that reason, I have postponed all the events until further notice.”
Aniambossou applauded the Health Ministry headed by Ruth Aceng for the strict measures issued in a bid for the country to prevent the pandemic.
“I met with Hon Ruth Aceng over the Weekend and I must say Uganda is lucky to have her in that position. She did not only give me the health measures, but went ahead explaining to me what they all meant to Ugandans and other nationals living in Uganda. For sure Uganda should be proud of her,” Aniambossou said.
One of the Organizers of the event; William Blick, Member of the International Olympic Committee said, “in light of the prevailing circumstances in which the Corona Virus is spreading to many countries, we have decided to postpone the events until the situation calms down.”
“However, there will be a mini event on Friday where we will be handing over a newly built court,” he added.
Some of the events which were lined up for Uganda-France Friendship Week include the ‘Fashion Day,’ ‘Gastronomy Day,’ ‘Johnnie Walker Kassav Concert’ ft Vegedream and ‘All star football game’ composed of French and African football players led by former Barcelona Star, Samuel Eto’o and Ivorian Star Yaya Touré against Uganda Cranes football legends.
The Friendship Week according to Balaam Barugahara, promoter and events manager, was expected to attract an average number of about 100,000 people.
Balaam also added that, “it is sad that the biggest and most advertised events including Kassav concert and All Star legends football game had to be canceled.”
It is not yet clear when the events will be conducted but the organizers hope they are most likely to be rescheduled for July 2020.