prostate http://ca-uqam.info/wp-content/themes/divi/includes/no-results.php geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 200%;”>He said the country had been independent for the last 51 years but a true national identity was yet to evolve.
Kabwegyere was speaking at a conference under the theme: “National Identity and Values in a Democratic State: What it means to be Ugandan”, at Serena Hotel in Kampala late this week.
The Directorate of Information and National Guidance (DING) organised it in conjunction with Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, a German foundation. It attracted religious leaders, political party representatives, civil society, academia and the media.
Prof. Kabwegyere counseled that national identity should evolve through promotion of state symbols which include the national flag, coat of arms and major events that attract international attention.
He singled out games and sports events, and Uganda’s peace mission in Somalia as representations of the country’s national identity. Others included tourism, art and international trade exhibitions.
Kabwegyere noted that a consciously developed identity would create a sense of belonging to enable the country recover from her chaotic past. The DING is addressing citizens’ ideological development to create transformation agents for socio-economic development.
“If we fully become Ugandans by total conviction, guided by our National Vision and aspirations, the respective political identities will not deter national development,” he observed.
The DING has so far conducted public awareness by propagating the National Vision, defining the National Character, National Values and National Common Good for development.
This is in line with the Vision of the Office of the Prime Minister aimed at creating a public sector that is responsive and accountable in steering Uganda towards rapid economic growth and development.
The Minister of Information and National Guidance, Rose Namayanja cautioned against politicising the Ugandan character. National identity can never be defined according to partisan political goals, she noted.
“Ugandans should have little patience with politicians who seek to use nationalism as a partisan political divide to implement their own agenda in the area of national identity,” she stressed.
“It is about the character and essence of us, about our strengths as well as our weaknesses,” Namayanja added. “There is no hierarchy of affection amongst us in love of the country.”