French Embassy to Promote Uganda Through French – Cranes Game

The French embassy has revealed plans to fly the French military soccer team to play the Uganda Cranes as part of a series of activities to mark the Uganda – France Friendship Week that will start on March 18 to 25.

The team will arrive in the country on March 25 and play a friendly match with the Uganda national soccer team at Mandela National stadium at 4:15 pm.

In addition to further cementing the cultural bond between the two countries, symptoms the French Ambassador to Uganda H.E Stephanie Rivoal said the visit of the team will promote Uganda’s tourism potential in France.

ChimpReports has learnt that the French military team will also play the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) football team during their visit.

Ambassador Rivoal said this on Wednesday while unveiling the entire program of events that will characterize the week among them; tourism and environmental activities, French cuisines in several restaurants, youth discussion on media and politics as well as a music concert.

“We are working with UTB we are at their disposal to suggest to us places where these players can go and tour,” she said.

The soccer team of the French military which will play the Uganda Cranes as part of the activities to mark the Uganda- France Friendship week

The soccer team of the French military which will play the Uganda Cranes as part of the activities to mark the Uganda- France Friendship week

Rivoal added that the team will be accompanied by some French journalists including Le Journal des Femmes, a popular online women’s magazine in France with an estimated 4 million readers.

Such a paper, she said “will influence women to choose their destination of travel since in France, it’s mainly the women who book holidays.”

“One of the key issues about tourism in Uganda is that the county is not very well known in France or Belgium. So in order to promote tourism, we need to produce nice pictures of Uganda for the French media and clientele that have the means to visit Uganda,” the Ambassador added.

Rivoal is convinced that as long as Uganda markets itself adequately to the women audience in France, the spillover effect could be enormous.

Later in June, the French embassy plans to bring in another team of French tour agencies and filming crews to further sell Uganda’s beauty to the French market.

ChimpReports contacted the Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) Deputy Executive Director John Ssempebwa to establish whether any arrangements have been made for the team to tour the country but UTB was not yet in the know of the forthcoming visit.

“I was not aware of the visit of the French military team but am going to contact the Embassy immediately to get details. Gladly, we still have time to arrange,” Ssempebwa told ChimpReports.

He however referred to the development as “good news”.

For a country (France) with a population of over 65 million people and a significant number of middle class (and retirees) which is financially motivated to travel abroad, this presents a potential market for Uganda. French outbound visitors spend on average € 107 in a single night and stay for 11 days on average.

Africa comes second (14%) as a preferred destination after Europe (70%) for French tourists who travel abroad and the majority of them (88%) are interested in nature and weather.

With neither an established marketing agency or strategy that targets France currently, one would argue that coverage of the forthcoming Uganda – France Friendship week activities by French media is a golden opportunity Uganda Tourism Board should exploit.


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