The Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda has saluted and congratulated the International Community of Banyakigezi (ICOB) for its commitment, dedication, resilience and strength that has seen it grow into a bigger and firm association.
Dr Rugunda said ICOB has been helpful in creating social networks, cultural development and preservation, unity and oneness, thus urging the Banyakigezi to uphold the association for its survival.
The Prime Minister made these remarks while presiding over the 4 day International Community of Banyakigezi (ICOB) convention that was held in Kabale.
He advised the people to take advantage of the opportunities availed by ICOB to eliminate sectarian tendencies, preserve and protect cultural values, share and gain more knowledge, promote tourism in the region and also work towards the development of the country among others.
“The development of Kabale has been brought about by unity, peace and togetherness which are the values upheld by ICOB. Therefore I call upon all of you to support this association of ICOB,” the Prime Minister said.
The Premier also advised the youth to take advantage of the icons and role models within the ICOB association who are in strategic areas to gain advise, knowledge and expertise among others values that are beneficial to them.
He urged the Banyakigezi to make better use of land to enhance agricultural production through improved livestock and use of proper seedlings.
He added that activities such as tea growing should be given priority in Kigezi in order to boost productivity in the region and particularly enable tea farmers to earn extra income. He also said it will boost tourism and also promote tea industries in the region.
Dr Rugunda commended the organisers of ICOB, highlighting that it had been better organised with more added value meant to empower the locals with more knowledge and skills compared to the previous ICOB conventions.
He thus pledged government and the President’s support for ICOB.
“His Excellency the President of Uganda is a great and proud Munyakigezi who constantly refers to his origin and frequently attends ICOB meetings, duties and work. He will therefore do everything possible to enhance activities of ICOB that will lead to the growth and development of Kigezi as a region,” the Premier said.
The Minister of State for Finance, Hon Bahati thanked ICOB for bringing together the Banyakigezi who are all working towards the same destiny of the country’s development.
He asked Banyakigezi to uphold values of honesty and trustworthy that they are well known for, for the development of the country.
He also called upon the youth to make use of their age productively for the development of the country.
“Government is depending on the youth for the development and productivity of the country. Therefore, I urge you to be optimistic and hopeful with a right mind-set,” Bahati said.
The President of ICOB, Dr Munini Mulera preached the message of sacrifice, volunteerism, and selflessness among the Banyakigezi, which are the solid foundation of the association.
“ICOB is about giving and not receiving, volunteering and not being served. Therefore let us make sacrifices for the next generation,” Munini said.
He also called upon the people to support government so as to enable it succeed and serve the people better.
A number of activities were carried out during the convention including, the launch of the Kigezi Cultural Village by the Prime Minister on behalf of His Excellency the President, exhibitions, a charity walk for maternal health care and inter-district football competitions among others.
The convention brought together people from all the districts of Kigezi region which include; Rukungiri, Rubanda, Kanungu, Kabale and Kisoro.
By Doreen Nasasira