Uganda has cancelled the South Summit also known as the G77, as the impact of the global coronavirus pandemic begins to bite on the continent.
The summit, the third since inception, was scheduled to take place in April, with 3,000 delegates. Established in 1964 by 77 developing countries, the Kampala summit was to be the first to be held in Africa.
According to Henry Okello Oryem, Minister of State for International Co-operation, the G77 is so far the biggest casualty of Covid-19 in Uganda, as countries issue blanket travel bans and cancelling sporting events.
Mr Oryem said Uganda is considering pushing the G77 to September.
“The biggest victim so far is the South Summit, which we have had to cancel in line with a UN directive to cancel all international engagements,” Mr Oryem told The EastAfrican in an interview in Kampala.
According to Mr Oryem, private entrepreneurs in various sectors who had invested money in various sectors to support the summit are the hardest hit by the cancellation.
The tourism sector is also beginning to count losses as visitors either delayed or cancelled, jeopardising Uganda’s target of at least four million tourists this year.
The Ministry of Health will require travellers from high risk countries to observe a mandatory 14-day self-isolation as soon as they reach the country.
Visitors from Italy, San Marino, Iran, South Korea, France, China, Germany, Spain, Belgium, USA, the UK, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Austria and Malaysia have been advised to consider postponing non-essential travel to Uganda.
Uganda has no confirmed case of Covid-19 but 1,632 travellers, including a Ugandan who have been identified as high risk are being followed up.
Of these, 1,071 are Chinese nationals, 244 Ugandans, 43 Italians, 34 South Koreans and 484 are other nationals.
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