Sports & Arts “Soft Power” in need of massive Investment- Kampala Geopolitics Conference

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Sports & Arts “Soft Power” in need of massive Investment- Kampala Geopolitics Conference
(L -R) Joseph Kigozi, the chief strategy officer at Next Media Services and moderator, Susan Kerunen, a fusion artiste and William Blick, President Uganda Olympic Committee as speakers at the Kampala Geopolitics conference 2020.( Photo/ Abraham Mutalyebwa)

KAMPALA – Uganda is home to fine talent in the areas of arts and sports but unfortunately there has been minimal injection of finances in this lucrative sector with a bright future.

On Wednesday, October 28, at the Kampala Geopolitics Conference held at the Next Media Park in Naguru, the speakers urged government of Uganda to priotise and invest heavily sector.

For Uganda, this year has stamped the fact our sports needs a push after tremendous achievements from Joshua Cheptegei, Sarah Chelangat and Jacob Kipliomo despite the wake of COVID- 19.

 According to William Blick, sports bring people together and over 40,000 have been affected due to COVID-19. 

“It is a platform that unites the world in Unison and countries that are in war come together. I have seen countries that at are logger heads come together. Countries bid to have international sports for example France preparing for 2024 Olympics.  It is the second biggest to other sectors like banking and goes ahead to share diplomacy and cultures. For example when France won the World Cup 2018,   it brought unity regardless of the race. In Africa, it is different because governments have a less priority in sports”. Blick said.

“The influence we have with social media being able to connect with world has been exploited due to COVID-19. The English Premier League has not given our leagues a second opportunity because of the marketing. This is evident since the local foot ball games are fixed on Tuesday or Friday so that they are not on the same days with the foreign leagues that take place over the weekend. We also have no aspirations that even parents are not harnessing this to tell their children about the power of sports. He explained.

Blick also noted that people who take sports and arts are sometimes not regarded serious because we have less of good aspiration stories such as Denis Onyango, adding that this is only possible by the infrastructure and building of talent right away from nursery to high levels.

“I remember in 2012 when Kiprotich won a gold medal on the last day of the Olympics after 40 years, this brought alot of glory and excitement to the country. Africa has the capacity to hold Olympics games and for sure in 1998 Morroco should have hosted the world cup. There is also politics involved but the good thing the president of the World Olympic committee has designed a modal looking at cost effective means” he asserted.

Susan Kerunen a fusion artiste said that we have over local 56 dialects but not yet yielded economic growth.

“We are hardly known and economics like Kenya, Nigeria, and West Africa have ripped greatly and this is not the case in the country because of priority and do not believe in nurturing and investment. We have artists and sports men or women that have done great but no one is talking about them yet they are great pillars “. Kerunen added.

 She further highlighted on the fact that the creative Industry employs alot of youth but the few are doing it on their own and the little goes back to their pockets causing no spill over to the national budget.

Relatedly, Shon Osimbo a sports broadcaster relented that Africans needed African solutions, nurturing of talent and called upon the media to get on board as key players in the industry.

On an international level, Remy Rioux, a group Chief Executive Officer with AFD and Sophie Lorant an International Relations director and Paris 2024 organizing committee member shared great insights in regards to the power of sports and arts.