South Koreans are scared of coming to Uganda because of the country's terror and human rights violations past according to South Korean Ambassador to Uganda Ha Byung-Kyoo.
According to Kyoo, many South Koreans think Uganda is a dangerous and unsafe country, where people are mistreated by the regime akin to incidences from Idi Amin’s reign of terror which involved a widespread violation of human rights.
Kyoo was addressing students of Kabale University during a public lecture at the university in Kabale district on Tuesday. He said that because of the country's dented history, many South Korean tourists avoid Uganda and opt for the neighbouring countries; Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo to track mountain gorillas.
He, however, says that efforts to improve the relations of both governments are underway adding that by next year Uganda will have an embassy in South Korea.
"Rwanda, DR Congo, Sudan Ethiopia, Tanzania, Zambia all have embassies in South Korea except Uganda. Many Korean tourists are visiting Rwanda, they are afraid of coming to Uganda because they still think Uganda is a dangerous country with the terror of 1970s of Idi Amin. I think Uganda needs to promote the image to the Korean people. I have some good news that the parliament has approved the budget of the next financial year and that includes the embassy of helping the embassy in Korea." Kyoo said.
Kyoo also expressed concern over the lack of a saving culture among Ugandans despite the availability of natural resources, tourist attractions and good climate conditions to help them generate income.
"Another important thing I would like to mention is the importance of savings…all the Korean kids have a savings account. I hope in Uganda they start to teach children the importance of savings. It doesn’t matter how much you save, what matters is the habit of saving. It seems in Uganda people do not have the need to save for anything. I think it is because what you need is already there. Unlike Koreans you don’t have to prepare for the winter, enough food is available. Probably because of this your lifestyle is live every moment...If you think about the future, the moment you live you cannot expect any development. Development is for people to think about the future. If you think about the future, you save." Kyoo said.
During the same meeting, Kabale University vice chancellor Prof Joy Kwesiga hinted that the university was still struggling to attract qualified personnel among its academic staff.
According to Kwesiga, many of the lectures in Kabale University today possess Masters degrees compared to the required PhDs. Without revealing the number Kwesiga, however, said that the university has resorted to sponsoring most of them to upgrade to make sure that they obtain PhDs.