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Sqoop – Get Uganda entertainment news, celebrity gossip, videos and photosSqoop – Get Uganda entertainment news, celebrity gossip, videos and photos


Uganda-Sweden ties marked on a mural

Photo| Courtesy

A colourful mural painting celebrating ties between Uganda and Sweden has been unveiled in Kampala.

The mural by Ugandan artist Hillary Agaba that commemorates 60 years of friendship between Uganda and Sweden was officially unveiled at the Embassy of Sweden on Lumumba Avenue in Kampala on January 16.

The large wall-sized mural measuring 2.3 by 1.5 metres, shows two boys; one Ugandan and the other Swedish, seated on large books that sum up the achievements of this 60-year-old relationship that includes education, peace, health, democracy and human rights. It also depicts the flags of both nations, the beautiful scenery and wildlife, agriculture, forestry and modern architecture in Uganda, among others.

“Everything in the painting represents what the Embassy of Sweden does and supports in Uganda, such as environmental conservation, human rights, political dialogue, among others,” Agaba told The East African newspaper.

The Ambassador of Sweden in Uganda, Maria Håkansson, said Sweden has had long and friendly ties with Uganda since her independence in 1962. On October 8, 1962, the then Swedish Prime Minister Tage Erlander sent a letter to the then Prime Minister of Uganda, Milton Obote.

“On behalf of Sweden, Erlander congratulated Uganda on her independence and sovereignty, and conveyed his sincere congratulations and best wishes for the future of Uganda and for the prosperity of its people. Our wish and hope for Uganda and the Ugandan people is still very much the same – we wish for prosperity and a bright future for all Ugandans,” Håkansson added.

“In October last year, we started on a year-long campaign to not only highlight the 60 years of friendship but more importantly – to continue nurturing our bond,” Håkansson said.

“As part of this campaign, we commissioned a mural through a competition in partnership with Xenson Art Space. The mural serves as a permanent visual reminder of the unshakeable relationship Sweden has with Uganda. I congratulate the winner Hillary Agaba on his beautiful accomplishment and I am very excited to unveil the mural today,” Håkansson added.

According to the head of Section for Political, Economic and Commercial Affairs at the Embassy of Sweden in Uganda, Azadeh Alian-Söderqvist, the mural will be a permanent visual reminder of the ties between the two countries.

“This competition also gave us a chance to engage with Ugandan creatives through the competition and share the message of the relationship Sweden has shared with Uganda,” Alian-Söderqvist said.

As to how he felt when he learnt that he had won the competition, Agaba said: “I was happy and excited on realising that I had won the competition.”

“The mural painting process lasted a month and one week,” Agaba said, adding: “I thought of creating something visual that could represent the 60 years of the Ugandan-Swedish relationship.”

When asked what role art plays in the relationship between the two countries, Agaba replied: “Art acts as a language (visual language in this case) through which the people, both Swedish and Ugandans, can share ideas, communicate, and express themselves.”

The artist graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial and Fine Art from Makerere University in 2022. His wish is to pursue post graduate studies in fine art. “I also want to produce great artwork and represent Uganda on the international art scene,” he says.

Håkansson used the same occasion to congratulate the Sweden Alumni Network Uganda which was awarded Alumni Network of the Year 2022 by the Swedish Institute.

“Being chosen as the Alumni of the Year out of a group of 49 alumni networks is testament to your understanding of the Swedish values and your rock-solid commitment to advancing them here in your home country. We value your efforts and the time and energy that you have invested in working for a closer relationship between the Swedish and Ugandan people.”

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