This temporary display is the prelude of a permanent exhibition in a National Railway Museum that will be housed at the Jinja railway station with the support of the European Union. The railway line used to be a pivotal economic artery along the East African Northern Corridor linking the port of Mombasa and Eastern Uganda to Northern Uganda, as well as the neighbouring countries of South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. It has been out of service since 1993 notably due to actions of war by the Lord's Resistance Army and the unfair competition posed by overloaded trucks.
Speaking at the opening, Ambassador Pacifici highlighted the importance of recalling the past to understand how Ugandan society has been shaped by the changes that have occurred in the last centuries, although painful at times. He highlighted the importance of the museums for keeping the history alive for learning purposes. He stressed the fact that the bigger effort is now to bring visitors in, especially youth, students, pupils, children.
The recollection of objects, history and personal memories linked to the railway in Uganda is part of the overall EU engagement to support the country in its efforts to revitalise this important transport modality, at a time when competitiveness of the transport system is tremendously important and will play a crucial role in fully recovering from the economic impact of the covid-19 pandemic. Railway development are now high in Ugandan sustainable economic growth agenda and the EU is fully in line with that. The EU is supporting this agenda with inter alia the rehabilitation of the Tororo-Gulu and the commission of studies for the extension of the passenger services within Greater Kampala Metropolitan Are.
The exhibition will remain open until 17th December: don’t miss this opportunity to discover how economy and society functioned in Uganda and in the whole East Africa at the time of this important railway network.