Er … we knew that.
The American showman, entertainer and sometime scam artist, Phineas Taylor Barnum (1810 – 1891) was remembered for founding his famous circus and for a number of well-known sayings, such as “there’s no such thing as bad publicity.”
I wonder what PT Barnum would have made of this week’s #UgandaisnotSpain international spat? [June 2012].
Not to miss out on an opportunity, Ugandans (the media and the private sector at least) had a field day this week with #UgandaisnotSpain on Twitter.
Who started the #SpainisnotUganda and #UgandaisnotSpain Twitter debate?
Spanish Prime Minister Rajoy sent a text to his finance minister during negotiations of a bailout for Spanish banks. The text read: “We’re the number four power in Europe. Spain is not Uganda.”
“Spain is not Uganda!” we retorted with er, no actually, Uganda is not Spain.
Frankly it’s all academic to me.
Spain may be a wealthy country – but it has huge debt.
Uganda has (comparatively) high growth – but equally huge deficits in terms of infrastructure and skills.
For a fascinating snapshot of Ugandan society (tourists look away now), read this excellent article Yes, Uganda is not Spain, but what do we see when we look in the mirror? from this week’s Daily Monitor newspaper. Not all the comments make sense to me! But debate is alive and well in UG.
If you prefer figures and stats, read this article ‘Even With Its Loads of Problems, Spain Indeed Is Not Uganda.‘
Two years later, at the Africa Travel Association (ATA) Congress in Kampala, President Yoweri Museveni reignited the Uganda vs Spain debate. Museveni is a great speaker, often funny (not always intentionally), but he’s no fool. Jokes aside, he had a serious message. Opening the annual week-long ATA Congress, the President of Uganda told the audience that whenever he watches international weather on TV, the presenter shows us that “They’re roasting in Riyadh and freezing in Sweden…”
“Don’t go to Spain, it’s too hot” the President said “come to Uganda instead.”
The Guardian newspaper picked up Museveni’s comments and asked Uganda or Spain: where would you prefer to go on holiday? – poll of Guardian UK readers – at which point UOT (Ugandans on Twitter) – and Facebook too – got busy (busier than our Spanish counterparts at least!)
And here’s some more from President Museveni on the subject: Uganda is a better holiday destination than Spain, president says