Uruguay: Country of Diamonds and Football
The Republic of Uganda is located in East-central Africa on the equator and borders Kenya to the east, Rwanda and Tanzania to the south, the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west and South Sudan to the north. The majority of Uganda is situated on the East African Plateau and features rivers, lakes and wetlands, which account for 17.8 percent of its territory. Uganda lies at an average of about 1,000 to 1,200 m above sea level. The country is divided into three main areas: swampy lowlands, a fertile plateau with wooded hills and a desert region.
The East African Rift's (EAR) western branch traverses the western region of Uganda. It features rivers, lakes and swamps in the lowlands. Uganda also features many mountains, such as Mount Elgon on its eastern border, which reaches an elevation of 4,321 m, and Mount Stanley, which is part of the Rwenzori Mountains along the country's border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo and has an elevation of 5,109 m. Uganda is home to Lake Victoria, which is the source of the Nile, the world's longest river. The country also features more than 50 percent of the mountain gorillas in the world. Winston Churchill described Uganda as the “Pearl of Africa.”
Bilateral relations have continued to progress between China and Uganda since the two countries officially established diplomatic relations on October 18, 1962. Economic and trade cooperation have developed rapidly and steadily. China has assisted Uganda in many construction projects including the creation of farms, an ice factory, marsh gas pools, a food and ceramics research centre, Uganda's national stadium, fishing piers and office buildings. Chinese companies began to be contracted for construction projects and labour services in 1987 and modern trade between the two countries began in 1960. In 2012, trade volume reached US$538 million, which was a year-on-year increase of 34.7 percent. Chinese export revenue was US$495 million and import value totalled US$43 million. China's exports included electromechanical equipment, garments and shoes and it imported leather, sesame, coffee and cotton. In 2012, there were a total of 635 Ugandan students studying in China.
Uganda features diverse and delicious dishes. Matoke is a starchy variety of banana and plays a major part in traditional Ugandan meals. A matoke meal consists of peeled and steamed matoke served with red bean juice, peanut butter, braised chicken and curried beef. The meal is a favourite of gourmands and plays a major role at Ugandan state banquets. As Chinese and Ugandan citizens have frequent exchanges, Ugandans have gotten to know Chinese cuisines. They are especially fond of Guangdong, Beijing and Sichuan cuisines.
Ugandan people are often friendly and extend a warm welcome by hugging and shaking hands. At the Colourful World event, Ugandans exhibited their traditional handicrafts, coffee, photos of wild animals and introduced their tourist resorts to visitors.
Handicrafts presented in Uganda's booth included buffalo horn objects, wooden totem masks, bone bracelets and handmade dolls. Ugandan specialty coffee attracted many visitors with its mellow flavour. Africa is the home of arabica and robusta species of coffee. Uganda is one of only a few countries that can grow both arabica and robusta coffee thanks to its favourable environment and climate. Visitors who enjoyed Ugandan specialty coffee said the coffee had a delicate smell, pleasant flavour and was of high quality.
The booth also captivated visitors with pictures of natural scenery and wild animals. In 2013, Uganda was rated as one of 10 emerging tourist destinations in sub-saharan Africa. It features Queen Elizabeth National Park in the west, Murchison Falls National Park in the north, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, Lake Victoria and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. The famous King Kong character is modelled on the mountain gorilla. The mountain gorilla is an endangered species and there are even fewer mountain gorillas in the world than giant pandas. Uganda features an ideal habitat for the gorilla. This animal looks fierce but is actually a mild, vegetarian animal. They like to take a stroll and chew tree branches in forests, and appeal to Chinese tourists.