This was the 5th Annual Teso Development International Conference (TDIC). It took place on Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd September 2018 at the 4-Star De Vere Selsdon Estate Hotel, London, UK.
TDIC 2018 was organized by Iteso Welfare Association (IWA) UK, in collaboration with Iteso Cultural Union (ICU) UK and Karamoja Community UK Foundation (KCUKF). IWA UK is 27-year old organisation that is registered to operate in the UK and in Africa.
The theme of the conference was; Working Together for Sustainable Development. This theme built on the theme of the 2017 conference which was Teso: Past, Present, and Future.
The overall goal of the conference was to unite, collaborate, and partner with young people and women in identifying strategies for achieving sustainable development of the Ateker people in the UK, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia and South Sudan.
The conference was opened by His Royal Highness the Emorimor Papa Iteso Augustine Adugala Lemukol Osuban who was the Guest of Honour. In his address, he suggested demarcating Teso into different agricultural zones so as to increase productivity and development.
The Emorimor arrived Thursday 20th September 2018 accompanied by his Wife, Toto Akaliait Agnes Osuban, the Prime of Iteso Cultural Union, Paul Sande Emolot, Minister for International Relations and Diaspora Affairs, Leonard Ekapu Otekat and Government of Uganda State Minister for Teso Affairs, Hon. Agnes Akiror Egunyu.
The conference was closed by Hon. Akiror, who spoke about government programmes in Teso and addressed several pertinent issues raised by the delegates. She informed the conference that the budget for her ministry has increased from 1.8 to 6.8 billion Uganda shillings and the government had agreed to provide students from Teso 100 scholarships to study science courses as per the resolutions of TDIC 2017.
Dr. Young Gill Lee gave a Key Note address where he emphasised the need for a knowledge-based and connectivity driven economy. Using the example of South Korea, Dr. Lee said Teso needed infrastructural connectivity, electronic connectivity and knowledge connectivity but these must lead to market connectivity.
Lawyer Richard Anguria Omongole informed the conference about the different cases for compensation of the Iteso for the losses they suffered during the war. He appealed to the Minister of State for Teso Affairs to organise a delegation to meet the president over the payment of 120 billion awarded by court.
The Prime Minister of Teso, Paul Sande Emolot thanked IWA for organising the conference and appealed to the Iteso to unite so as to achieve their interests.
On Sunday, Papa Emorimor started his day with prayers at St. Gertrude’s Catholic Church, South Croydon.
One of the key conference highlights was the launch of Karamoja Community UK foundation by the Emorimor, who was presented with a gift of emakuk.
Before departing for Uganda Friday 28 September 2018, the Emorimor and his delegation received a delegation from Uganda High Commission in London. The delegation led by Mrs. Juliet Mugerwa, the Counsellor for Community Affairs thanked the Emorimor for his service and handed him an assortment of gifts.
At the end of Day 1, delegates were hosted to a powerful charity dinner that was attended by over 100 guests who revelled till 1:00 am.
IWA was honoured to host the representative of the Kabaka of Buganda in the UK, Mr. Ronald Frederick Lutaaya and Princes Nazziwa. Mr. Lutaaya lauded the close working relationship between Buganda and Teso communities in the UK.
The Emorimor also launched a book on Teso Food recipes written by ICU UK. The book is written to guide on the preparation of different Teso dishes.
The other highlight of the dinner was the presentation of awards for various services rendered to Teso. The following received awards:
- Richard Anguria Omongole for his distinguished legal service to the Iteso community;
- David Wako a.k.a. Davido Spider for using his music talent to promote charitable work in Teso communities;
- Gabriel Opolot Ononge, for his distinguished service to the Iteso through his tireless efforts in Iteso Cultural Union to mobilise youth to engage in their community affairs and his persistent advocacy for culturally informed development in Teso;
- Elma Challa Kapel, Miss Tourism, Uganda for promoting Uganda as a tourist destination;
- Equity Bank Uganda for supporting IWA activities.
The following people from Namasagali Former Students’ Association were also recognised: Jimmy Kagusa for donating football kits to Teso; Mr. and Mrs. Lubowa and Mr. and Mrs. Mukasa for their relentless support to IWA.
During the dinner, the Karamojong presented a refreshing Bull dance and remix of Karamojong dances which delighted guests.
At the conference, obu emuria ikodikod bulaya as new members were honoured with names of Iteso. The following were honoured with Iteso names.
- Pamela Lubowa who was Secretary for the conference was named Apolot;
- Brandy Mukusa who was in charge of protocol was named Akiteng;
- Rogers Mukasa who was named Emong;
- Young Gil Lee, the Vice Chancellor of Kumi University and Key Note speaker at the conference was named Esunget, former paramount chief of Kumi County.
These names were in addition to others who were previously given Iteso names.
- William Masembe Nkatta of Buganda Heritage Foundation and a great friend of Teso named Okiror;
- Gillian Sutton, IWA’s Director of Finance who is Asio;
- Sarah Eicker, Director of Ron Hubbard Foundation, named Amulen;
- Tracy Coleman, Public Relations Officer, Church of Scientology named Atiang.
The conference attended by nearly 100 people adopted 9 resolutions stressing greater unity of the Ateker people, improved coordination of development efforts led by the affirmative ministries of Teso and Karamoja affairs, promotion of tourism and creation of economic zones, among others. Full resolutions will be published separately.