World news story

St David’s Day 2015 in Kampala

Wales in Uganda: Land of the Red Dragon comes to the Pearl of Africa

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Flag Raising
Raising of the Welsh Flag at the British High Commission in Kampala

The British High Commissioner to Uganda, HE Alison Blackburne, has invited members of the Welsh community to coffee and cakes to mark St David’s Day, the national day of Wales. Wales and Uganda share strong links, and in January 2013 the British High Commission helped organise the visit of the Rt Hon Carwyn Jones AM, First Minister of Wales, to Uganda, to see at first hand the work that Welsh experts and volunteers are doing to promote development in the Mbale area of Eastern Uganda. There is a significant Welsh community in Uganda, with Welsh people working across a range of sectors, including education, children’s services, agriculture and the environment.

On 27 February 2015, the last working day before St David’s Day (1 arch), the Baner Cymru was flown above the British High Commission. The flag will again be raised at the event to mark St David’s Day on 1 March. The Baner Cymru is the striking flag of Wales, and the dragon is the perfect symbol of the bold, imaginative and original thinking for which Wales is renowned around the world. On St David’s Day, the national day of Wales, people in the United Kingdom celebrate the first day of spring.

Wales First Minister
Members of the Welsh community in Kampala with the Rt Hon Carwyn Jones AM, First Minister of Wales (centre) and the High Commissioner HE Alison Blackburne (right) during the First Minister's visit to Uganda in 2013.

In September last year, Wales was at the centre of the world stage when Newport played host to the NATO Summit. The largest summit ever held on UK soil was attended by 60 world leaders, 70 foreign and defence chiefs and 4,000 delegates, with 1,500 journalists in attendance from across the globe.

2014 was also a very successful year for the Welsh economy. The UK’s GDP is currently growing faster than that of any other major advanced nation, and Wales has seen some of the fastest growth within the UK. This economic success was underlined in November, when an investment summit in Celtic Manor gave Welsh business the opportunity to show over 150 global investors exactly why Wales is such an attractive place to invest and create jobs.

This year, the focus turns to sport, as people in Wales celebrate their great passion, rugby. After the Six Nations in the spring, September and October will see Cardiff’s mighty Millennium Stadium host several matches in the Rugby World Cup. Amid stiff competition, the Welsh team will be hoping to emerge victorious.

On St David’s Day in Wales this year, people will be celebrating by singing the rousing national anthem, ‘Land of My Fathers’ and wearing daffodils and leeks, but Wales’ national day is also an opportunity to stop and take stock of the culture, history and achievements of this remarkable and beautiful country.

Among those born and bred in Wales were Aneurin Bevan, the architect of the world’s first truly national health service; Dylan Thomas, one of the world’s great poets, whose birth centenary was celebrated last year; and William Jones, who transformed mathematics by first using Pi as a symbol.

In the world of business, over half of the world’s commercial aircraft fly on wings made in Wales, and three Welsh companies collaborated on the European Rosetta project which landed a probe on a comet over 300 million miles away, travelling at 36,000 miles per hour.

It is innovation like this that has seen the creation of more than 26,000 new businesses in Wales in the last five years alone. Over 700 international businesses are located in Wales, including Sony, GE, Airbus and Toyota. The business environment is underpinned by an education system with world-class universities that are fully integrated with commercial and industrial partners. Swansea University’s collaboration with Tata Steel is helping to engineer the buildings of tomorrow, which are capable of creating their own energy. And Cardiff is establishing itself as a major international hub for life sciences.

Wales also receives millions of visitors each year. It boasts more castles per square mile than any other country in Europe, and is home to the Gower Peninsula, the first place in the UK to be awarded the accolade ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’. From the annual Hay Literary Festival, the spectacular vistas of the Brecon Beacons, to the museums and nightlife of Cardiff and Swansea, Wales is a magical place to travel. In the Welsh language, the word for welcome is “Croeso”. In 2015, visitors for business or pleasure can be assured of a very warm welcome in Cymru.

Published 27 February 2015