Uganda takes faith tourism to Akwaaba 2016

The 12th edition of the Akwaaba 2016 Exhibition has opened at the Eko Convention Centre in Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria with Uganda among the 16 countries and over 55 private firms participating in the travel trade fair.

"Uganda has a definite advantage being new and largely unknown here. More importantly Uganda has the niche and unique product of the Uganda Martyrs. No country can beat that and Nigerians will travel for that," Ambassador Ikechi Uko, founding member of Akwaaba, has said.

"We have seen numbers of Nigerians going to Kenya, Benin among others rise after the expo. Uganda will see more Nigerians travel there," Uko said adding that Nigerians travel for leisure, shopping, investment and faith.

Nigeria has Africa's largest number of Catholics and probably one of the biggest number of protestants. The  Uganda Martyrs are 45 Anglican (23) and Catholic (22) who chose to die for their faith in the late 1880s. Uganda and the world commemorate the Martyrs every 3rd June and the Uganda Martyrs pilgrimage is one Nigerians may be interested in.

Three Popes, including current Pope Francis, have visited the shrine where the majority of the 45 Uganda Martyrs meet their end. Namugongo has both Anglican and Catholic shrines, and the Uganda Martyrs Museum.

Today, Namugongo remains probably Africa's largest faith destination. And Akwaaba is one of many platforms to reach Africa's largest Christian population.