Kampcon 2028 Uganda Worldcon Bid Presentation to Smofcon

Micheal Kabunga, chair of the Kampcon 2028 Worldcon bid for Uganda, reports bid representatives had funding to attend Smofcon 38 in Montreal, however, they were unable to get Canadian visas. They made a virtual presentation instead. Here is Kabunga’s report about the experience.


Statement on Kampcon 2028 bid team presentation at the Smofcon 38 convention 2022

Once again we beat all probabilities to present the Kampcon 2028 bid at a sitting Smofcon convention. On December 3 the Kampcon bid to host the Worldcon in Uganda in 2028 was virtually presented by the bid chair Kabunga Micheal at Smofcon 38 convention taking place in Montreal, Canada.

Earlier on the team had made arrangements to participate and present the bid in person at the Smofcon 38 convention in Le Center Sheraton Montreal Canada. Despite getting enough sponsorship form a local print industry Inline Print Services Uganda Limited and CWCF to facilitate the travels to Canada, our efforts were deterred by the bureaucracy of acquiring visas to other continents by African residents. After submitting full applications to the relevant authorities efforts to hear from the Canada Embassy before the Smofcon 38 convention date were futile. Thanks to the Smofcon 38 team that made virtual capabilities possible.

Travel barriers continue to exclude African residents from international activities held on other continents, hence leaving a lot of talent untapped in this part of the world. This is the core of the Kampcon bid inviting the Worldcon to the African continent.

Uganda is the pearl of Africa and hosted the first international gathering of writers and critics of African literature in Africa, “the first Africa Writers Conference” held at Makerere University in 1962. Although this was at a time as many Africa nations were breaking free from colonialism, non-Africans like Langston Hughes were welcomed, this explains how courteousness and hospitality is inherent in the Ugandan population.

We hope to host an all inclusive Worldcon at the Speke resort and Commonwealth resort Munyonyo southeast of Kampala at the shores of one of the world’s fresh water lakes with average temperatures of 27c, a five star eco resort 12kms from the city center and 37kms from Entebbe airport. No doubt this landscape will offer rich poetic inspirations.

As the bid team we have great aspirations for next year, we intend to continue to embed the home team into in person Worldcon and international convention running activities to be able to gain experience while recruiting experienced colleagues to join the Kampcon team thus plan and host one of the best Worldcons ever.

We expect to participate fully in Pemmi-con in Winnipeg Manitoba Canada, Worldcon 2023 in Chengdu, China, Smofcon 40, and in number of sci-fi, fantasy and comic cons in Africa. Please visit our website Kampcon.org to get involved. A downloadable PDF brochure will be available on our website. Connect to Sci-fi, fantasy & comicFans, Talents & Stories in Africa.


13 thoughts on “Kampcon 2028 Uganda Worldcon Bid Presentation to Smofcon

  1. LGBTQ fans may not experience that same “courteousness and hospitality.”

    LGBT rights in Uganda
    Note that attempts at further criminalization are as recent as, oh, look, this year.

    Uganda LGBT rights: Government shuts down key advocacy group
    Shut down for not being registered. They tried to register, but were turned down, not for the egregiously bad acronym “Smug,” but because their full name is “Sexual Minorities Uganda,” is, well, from the BBC article,

    In a statement the NGO Bureau acknowledged that Smug had attempted to register with authorities in 2012, but that the application had been rejected because Smug’s full name was considered “undesirable.”

    Courteousness. Hospitality. “The pearl of Africa”? Looks like, for LGBTQ fans, maybe not.

    Yes, early morning cranky, but this is serious.

  2. It seems unlikely that a Worldcon bid could cause Uganda to reform its laws, but if it happens, I would be absolutely delighted to support a Uganda bid. Otherwise, I hope there can be an African bid. South Africa protects LGBT rights and seems like an ideal host. Other African countries might be okay too. It is normal for a Worldcon bid to have committee members and key staff from multiple countries.

  3. I contacted the Uganda bid a while ago about concerns with LGBTQ+ people. They recently responded to me. Without attempting to get permission, I am copying and pasting their reply.

    Hello Linda, thank you for reaching, first it’s not true that Uganda has harsh law against any human rights just a brief, in Febuary 2014 the parliament of Uganda passed a bill against same sex and in August 2014 the courts of law annulled the bi?l since then no other bill has been passed about nphttps://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-28605400, for statistics no tourist has ever faced any harsh treatment on such grounds. African culture regards sex matters as issues not for public domain which makes it difficult for anyone to mind about with the visitor’s sex. Uganda is one of the most diverse countries with over fifty tribe each with a different culture it is just inherent in communities to embrace unity in diversity the only challenge would come if you come for science fiction and then start promoting another culture to surpass other cultures. As for the Kampcon bid safety of alm our guests is paramount, in what ever we do we brief our government structures through the convention bureau here and the office of the president that has assigned personnel to follow up all matters of the bid so expect no friction with the government thanks for the concern please join the team

    Kampcon 2028 bid

  4. I don’t know how that affects a person wearing rainbow symbols or giving their same sex partner a peck on the cheek or how a passport that indicates the X sex (I do believe the US passport now has a space for non binary.

    I checked both the US and Canadian travel advisories and the concern is about crime, terrorism and disease, specifically Ebola. Only gender based warning was on the Canadian site concerning women traveling alone. As I would be a woman traveling alone, I would seek a package tour or some other way of traveling in a group. Being on a eco preserve seems like a really cool idea and I have never been to Subsaharan Africa.

  5. The laws against gay sex in the Penal Code haven’t been struck down. They’re there, and apparently enforced. More recent attempts at passing more extreme laws have been struck down by their Supreme Court, but the government keeps trying.

    Did you read the articles I linked to? One’s a Wikipedia article with a history of Uganda’s anti-LGBTI laws and current status. (Yes, it’s illegal to be intersex, too.)

    The other’s a BBC article from August 2022. This year. Read the whole thing.

    US State Department Uganda Travel Advisory
    They don’t mention LGBTQ issues, but also do not consider Kampala a safe place to be.

  6. I’m living in North Carolina this academic year and just yesterday some anti-trans terrorists shot up a power station not a hundred miles away from me. (Not to be confused with the anti-trans terrorist who shot up a nightclub in Colorado last month). Anti-LGBTQ bills are being passed, upheld, and enforced all across the country.

    I hope you’ll agree with me that if Uganda should be denied the chance to host a Worldcon for LGBTQ reasons, then the United States should also be so denied. (I’m not trying to do some kind of ‘whataboutism’ gotcha, I’m trying to say if we’re going to have principles let’s be aware of the beam in our own eyes).

  7. Whatever we think of this bid and Uganda’s politics in general, can we maybe agree that it’s infuriating that African (and also some Asian and Middle Eastern) members of the SFF community, whether they’re con-runners, writers or editors, have such a hard time getting visa for the US, EU and Canada? And yes, it’s a known problem that affects particularly people in creative professions, but it’s still infuriating.

    @Tom Becker: There actually is another active Worldcon bid for Africa, namely the bid for Cairo, Egypt, in 2026 run by the team behind the 2021 Saudi Arabia bid.

  8. @Jake
    You seem to have missed some of the major differences – the US as a whole is not trying to ban LGBTQ people. Nor is it even a majority view. It’s a minority that controls, somehow, one political party. That party is as short-sighted and bigoted as any in the rest of the world. (They don’t like fandom or SFF either.)

  9. @Jake–Of course, we all know the USA is the worst country in the world. On everything.

    But it’s illegal to be intersex in Uganda. Being intersex is even more something that Just Is than being gay. No one makes a choice to be gay or straight, but at some point, you do have to realize, yes, this is who I am. Intersex people are people born with ambiguous genitalia, and how do you make that illegal?

    Homosexuality is illegal. Unambiguously illegal. For homosexuality: “Up to life imprisonment for “carnal knowledge against the order of nature”; 7 years imprisonment for “gross indecency”.

    The current president of Uganda has been in office since 1986, Despite their Supreme Court saying it’s unconstitutional, he keeps trying to come up with harsher laws against homosexuality.

    Same-sex marriage is legal here. Gay bars aren’t subject to random raids in which people can be arrested and charged for wearing the garb of the wrong sex. We’re making progress on transgender rights–which is what is infuriating the raving right.

    Mass shootings–in LGBT clubs, public schools, movie theaters, public appearances by politicians and federal judges–we need to deal with that, and we’re doing a terrible job of doing something about it. But the problem there is that it’s too easy to get too-powerful guns in the hands of people who should never have had access to any guns.

    Uganda seems to have different problem, with a government that has been trying to make much harsher laws against already-illegal homosexuality, and abusing the laws it does have.

    @Cora Buhlert–Yes, not giving visas to sf fans, and other people traveling for obviously legitimate reasons, is nuts, and not good for anyone. I really have a hard time believing the Kampala bid was trying to send representatives who had any of the Scary Traits or Scary Ties that would justify denying them visas.

    I’m tempted to go on at length, but instead I’m going to take something for my headache.

  10. I was perplexed when I went to Montreal last week for SMOFCon that on the ArriveCAN app for entering Canada that there was a specific question asking if I had been to Uganda. No other country had a country-specific question on the Canadian entry system.

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