KAMPALA, Uganda – Kanye West handed the president of Uganda a pair of his autographed sneakers on Monday during a visit to the East African nation in which the rapper is said to be recording music in a tent.
The 74-year-old president, Yoweri Museveni, said he and West had "fruitful discussions" on the promotion of tourism and the arts. He also gave West and his wife, reality TV star Kim Kardashian West, "Ugandan" names, the Government House said in a Facebook post.
The couple have been vacationing in a national park in Uganda, while enthusiastic tourism officials see the visit as an endorsement of the country's tourism potential.
While the Ugandan presidency posted pictures of a western hooded sweatshirt that met with Museveni at the State House, some Ugandans ironically pointed out that the president took action against sweatshirts earlier this year, saying motorcyclists they could no longer use them in an attempt to fight crime on the rise.
Museveni, one of Africa's oldest leaders, has been at the center of unrest in recent weeks after Bobi Wine, a local lawmaker who became a pop star and opposed the opposition, was allegedly tortured by the security forces. The government denies it.
Uganda's large youth population has increasingly expressed its frustration over unemployment and has accused the president of being out of touch. The government recently imposed a tax on social networks and the constitution was modified to eliminate the age limit of the presidency, which led some to worry that Museveni plans to govern for life.
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