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EU Ambassador To Uganda Highlights Commitment To Supporting Tourism Sector Through Financing And Local Participation

EU Ambassador To Uganda Highlights Commitment To Supporting Tourism Sector Through Financing And Local Participation

The European Union (EU) is dedicated to supporting the tourism sector through various means such as financing, enhancing visibility, and promoting local involvement in tourism development, according to Jan Sadek, the EU Ambassador to Uganda.

Ambassador Sadek made these remarks during a panel discussion on Sustainable Financing for Tourism held during the Pearl of Africa Tourism Expo (POATE) in Kampala. The panel discussion was moderated by Richard Kawere, Principal of the Uganda Hotel and Tourism Training Institute (UHTTI).

The EU Ambassador expressed his satisfaction with the government’s commitment to promoting Uganda as a tourism destination. He noted that there is limited awareness about Uganda among people in his home country of Sweden, with their knowledge often limited to Idi Amin.

Treasury Secretary Ramathan Ggoobi also emphasized the government’s intention to invest in branding and marketing Uganda as a preferred tourism destination.

Mr. Ggoobi, who is also the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Finance, highlighted the government’s support for sectors such as Agriculture, Tourism, and Mining (ATM).

He projected that tourism development could generate $50 billion by 2040, a significant increase from the current $2 billion in 2023.

Mr. Ggoobi acknowledged that the tourism industry in Uganda faces several challenges, including limited marketing, a shortage of skilled workforce, and poor road infrastructure.

Mr Ggoobi urged Ugandans to stop speaking ill of their country

He revealed that the government has initiated interventions worth $68 million under the Competitive Enterprise Development Project (CEDP).

These interventions aim to upgrade infrastructure and skills at UHTTI in Jinja, the Uganda Wildlife Research Training Institute, and enhance the capacity of the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre.

Mr. Ggoobi also emphasized that tourism development should be a collective effort involving all citizens and various government ministries, departments, and agencies. He urged Ugandans to refrain from speaking ill of their own country, as this negatively impacts the growth of the sector.

During a separate discussion, Prof Lawrence Muganga, the vice-chancellor of Victoria University, encouraged the Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) to adopt innovative strategies to market the country.

He cited examples of successful collaborations between the university and artistes, such as organizing a music battle between Cindy and Sheebah Karungi, which garnered significant public attention without any financial compensation.

Prof Muganga also mentioned Victoria University’s appointment of Shanitah Namuyimbwa (Bad Black) as their brand ambassador on a previous occasion.

The Pearl of Africa Tourism Expo is an annual event organized by the Uganda Tourism Board, bringing together various stakeholders in the tourism industry for networking and business opportunities.

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