Can Uganda increase export earnings through tourism? President Museveni issues five directives to achieve this

President Yoweri Museveni has expressed the need to support the private drive to increase Uganda’s export earnings.

President Yoweri Museveni believes Uganda’s tourism sector can play a leading role to increase Uganda’s export earnings especially if the private sector has been supported. The President, in his maiden quarterly address that focused on supporting the tourism sector delivered at State House Entebbe on Wednesday, issued five directives that will see Uganda’s image presented in a more welcoming way to the world.

The President directed that Uganda sets up Uganda Trade Hubs at Airports and aerodromes, tarmacs the four export aero drones, trains staff in the hospitality industry about Uganda’s tourist locations, harmonize tourism communications and that Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) starts giving monthly updates on the clean-up, repair and maintenance of roads in the city.

Shs6bn to fill Kampala potholes

The President directed KCCA to follow the parish model approach and have at least one garbage truck for each of the 99 parishes, 10 garbage skips per parish and four skip-loaders per division.

He directed the ministry of finance to urgently release the quarterly contribution to KCCA of Shs6bn for pot-hole filling, repairs and maintenance of roads.

Trade hubs in Uganda, abroad

The President directed the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and the Ministry of Works to work with the private sector and set up these trade hubs starting at Entebbe International Airport. The hubs will be composed of coffee, chocolate, Uganda leather products, sugar, fruits, vegetables, dairy, beef, poultry, etc., and will be places for content about Ugandan on tourism and hospitality.

“The trade hubs will be ran by the private sector and they will be the basis for mapping more than 10,000 tourist attractions in Uganda. Many of you know, our country has the best weather, holds the world’s most powerful waterfalls, it has some 54% of all existing mountain Gorillas and has the highest block of mountain ranges on the continent,” Museveni noted.

He emphasized that the trade hub and private sector will work with Uganda Airlines, internet and other media channels to produce and provide content on these sites. He proposed collaboration with the ministry of Tourism and its institutions of Uganda Tourism Board and Uganda Wildlife Authority. According to the President, the hub idea will be replicated at all aerodromes across the country wherever tourists land, including the border points.

The President added that the trade hubs will also be in Belgrade, Serbia, the Uganda UN mission in New York, Uganda High commission in London, Uganda High Commission in Kinshasa, Uganda missions in Brussels and South Africa, Uganda mission in Beijing, Uganda mission in the UAE and Uganda mission in India.

Facilitating aerodromes

The President wants the aerodromes of Pakuba, Kasese, Kidepo and Kisoro with hard surfaces and other appropriate facilities to allow arrivals that don’t need to first get to Entebbe airport. He directed that aerodromes should have international codes to allow tourists booked directly to the game parks.

“The CAA should work with the private sector and the ICAO and IATA, where necessary, to gazette and improve safety standards so that these aerodromes can be given international codes,” the President advised.

Internet connection at tourism sites

He also directed the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) to work with telecom operators to provide broadband internet in the game lodges and in the aerodromes including 5G networks for places like Hospitals, hotels and educational institutions.

He directed the ministry of Works and Transport to have information points, Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) for those who need to change or withdraw money to pay at the road tolls.

“When visitors arrive after midnight and are unable to exchange money at the airport, how will they use your road toll if you don’t provide facilities for them?”Museveni wondered.

Border entry points

All the border points, according to the President, starting with Malaba, Mpondwe, Elegu, Mutukula should be treated as export and tourism points and have the private sector involved in the design and set up of the Hubs.

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