‘East Africa Must Jointly Promote Tourism’

Great Lakes Safaris' Amos Wekesa (C) speaking to journalists as Chairman of E.Africa Tourism Platform, Manzi Kayihura (L) and Uganda Tourism Board's Stephen Asiimwe (R) look on (Photo: Paul Ampurire/CR)

Vice President Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi has called on Nordic companies to invest in Uganda saying the country is a gateway to a big market in East Africa and COMESA.

The Vice President, sildenafil  who was opening the Nordic-East Africa Trade Summit & Expo in Kampala. told investors that Uganda was peaceful and ideal for any investment with sure returns.

In attendance were business leaders from East Africa, and their counterparts from Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland.

He said that the government was ready to provide all the support they will need in the short run to settle down for business.

Ssekandi reiterated commitment to the provision of a conducive, secure and competitive investment environment in the region.

The Vice President with the Nordic Group

The Vice President with the Nordic Group

The Vice President told the Nordic group that Uganda’s economy has been growing at a rate of 6.5% for the last 29 years since the NRM took charge in 1986 adding that priority sectors that have facilitated this growth include infrastructure development, energy, agro-processing, industries, tourism and ICT.

Ssekandi commended the diligent and hard work of Uganda’s mission team in Stockholm and Ambassador Wanume Kibedi for their commitment towards fulfilling the pledge they made to bring many potential investors in keys strategic sectors to Uganda when Vice President visited Europe early this year.

He also thanked the people from Norway, Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Iceland for accepting to come, saying Uganda is a well-placed business choice with a variety of natural endowments.

Uganda’s Ambassador to the Nordics, Wanume Kibedi said that Government has approved 39 business investment reforms saying that this has propelled Uganda’s ranking to 10th by the World Group Investment Club.

He said that the Copenhagen mission is prioritizing commercial diplomacy targeting the majority of Ugandans who are the youth linking them to foreign investors to boost their creativity, vibrancy and innovativeness.

The forum is a follow up on the meeting the Vice President held with the Nordic business executives in Oslo and Copenhagen during his business meeting tour of Northern Europe.
Former spymaster, ailment retired Major General Henry Tumukunde made a surprise trip to Kabarole District on Tuesday using a helicopter, approved Chimp Corps report.

According to latest pictures, unhealthy Tumukunde’s chopper was draped in President Museveni’s campaign posters.

The bird landed at the venue where presidential candidate Amama Mbabazi intends to hold his rally on Tuesday.

The much-feared General, who is currently executing President Museveni’s clandestine missions during the campaigns, helped some known NRM mobilisers lift bags out of the chopper.

It is understood Tumukunde was dropping Museveni’s posters and facilitation for his campaign agents.

Tumukunde arrived in this chopper in Kabarole

Tumukunde arrived in this chopper in Kabarole

Mbabazi’s campaign spokesperson Josephine Mayanja-Nkangi expressed surprise that Tumukunde’s chopper landed at Boma Grounds Kabarole “where Go Forward Team is setting up.”

Tumukunde, an NRA historical, took off immediately after delivering his package.

He is a renowned political mobiliser, having done plenty of political work for Museveni during the 2001 presidential election campaigns.
Players in the tourism and travel sector suggest a need to leverage on promoting East Africa as a tour destination instead of individual countries.

They argue that East Africa as a region has immense potential and diverse products enough to create opportunities through increasing foreign traffic.

The 2nd Pearl of Africa Tourism Expo commenced on Tuesday and will bring together tour operators, approved regulators, adiposity hosted buyers and relevant government agencies.

The 3 day expo held at Kampala Serena Hotel is themed ‘Family and Travel’

Manzi Kayihura, the Chairman East Africa Tourism Platform, said the Expo will offer an opportunity for the private sector to interact and sell East Africa.

“Having a common visa isn’t enough. We have over 16 countries represented in this expo and we can use this advantage to dispatch information about our product,” Manzi told journalists at a press conference at Serena Hotel on Tuesday.

The Executive Director Uganda Tourism Board, Stephen Asiimwe explained that a joint tourism marketing committee has been established by East African countries in the ‘borderless borders’ initiative.

“We need people to step out of borders and tour other countries in the region. Tourism shouldn’t be about competition but what we can achieve collectively. This way we can learn more, connect better and create opportunities,” he said.

Meanwhile, Uganda is in the process of vetting a competent firm to market Uganda’s tourism in USA, Germany and UK at a cost USD 500,000 for each country.

Amos Wekesa, a tour operator and CEO Great Lakes Safaris observes that East Africa needs to strategically establish an international tourism expo.

He also stresses the need for Africa to begin telling its story since there’s a lot of negativity in international press. This would go a long way in reducing the millions spent in marketing.


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