Gov’t Will Endeavor to Support Tourism – PM Rugunda

Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda

In pursuit of African solution to African problems, order the African Union has finalized a three weeks training of a joint force from different African countries.

At a function held at Entebbe International Airport on Thursday night, a total of 108 Uganda Peoples’ Defense Forces (UPDF) soldiers and 41 Rwanda troops were received from South Africa.

The Ugandan troops were received by among others, the UPDF Joint Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Wilson Mbadi, Brig. Gen. Mathew Greme, the Joint Chief of Staff of Uganda Rapid Deployment Capability Centre, Lt. Col. Fred Twinamasiko and  the director, In-land training and Col. Emmanuel Twihangana.

Soldiers from about 22 African nations had exercises as part of the African Standby Force (ASF) at the South Africa National Defence Force’s Lohatla training area.

ASF tested its Rapid Deployment Capability (RDC) as a start up operation and its capacity to transition into a full multidimensional peace support operation.

The Exercise further tested the ASF’s level of readiness for Full Operational Capability (FOC) based on the African Union training doctrine and objectives.

Gen. Mbadi revealed that the three weeks field training exercise was conducted to among others check readiness and capacity of African forces to intervene in crises within the continent.

“This is the first time we have had an exercise involving more than 5000 people like this one. We wanted to check whether we are about to reach full operational capability for intervention without having to wait for assistance from outside the continent,” Gen. Mbadi said.

“I have confidence that we have reached there; we did it ourselves in South Sudan; where there is will there is a way.”

Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda has reassured on government’s continued support to the tourism sector saying that tourism is a profitable business for Uganda. He acknowledged that Uganda is gifted with enormous resources and natural beauty referring to it as ‘sitting on a goldmine that hasn’t been fully exploited’.

Dr. Rugunda made the remarks while officiating at the inaugural Tourism Excellence Awards held at Kampala Serena Hotel on Friday. The Prime Minister was accompanied by the Ministers in charge of Finance, more about Hon. David Bahati and Fred Omach.

“Uganda’s tourism is a green sector and government is aware of its enormous potential. We are ready to offer any kind of support when you need it.”

He went on to appreciate the initiative of awarding outstanding individuals and institutions in tourism which he noted will enhance competition and raise standards in the services.

“Tourism should be every Ugandan’s responsibility, buy information pills not only Uganda Tourism Board and Uganda Wildlife Authority. Each Ugandan must always be hospitable and exploit every slightest opportunity they come across to sell Uganda.” said the Premier.

He took time off to praise Ugandan comedians; Anne Kansiime and Patrick Salvador who entertained guests at the award ceremony saying Uganda has extraordinary talent.

As Uganda is left with a week to host the Holy Father, Pope Francis Dr. Rugunda urged Ugandans to take advantage of this historic visit to exhibit the country’s tourism products. He held that the Pope’s visit will attract hundreds of foreign visitors from whom Uganda will earn foreign exchange.

The Tourism Excellence Awards were the climax of a series of activities that aimed at promoting Uganda as a tourism destination among them, the Annual Pearl of Africa Tourism Expo. Visitors from over 70 countries including US, Germany, UK, Switzerland, Nigeria, South Africa were taken on a familiarization trips around Uganda.

Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) believes that the hosted buyers will disseminate stories about Uganda’s beauty to the rest of potential buyers through social media and other mediums.


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