The World Bank team lead by Ms. Mukami Karuiki the Country Manager together with Qursum Qasim, private sector specialist, finance, competitiveness and innovation on 1st, Thursday, 2022 held a meeting with Uganda Tourism Board at its head office in Kampala to lay synergies on areas of support to tourism industry in Uganda.
The meeting was presided over by UTB Chairman Board of Directors Hon. Daudi Migereko.  In attendance were other members of the Board that included Vice Chairman Mrs. Suzan Muhwezi, Mr. Eddy Kirya, Ms. Yogi Birigwa, Mr. Lyazi Vivian, UTB CEO Lilly Ajarova and management staff of the institution.

During the meeting, UTB Board Chair Hon. Daudi Migereko highlighted to the delegation the state of Uganda’s tourism sector as a key to post COVID 19 revamp of the economy because of its far-reaching trickle-down effects that feed into linkages of other sectors.  He explained that prior to the pandemic, tourism was one of the country’s biggest foreign exchange earners. It employed a vast majority of the youth, majority women and girls. The pandemic however reversed most of the gains made over the years with little investments in the sector as a result of global lock downs.

In order to revamp investments that help the sector recover, Hon. Migereko explained the need to support funding of the tourism plans and initiatives by the world bank. This, he noted would go a long way to facilitate the economic recovery of the sector to its pole position before the global pandemic. “In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, the government of Uganda and tourism industry players are investing heavily in the sector’s recovery. However, there is a lot of short falls that require external funding to be able to successfully implement the recovery plans,” he noted. He requested the World Bank to extend affordable credit financing solutions to support tourism sector players who are grappling with effects arising from the pandemic orchestrated by losses businesses endured during the COVID 19.

Ms. Mukami Kariuki on her part welcomed the idea of regular meetings to discuss tourism developments as she revealed the overarching view of the World Bank to support Uganda’s tourism industry and its players, as well as product development, digital infrastructure, and many more.

UTB CEO Lilly Ajarova briefed the delegates on the unveiling of the country’s refreshed new brand identity, Explore Uganda – The Pearl of Africa as the face of destination Uganda and plans to roll out the brand countrywide. UTB through the new rebrand will tell the story of Uganda as a destination to explore for an adventure of a lifetime.
Uganda’s Vision 2040 identifies tourism as a fundamental opportunity that should be harnessed as a matter of priority to facilitate the socio-economic transformation of Uganda into a prosperous upper middle-income country. The sector is expected to contribute towards job creation, foreign exchange earnings, investment promotion, poverty reduction and conservation.