With only just over 5 months to go until the 09th October, when Uganda will celebrate the Golden Jubilee of Independence from former colonial rulers Britain, the long awaited programme announcement will finally be made this coming Sunday by President Museveni.
Several leading tourism stakeholders had in recent weeks made their disappointment known with the lack of information reaching the general public and overseas markets and one regular contributor, more outspoken than others but also on condition of anonymity said: Honestly what took so long. We in Uganda wasted 7 good months we could have used to promote the country with this programme known in good time. I checked some of your articles on the 50th anniversary of the Tanganyika Independence Day from Britain. They had the programme ready 365 days in advance and used it to drum up support for their tourism. Kenya will have their jubilee next year and from friends in Nairobi I know they are in high gear to make their announcements when they celebrate Uhuru Day in December. Here we should have announced a programme of events for the whole year on Independence Day last year and then used it at WTM and then ITB and everywhere we got to promote Uganda.
The Lonely Planet guide made Uganda their top destination for 2012 and that could have been merged with all the other things. We should have had a calendar of cultural events, Ugandan art exhibitions, special tourism events for each of our parks running for the entire 12 months. It shows me that our government simply does not understand tourism and has failed us again like they fail us every year when they give our sector peanuts for funds. And about our tourist board, the president said it all at the meeting the other week at state house. Late like in most things, what a shame for our country.
When the programme is finally available be sure to find details here on what is still to come and to happen over the coming months, as the clock ticks down towards Ugandas 50th Independence Day on 09th October.