Immediate former Ugandan Tourism Minister passes


(Posted 25th June 2017)

Dr. Maria Mutagamba, Uganda’s former Minister for Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, passed away yesterday in Kampala, aged just 64. She was born in what today is Rakai District in September 1954 and after attaining her A-levels at St. Mary’s Namagunga gained her academic honours at Makerere University and later at the John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Dr. Maria served as tourism minister between 2012 and 2016, when she retired on her own volition from elective politics after serving as a Member of Parliament since 2001. Before being appointed tourism minister she held the portfolio of Water and Environment after first being appointed to government as a State Minister for Water.
Though serving in the tourism ministry for only one term did Dr. Maria swiftly earn the industry’s respect.
She brought the Africa Travel Association Annual Congress to Uganda in 2014 and then served as the organization’s President until the congress in Nairobi a year later. During her presidential year she helped to put Uganda on the map of American travel agents and tour operators where she made a big impact through her professionalism and personal charm. It was during her term of office when a Ugandan culinary speciality, known as ‘Rolex‘ first rose to regional and international fame after she named it a ‘tourism product‘ and swiftly made an impact with regular ‘Rolex‘ festivals since held in Kampala.
This correspondent knew Dr. Maria very well and had a happy reunion with her just a couple of months ago, sadly unaware of her worsening medical condition.
Condolences are expressed to Dr. Maria’s family and friends and the people of Uganda on the occasion of her passing on.


  1. I’m so sorry to learn of this. I found her always most courteous and helpful when I was working with her Ministry, just 3 or 4 years ago, on formulating a new tourism policy and tourism development master plan. RIP