Uganda tourism and conservation private sector set to oppose latest merger plan

SAVE MONEY ELSEWHERE BUT NOT AT OUR EXPENSE‘ UGANDA GOVERNMENT TOLD

(Posted 27th February 2021)

New or rather old plans announced by Uganda’s Minister for ICT and National Guidance Judith Nabakooba suggest that the government once again takes aim at the country’s tourism and conservation infrastructure and is again trying to bring several entities like the Uganda Tourism Board, the Uganda Wildlife Authority and the Wildlife Education Centre under the direct control of the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife.
The hitherto independent and semi independent bodies would become departments of the Ministry, a plan sharply condemned in the past by the country’s private sector and once again immediately raising the heat.
The tourism ministry has invariably been described by key stakeholders to ATCNews ranging from ‘asleep‘ to outright ‘incompetent‘ – stakeholders words not ours – and opposition is again forming among members of the main tourism associations, though none of these organizations have yet officially commented on the latest development.
Nabakooba became somewhat notorious when raising the white flag in September 2020 vis a vis the country’s rising #COVID19 infections when she tried to absolve government and transferred responsibility to fight the pandemic to individuals (https://nilepost.co.ug/2020/09/29/nabakooba-time-for-individual-responsibility-in-fight-against-covid-19/).
Several regular contributors from among the Ugandan tourism and conservation fraternity suggested to ATCNews that they will mobilize their associations to formulate a response without precluding individual responses or activities to make government once again change its mind.
Nabakooba suggested that the return of the various bodies could save nearly a trillion Uganda Shillings, but critics were swift to point at other areas of government operations where wasteful behaviour should be curbed and where money could be saved without endangering tourism and conservation in the country yet more. The sector, following the year long pandemic which was first recorded in Uganda around this time last year, is already at the brink of disaster following the collapse of tourism arrivals into the country as a result of the pandemic and subsequent tightening of entry rules for foreign visitors.

ATCNews will monitor the upcoming developments and provide updates as and when available.

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