Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Coming up:  Investing in Eastern Africa, London - 10th October 2014

Image for Investing in Eastern Africa 10 OctHomestrings and DMA are delighted to announce that Investing in Eastern Africa - the latest in our series of events aimed at directing capital from the Diaspora into investable projects from across Africa - will be held in central London, on Friday, 10th of October 2014
Eastern Africa will not only include projects from the five EAC member states of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi but we will now also be extending to the Horn of Africa to include Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia and Somaliland

The conference is FREE for Homestrings members and will showcase a number of investable projects from across the EAC to a pre-selected audience of qualified investors, members of the Diaspora and non-traditional institutional investors.  Register for the conference here

Uganda to earn sh5.3 trillion from tourism
By David Mugabe

Earnings from tourism are expected to exceed $2 billion (about sh5.3 trillion) per annum in the next few years, according to projections from the tourism Master Plan launched at the weekend.
The projected earnings ($2b) are about a third of the 2014-15 annual budget, a figure which highlights the immense contribution the sector will have in the future surpassing almost any sector before commercial oil production begins.
The plan prepared with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) also forecasts the creation of more than 150,000 additional tourism jobs by 2024, almost the same number that will be created at full peak of commercial oil production.
The Master plan estimates the average total expenditure of leisure tourists on a pre-booked package tour at $1,200 per capita, and that of international business tourists at $900, excluding air fares in the key high-yield tourist markets.
“The forecast growth of these markets is likely therefore to have a substantial impact on receipts in Uganda and it is projected that attracting 100,000 additional leisure tourists would add 11% to exports and 1.6% to GDP,” reads the 2014-2024 Master plan launched by tourism minister Maria Mutagamba in Mbale on Saturday during the World Tourism Day celebrations.
“Persuading every tourist to spend one additional night in Uganda would add 7% to exports and 1.0% to GDP while 8% annual growth in leisure and conference tourists would generate an additional $220 million in receipts per annum,” the plan quotes results of a World Bank survey done in 2013.
It places focus on destination marketing and competitiveness and recognizes Uganda’s exceptional range of natural and cultural tourism assets.
It thus also prescribes strategies to unlock their potential which will enable deliver a significant boost to the tourism sector over the next ten years.
Mutagamba noted that the plan’s success will depend on the commitment and coordination of all sector players, it requires increased investment along the tourism value chain.
She called for professionalism from the industry players including marketers, private sector and guides noting that working together will see the industry go places.

Toursim minister Maria Mutagamba (in green) inspecting a product stall during the World Tourism day celebrations in Mbale where the Master Plan was launched. PHOTO/David Mugabe
Mutagamba has called for attention to detail and the need to handle tourists and foreign guests with utmost care because they remain ambassadors of the country.
“If we are going to compete we cannot afford to ignore small things,” noted Mutagamba in reference to image created from things like corruption and service provision.
She narrated the dangers of vices like corruption like police officers asking for bribes from foreign tourists who go to them seeking help when they are robbed.
“We want police, immigration to be alert and know they have a duty to promote Uganda,” said Mutagamba.
International arrivals have short up from 192,754 in 2000 to 1.2m in 2012.
Foreign receipts from tourist arrivals in 2012 amounted to $834million according to statistics from Uganda Bureau of Statistic. In 2011 tourism contribution to total Ugandan GDP was $1.4 billion.
It is estimated that by 2023 some 588,300 persons will be directly employed in the tourism sector up from 180,900 jobs in 2011. UNDP resistant representative Ahuma Eziakonwa Onochie reiterated the massive role of the tourism in job creation and foreign exchange earnings.
"We see tourism as central for a holistic transformative agenda,” noted Onochie.
The master plan will also address the persistent challenges curtailing the sector’s growth like promotion, skills and regulation. The plan focuses on the creation of regional tourism development areas and regional clusters.
“We have focused on diversifying the product, giving prominence to other tourist segments like agro-tourism, culture and faith based tourism while consolidating the nature and wildlife product,” noted Mutagamba.
Priority she said will be given to the domestic and regional market as well as addressing the awareness gap and improving general infrastructure.
Mutagamba said tourism has become a truly global socio-economic phenomenon with over one billion tourists travelling in abroad in 2013.
In Uganda the industry contributed an estimated 10% in GDP.
To maximize on its marketing plans, Uganda has also been advised to seek out international stars who can partner in promoting local activities like culture.
Peter Myles, coordinator for the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO has cited the example of Shakira, Colombian international music superstar who recently did a gig with Zulu dancers to make a music video whose results have been a win-win for both the artists and the country.
Myles asked Uganda to take advantage of the rising interest in Africa. James Tumusiime, Uganda Tourism Board chairman thanked Mutagamba for the growing enthusiasm in the sector since her entry as minister. He also emphasized the need for developing regional clusters.
Captain John Emily Otekat, Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) revived calls for the establishment of a national airline saying it continues to deny the country value marketing impetus.