In Hoima, the Prime Minister of Uganda, Rt. Hon. Nabbanja Robinah, encouraged Ugandans to focus on green investments and the sustainable utilization of resources for the well-being of present and future generations. She emphasized that these actions align with the Sustainable Development Goals and Agenda 2030 for Uganda.
The Prime Minister highlighted the relevance of the United Nations World Tourism Organization’s chosen theme for this year’s celebrations, “Tourism and Green Investments,” considering the global climate change-related disasters such as floods and storms that have caused loss of life and extensive property damage. She stressed the importance of preserving the environment, referring to a Runyoro statement, “ENSI EBIHIRWE. EBITWASANGIREHO TUBISISIRE,” which underscores the need for environmental conservation.
Nabbanja praised the recent ban by President H.E. on the exportation of ungraded timber to prevent environmental degradation. She urged the protection of wetlands, forests, and the environment, emphasizing that destroying the environment would harm wildlife, plants, and one of the country’s primary revenue sources.
Furthermore, she highlighted the tourism sector’s significance in Uganda’s socio-economic transformation, with the 3rd National Development Plan identifying it as a primary sector. Nabbanja expressed satisfaction with plans to establish the Uganda Hotel and Tourism Training Institute in Jinja as a regional center of excellence for tourism development.
Nabbanja also mentioned various investment opportunities in the tourism sector, including hotel construction and initiatives to reduce carbon emissions while developing climate-resilient infrastructure.
She commended the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife, and Antiquities for hosting the World Tourism Day celebrations in Hoima, noting the region’s rich cultural history and tourist attractions.
Statistics from the Uganda Tourism Board revealed that in 2019, Uganda received 1.5 million tourists, generating $1.6 billion in revenue and creating over 1.5 million jobs. The sector contributed 7.7% to Uganda’s Gross Domestic Product. Despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, tourism is gradually recovering, with over 800,000 tourists visiting Uganda in 2022, bringing in more than $700 million.
Nabbanja encouraged tree planting to create a pleasant environment for tourists and praised development partners for supporting Uganda’s tourism efforts. She thanked the people of Bunyoro for conserving the environment and highlighted the improved road network and upcoming Kabalega International Airport as opportunities for socio-economic transformation.
Minister for Tourism, Wildlife, and Antiquities Col. (Rtd.) Tom Butime emphasized the promotion of both domestic and international tourism, aiming to familiarize Ugandans with their country’s beauty and potential for marketing it abroad.
He noted that the government has invested in infrastructure to facilitate tourism, making most parts of the country easily accessible to tourists. Butime expressed optimism about attracting more tourists with continued investment.
Dr. Joseph Ruyonga, the Hoima West Division Member of Parliament, mentioned the heightened tourism interest in Bunyoro due to the discovery of Oil and Gas.
Brian Kaboyo, the Hoima City Mayor, expressed gratitude for hosting this year’s event, and Seith Muhumuza, the Corporate Affairs Officer from the Petroleum Authority of Uganda, emphasized collaboration with various sectors, including tourism, for economic growth.