PACEID in mission to turn Uganda into tourism hub

Kampala, Uganda HABARI DAILY I The increased awareness of Uganda as a good sourcing centre for food products will be used to bring tourism charters weekly, introduce new tools such as positioning Kampala as Marathon City, boost both domestic and international tourism with the aim to turn the country into a regional tourism hub.

Officials at the Presidential Advisory Committee on Exports and Industrial Development (PACEID), have hatched an illustrative plan to turn Uganda into a tourism hub, with top net visitors from around the world.

Odrek Rwabwogo, the PACEID chairman, has revealed that they have embarked on developing content on key tourism sites and focus on meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) as part of efforts to attract tourists to Uganda.

“The country has already put in place some basic facilities that can take in more regional and international meetings. There is an urgent need to coordinate assets the country has with the demand outside to make use of the private and public sector investments that have been made over the last ten years,” he said.

He said such focuses on hotel room capacity, conference facilities and Entebbe airport.

“In Uganda, we know that a dollar earned lands much better with our spirit than a dollar donated. This is because the former makes us more responsible for our actions and how to finance our spending and investment needs while the latter lengthens our dependency mentality,” said Rwabwogo.


He said in 2023, PACEID registered several achievements which included procuring an investor from the UAE to construct the Kidepo National Park Aerodrome.

“The Chamber of Commerce Sharjah-UAE agreed to fund the upgrade of the Kidepo National Park Aerodrome project. President Museveni approved the site (Nakitoit near Lokomoit Gate in Karenga District), which was identified by the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), he said.

He said the aerodrome will be located outside the national park and that a feasibility study for the new aerodrome has already commenced.

Concerning the Kisoro aerodrome, said Rwabwogo, GoU has allocated sh5.5b for its upgrade during the 2023/24 period, with the contract for this exercise awarded to Apron Construction Company.

He further revealed that feasibility studies for the upgrade of the two aerodromes in Arua and Kasese have commenced.


Rwabwogo further revealed that the move by Uganda Airlines to open a new route to the United Kingdom (UK) will soon come to fruition, to boost tourism and trade.

“The national airline has applied to fly to the UK and PACEID has engaged Key Stone Law Firm to facilitate the application process,” he said.

The Uganda Airlines is the national carrier for Uganda that was re-established in 2018 and started operating in 2019 with 2 planes but now has grown to have 6 aircrafts that fly to about 20 destinations as of 2023.

When it comes to Uganda Air Cargo as a facilitator of bulk cargo transportation, Africa Union Aviation has been identified as a potential investor.

“This marks a promising opportunity for collaboration. Currently, Africa Union Aviation is conducting a needs assessment to pinpoint potential areas for a joint venture partnership,” he said, adding that both Uganda Airlines and Uganda Air cargo are talking to Boeing company about establishment of a Uganda cargo centre, a training and maintenance facility at Entebbe.

All these discussions, he pointed out, are facilitated by PACEID.

PACEID also facilitated the training and capacity building of hotel staff to boost their professionalism and skills to handle foreign nationals.

“During phase 1 of training of airport staff, PACEID identified and compiled a list of the tour operators, taxi operators and car rental service providers to be trained. We selected Max & More as the trainer of the trainers’ company,” he said.

Rwabwogo also revealed that PACEID has facilitated the development of a tourism content handbook on Uganda.

“This is a strategic working document that has been developed to guide content identification, define communication targets, and identify relevant and effective distribution channels,” he said.


PACEID has also identified international charters that have the potential to increase tourist arrivals in Uganda. These include companies such as  Condo, Euro Wing, and Travel Land.

It also endeavoured, said Rwabwogo, to pinpoint hoteliers for the National Parks.

“In this effort, Latitude Group of Companies has been identified as a potential investor, and has submitted an Expression of Interest to UWA and UIA, pending approval,” he said.

In an effort to provide 5G Internet for all National Parks, UWA has been prompted to reduce the annual fee for telecom towers in national parks.

“They have henceforth signed an MOU with MTN to construct 69 towers in Queen Elizabeth, Murchison Falls, Mt. Elgon, Kidepo Valley, and Bwindi Impenetrable National Parks from 2023-2025,” said Rwabwogo in a statement titled Exports and Industrial Advisory Centre Annual Report March 2023 – March 2024.

He said so far, 3 towers have been constructed in Murchison Falls National Park.

“Additionally, UCC allocated spectrum to the telecoms for the 5G network operations, ” he said, adding that when it comes to outlets on the Entebbe Express Highway, site inspection is complete and locations have been identified for the setup.

“In this, several facilities will be set up including a café, ATM, forex bureau, mobile money shop, and lavatories. UNRA has issued a no objection for utilization of the location,” said Rwabwogo.


In order to harmonize its communication flow, the Government of Uganda embarked on a Strategic Communication Plan, in collaboration with the Ministry of ICT and National Guidance.

“An operations committee has been formed in collaboration with PACEID to spearhead the implementation of this plan.”

Tourism is a fast-growing sector since Uganda, and the country was ranked by Lonely Planet as a top tourist destination and one of only three countries with about 50% of the world’s known population of endangered mountain gorillas.

Game viewing is the most popular tourist activity in the country’s national parks due to the fact that the country has a variety of game, including the rare tree-climbing lions of Ishasha, white rhinoceros, and elephant. It is also home to 11% of the world’s bird species [a total of 1,060 bird species], and also blessed with unspoiled scenic beauty including forests, hills and mountains, rivers and lakes.

According to information from the Uganda Investment Authority (UIA), Uganda’s steadily growing tourist numbers are estimated to have reached 1.5 million per year, contributing 7.7% to GDP.

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