Uganda Needs Centre Of Excellence In Hospitality - Wekesa

2123 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
Wekesa, who has been appointed the Chairperson of the Presidential Investors Roundtable on Tourism believes that if government invests more in training youths in the hospitality sector, the country can offer more employment for the youth in the sector instead of depending on imported managers from other countries.

Uganda needs to create its own center of excellence in the hospitality sector, so that more Ugandan youth can be employed here instead of exporting graduates as housemaids and guards. The newly appointed Chairperson of the Presidential Investors Roundtable on Tourism, Amos Wekesa says this is one area he will focus on during his term.

Wekesa says the country should invest to train youth in the hospitality sector instead of importing personnel from Kenya and South Africa, among other countries. 

Currently, most of the managers and chefs in rated hotels in the country are foreigners, leaving Ugandans to occupy lower ranks. This has not been helped by the fact that the only government funded hospitality institute in the country, the Uganda Hotel and Tourism Training Institute does not have the required funding to upgrade facilities and the human resource needed to make the institute competitive globally.

Wekesa now promises to use his new position to rally the team he is heading to ask government to create the much needed centre of excellence.

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Wekesa also says the focus of the roundtable will be in lobbying government to allocate more funds to market Uganda as a destination. Currently, the budget for marketing Uganda stands at about five million dollars, much less than that of Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda that have all invested heavily in marketing themselves as preferred tourist destinations.

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Wekesa's view re-echoes what has been expressed by other players in the sector. Last year ,Dr. Wilber Ahebwa of Makerere University's Department of Tourism said government must merge the different authorities under the ministry to create efficiency in the sector. He suggested that instead of the current Uganda Wildlife Authority and Uganda Tourism being separate entities, they should be merged to create Uganda Tourism and Wildlife Conservation Authority.