The person behind the initiative, Jon Howell, Tourism Development Manager, UBM Routes presented the cheque to Ms Joyce Kigozi, Operations Manager, The Gorilla Organization and Dr. Andrew Seguya, Executive Director, Uganda Wildlife Authority on July 7th at Routes Africa Welcome Reception, Speke Resort Munyonyo, Kampala.
Speaking after being presented with the cheque, Ms. Kigozi appreciated the efforts taken to raise these funds for the organization. "Thank you so much," she said to a huge crowd attending a cocktail, in her address to the Routes team and its sponsors. "Our work is only possible because of thoughtful contributions from people like you. I want to assure you the £1,179 will be put to good use to save the Gorillas. On behalf of The Gorilla Organization and its entire staff in both London and Africa we want to thank you so much," she added.
Her sentiments were echoed by D. Seguya who said . "I would like to also thank the team at Routes and UBM Live and all those that participated in the Greater Manchester event for what you are doing for Uganda. We appreciate the role of air transport in developing tourism and we think it is great that representatives of this industry have worked on this initiative to protect the Mountain Gorillas," he said.
He added, "We have just completed a census of Mountain Gorillas in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and we now have a figure of more than 400 of these rare animals, from 340 just six years ago and this has been one of the biggest achievements of conversation. We really promise that these resources will be put to very good use to conserve these animals in partnership with The Gorilla Organization,"
Meanwhile the Uganda minister for Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities Mrs Maria Mutagamba said during the Routes Africa Strategy summit that Uganda's tourism growth over the years can clearly be correlated to the growth in aviation industry. The policy of liberalization of the economy enabled tourism to post significant economic growth, she added.
The minister encouraged both national and local players to participate in Uganda's tourism and aviation sectors, with government providing enabling policy leadership.
The three day summit was marked with exhibitions from local and international airlines, airport authorities, tourism agencies including Uganda Wildlife Authority and a dinner gala entertained by the famous Ndere Troupe.
Over 360 delegates from 50 countries , representatives from over 60 airlines,60 airport authorities, suppliers and tourism representatives attended the 8th Routes Africa summit to plan and discuss air services development across Africa.
Mr. Cuthbert Baguma of the Uganda Tourism Board made a presentation on Driving Tourism in Africa while Mr. Amos Wekesa of the Great Lakes Safaris Company made a presentation on the compelling tourism attractions in Uganda.