A multi-stake holder platform comprising eminent Ugandans from the public and private sector has been formed with the main aim of promoting tourism in Kigezi region and Uganda in general.
The Kigezi Tourism Multi stake holder platform was formed at the end of December, 2011 during the International Community of Banyakigezi (ICOB) Convention 2011 held at White Horse Inn and was preceded by a Mountain Gorilla Marathon race flagged off by the Bank of Uganda Governor Professor Tumusiime Mutebile.
The founding members of the tourism cluster platform say they recognize the abundant and diverse natural and cultural endowment of the region and fully appreciate the importance of tourism in transforming the socio economic livelihoods of the people of Kigezi.
“We acknowledge that despite the resource endowment , the region has not fully exploited the potential of the tourism industry, it is relatively uncompetitive and that the sector opportunities have not been fully utilized to promote the inclusiveness of all communities to enhance social economic welfare,” says a statement signed by Professor Mutebile as the chairman ICOB Uganda chapter and Dr. Peter Ngategize of the Ministry of Finance as the facilitator.
In recognition of the above factors, adds the statement, the tourism cluster is committed to accomplish the following : To act as an advocacy platform promoting and lobbying for the interests of tourism development in the region, Promote and package the attractions of Kigezi region for domestic, regional and international market, to mobilize and engage Banyakigezi community to appreciate ,conserve and develop the tourism attractions in the region and to Identify tourism opportunities and attract investment in the sector.
To further the said objectives, an interim committee was formed to accomplish a number of tasks including Mobilization and registration of membership for the cluster, formulate a constitution and register the cluster ,linking the cluster with relevant stake holders and institutions furthering its mandate and to organize and structure its administration.
The committee consists of members identified from the public and private sectors with interest and capacity to promote the cluster. They are Dr. Peter Ngategize, Mr. Nicholas Byengoma of Acadia Cottages, Engineer Ivan Mbabazi Batuma,Ms Charlote Kanabahita, Mr. James Garuga Musinguzi,Mr. Seith Byarugaba,Mr. Cuthbert Baguma of the Uganda Tourism Board,Mr. Stephen Masaba of the Uganda Wildlife Authority and Lilian Lyazi of the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Heritage among others.
Others are Prof. Tumusiime Mutebile,Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda,Ms Monica Ekyogabiirwe, Fidelis Kanyamunyu, representatives from Rural Electrification Agency, Local government representatives from Kigezi region districts, Ministry of ICT and the national Roads Authority