Tourism Minister inaugurates UTB’s 5th Board of Directors

The Minister of Tourism Wildlife and Antiquities, Hon. Col. (Rtd) Tom Butime inaugurated a new Board of Directors for Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) for a 3-year term running 2024-2027. This was at an event held at Mestil Hotel, Kampala on Thursday Feb, 8, 2024.

The term of office for the previous Board of Directors chaired by Mr. Daudi Migereko, ended in December 2023 and their contribution to the growth of the tourism sector and Uganda Tourism Board was enormous and remarkable according to the Ministry of Tourism.

Presiding over the event, Ms. Doreen Katusiime the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism welcomed the 5th board of directors as follows; Ms. Hoareau Kakooza, the Chairperson of the 5th Board of Directors, Rashid Kiyimba representing hospitality and accommodation providers, Margaret Arach Ojara, Member representing the Uganda Tourism Association (UTA), Tonny Grace Mulinde, member representing the Association of the Uganda Tour Operators(AUTO) and Ronald Kazooba, member representing Tourism in general.

Others include; Vivian Lyazi, member, representing the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife, and Antiquities, Ms. Sally Sandra Kebirungi, member, representing the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Steven Masaba, member, representing the Uganda Wildlife Authority(UWA), Vicent Operemo, member, representing the National Planning Authority, Olive Birungi Lumonya, member, representing the Civil Aviation Authority, and CEO, UTB Lilly Ajarova, Secretary to the Board.

Hon Tom Butime expressed gratitude to all stakeholders that have supported and continue to support the growth and development of the tourism sector in Uganda.

“As we handover, let us remember that our goal remains the same; as in positioning Uganda as the world class tourist destination, offer a parallel experience to visitors around the world,” he noted.

He thus appreciated the 4th board members for their support towards the development of the sector and also urged the new board members to approach their roles with integrity and collaboration with other stakeholders to overcome challenges and develop the country’s potential attractions.

Daudi Migereko the outgoing chairperson of the 4th board of directors lauded the Tourism minister upon their appointment to serve the country in the tourism sector which is becoming the most important sector in the economy.

He also appreciated the minister for appointing who, he termed as a very good board to replace them, saying, the outgoing board has worked with many of the newly appointed board members in different areas in the course of tourism.

Migereko asked the 5th board members to make a difference while following up on everything and implementing it so that the country’s sector could be able to compete with all African countries.

“We are lucky, our brand has won awards in Latin America, Europe, Japan, and South Africa among others. Two days ago I saw an update on the internet that Uganda has been ranked number four of the countries that must be visited in the world because of tourism attractions, so please maintain this and also do better,” he remarked.

The newly appointed chairperson of the UTB’s 5th board of directors, Hoareau Kakooza appreciated the Ministry of Tourism for the good relationship and for accommodating the private sector and other agencies.

“Hon Daudi Migereko and the team of the 4th board of directors thank you very much for the job well done and most importantly for laying a foundation upon which the 5th board of directors can build,” she noted.

Before the tourism minister and other tourism stakeholders, Kakooza promised to put national interest above personal interest as they build and develop the country’s tourism sector.

The UTB Chief Executive Officer, also doubling as the secretary to the board Ms. Lilly Ajarova expressed her deepest appreciation to the Tourism minister, the permanent secretary, and board members for their commitment towards the promotion of tourism development in Uganda.

“Under their guidance, we have seen remarkable progress and achievement that have uplifted our country’s tourism sector to a new height. I therefore wish to extend my heartfelt gratitude to you all for the great leadership. You have indeed made a solid foundation upon which we can continue to build and grow,” she expressed.

She also congratulated the incoming board members upon their appointment saying, it is an honour to have been extracted with the responsibility of shaping the future of Uganda’s tourism sector.

“As we take on this road, let us remain steadfast in our commitment to promoting sustainable tourism practices, preserving our national and cultural heritage, and fostering collaboration and inclusivity within the tourism sector,” Ajarova urged.

The new Board of Directors of UTB succeeds the 4th Board of Directors which was awarded certificates of service rendered for commendable performance during their time in office from September 2020 to 2023

These consisted of Daudi Migereko as the Chairperson, Susan Muhwezi Vice Chairperson, representing hospitality and accommodation providers, Suleiman Katende, Member representing the Uganda Tourism Association(UTA), Eddy Kirya, member, representing the Association of the Uganda Tour Operators(AUTO), Yewagnesh Mamo Biriggwa, member, representing the Private Aviation Industry, Vivian Lyazi, member, representing the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities and Paul Mwanja, member, representing the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development.

Others included, Chemonges Sabilla, member, representing UWA, Ronald Kaggwa, member, representing the National Planning Authority, Al Hajj. Eng. Ayub Sooma, member, representing the Civil Aviation Authority, and CEO, UTB Lilly Ajarova, Secretary to the Board.

UTB is a statutory organisation established in 1994 mandated to promote and market Uganda domestically, across the region and internationally, as well as promoting quality assurance in tourist facilities through training, grading, and classification. It is also charged with the promotion of tourism investment, support and act as liaison for the private sector in the tourism development.

The broader goals of the Board are to increase the contribution of tourism earnings and GDP; improve Uganda’s competitiveness as an international tourism destination; and increase Uganda’s share of Africa’s and World tourism market.

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