WILL UGANDA 7 NEW CITIES CREATED HARNESS DOMESTIC TOURISM POTENTIAL
Uganda has had 1 city of Kampala for the last 58 year after it got its independence. On 1st July 2020 was de day when the minister of local government announced these long awaited cities will be starting. From a single city, created at independence in 1962, Uganda is now celebrating 7 more cities where Citizens of these former towns now are called city dwellers on Wednesday 1st July 2020 when they woke up cities dwellers and their cities capacity took effect.
All these towns were municipalities and were elevated to cities and they include Arua in the West Nile region near the DR Congo and South Sudan borders, Gulu in the Central North, Mbale and Jinja in the east, Mbarara in the Midwest, Fort Portal in the west and Masaka in central region.
By creating more cities in the country the government of Uganda is following Uganda Vision 2040 that will propel development to all parts of the country. These cities will serve as regional centers for commercial business and Kampala will remain as hub for engineering more wealth to these parts of Uganda. These cities created are located strategically per regional and strategic positions as one of the key drivers for the development agenda of the country’s long term aspirations and projections for the future,” said Raphael Magyezi, the Minister for Local Government. He spoke on Tuesday on 30th June 2020 in Uganda Parliament in Kampala as he announced guidelines for these cities to start operating as individual cities. There was no major fanfare due to restrictions imposed for the containment of the coronavirus pandemic. Police shut down plans by the new cities to have fireworks displays.
In tourism these cities should deeply look or consider into all opportunities to harness tourism potential in their regions. All regions of Uganda have got lots of tourism attractions to bring revenue to these cities and regions. As mayors and planners of these cities are planning for their new cities they should not forget that tourism has been on the fore front of earning foreign exchange for Uganda. The city which will be able to see and realize this potential in the shortest possible time and exploit it early will develop. Uganda is a safari destination country attracting many safaris of different tourists both foreign and domestic.
Uganda lacks short tours of say 1 day or 2 days destinations based on luxury spending and fan fare exciting expeditions. Masaka and Mbarara should exploit this potential. Masaka extends to Shores of Lake Victoria which can provide nice beaches and good Hotel potential where Kampala people will be rushing for weekends and come back . Together with Mbarara all these could form short Uganda safari circuit toursfor tour holidays just near and save people long distance to travelling to Kabale or Kasese and Fort Portal. Domestic tourism in Uganda is at its infancy and hear is the chance to develop these cities with an idea of capturing. A good example is happening at our neighbor in Rwanda. I spent 2 weeks in Rwanda sometime back. But one Friday found me at Gisenyi on Lake Kivu located in north west of Rwanda. Most of Kigali city dwellers will drive to Kisenyi, Kibuye Ruhengeri to spend weekends. I found it that this promotes Rwanda domestic tourism and many hotels and tourism sites are coming up targeting these people. This is not here in Uganda unfortunately. Mountain Gorilla