Uganda Tourism Board CEO job is up for grabs as Stephen Asiimwe bows out after four years at the helm.
Following the restructuring of major government agencies including the Uganda Tourism Board, one would have thought that no one would be willing to steer a ship that is set for decommissioning.
Public Service head Catherine Bitarakwate since clarified that the restructuring shall be phased for the next three years and advertised the post for CEO culminating to a shortlist of three candidates for oral interviews to replace current chief executive officer Stephen Asiimwe, who reportedly expressed no interest in renewing his contract.
“The following applicants Seguya Andrew Ggunga, Ajarova Lilly and Ochieng Bradford were invited for oral interviews,” according to a letter signed by Dr Mbabazi, Secretary to Public Service Commission.
Dr Seguya is the former Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) executive director, who was replaced in March by Mr Sam Mwandha.
Ms Lilly Ajarova the only female candidate shortlisted is the current executive director of Jane Goodal, Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary and Wildlife Conservation Trust, incidentally also listed for absorption by the parent Ministry of Tourism Wildlife And Antiquities (M.T.W.A)
Mr Ochieng is the director of corporate affairs at Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority.
Also advertised is the slot for Deputy C.E.O including the current Deputy C.E.O John Ssempebwa, Senyondwa Ronald, Kakooza Ivan, Karibwije Daniel, Kawere Richard and Simon Kasyate .
That Asiimwe opted was perhaps a prudent decision considering 90 percent of the staff under his watch had not been retained during the recent restructuring in September.
Under his tenure, however, the engagement of a PR firm in the English- and German-speaking source markets have led to increasing visitor arrivals hitting 1.3 million in 2016 with expenditures to match at circa. USD 1.4 billion.
Remarkably, Uganda recently made National Geographic Travellers Cool List for 2019; the magazine’s hotly anticipated list names the “must-see” destinations of the year, and the PR efforts must have contributed to that, helped by the hike by Rwanda in the cost of gorilla permits.
Hopefully, the new CEO will make good on the biggest criticism that haunted the previous management, of returning allocated budgets to the consolidated fund at the Ministry of Finance to the chagrin of the private sector.