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Veteran Birder Herbert Byaruhanga New President of Uganda Tourism Association

Birder at the Helm of Uganda Tourism Association

Veteran birder Herbert Byaruhanga was elected president of the Uganda Tourism Association (UTA) on November 20 for the years 2022/23 at the Annual General Meeting held at Hotel Africana in Kampala.

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Herbert bounces back after once holding the same portfolio before he was succeeded by Pearl Hoareau Kakooza, also Chair of The Uganda Travel Agents Association, whom he deputized as Vice President of UTA and finally replacing her. Details of the elections were not available at press time.

His litany of portfolios speaks of his ambition including doubling as Secretary General of the Association of Uganda Tour Operators and longtime Secretary General of Uganda Safari Guides Association (USAGA) where he was instrumental in founding and pioneering birding as a mainstream product in Uganda after a protracted struggle.

His brushes in the 90s together with birders Johnnie Kamugisha and Paul Taremwa included being mistakenly held by police as wrong elements for literally being in the brushes at odd hours in possession of strange gadgets of the trade including zoom cameras, binoculars, bird sound recorders in an era when birders were taken as eccentric characters worthy of scorn, only for the rest of the industry to play catchup in the 2000s. He is now at the helm of curating the 4th Birding Expo in December.  

Byaruhanga’s acceptance message reads: “Dear Stakeholder, Thank you for exhibiting trust in me and voting me to be your President 2022-2023. You have not voted in vain, because you have voted a person with commitment, integrity, and values. Together with the team, we shall work towards strengthening the position and mandate of Uganda Tourism Association as the apex body of all tourism associations in the country. We shall ensure unity and development. We shall work with government, development partners, and ensure that the sector has got good systems of governance.”

The full UTA executive list includes:

President:

Herbert Byaruhanga representing Association of Uganda Tour Operators/Uganda Safari Guides Association

Vice President:

Eugene Windt representing The Uganda Travel Agents Association

Treasurer:

Monalisa Amaan representing The Uganda Travel Agents Association

General Secretary:

Peter Mwanja representing Uganda Association of Conferences and Incentives Industry (UACII)

Committee members:

Azhar Jaffer representing Uganda Hotel Owners Association

Felix Musinguzi representing Association of Uganda Tour Operators

Nuwa Wamala Nyanzi representing National Arts And Cultural Crafts Association of Uganda (NACCAU)

Mark Kirya representing Hotel General Managers Association (HOGAMU)

Jackie Kemirembe representing Association of Ugandan Women in Tourism Trade ( AUWOTT)

The Uganda Tourism Association is the umbrella association that brings together all tourism associations in Uganda. The secretariat is headed by the Executive Director, Richard Kawere, and it is housed at Capital Shoppers building 2nd Floor, Suite 19, Nakawa, Kampala.

The current associations include the Association of Uganda Tour Operators, Uganda Safari Guides Association, Uganda Hotel Owners Association, The Uganda Association of Travel Agents, and Uganda Community Tourism Association. These associations altogether represent tour operators, travel agents, accommodation facilities, tour guides, and community-based organizations.

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About the author

Tony Ofungi - eTN Uganda

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