The East African Sectoral Council of Ministers for Tourism and Wildlife Management in its 10th meeting in Arusha on June 30, 2022, approved and endorsed a number of decisions following intensive discussions among senior officials and permanent secretaries of partner states.
Decisions ranged from approving minimum standards of tourism service providers such as tour operators, guides, attractions sites, travel agents, and community-based enterprises, to endorsing initiatives for implementation of an East African Community (EAC) marketing strategy, proposal for a regional tourism EXPO, consideration of process for evaluation of natural capital of the region, and consideration of a report on transboundary wildlife collaboration within the member states, to name some.
The meeting was attended by ministers of the Republic of Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Republic of Southern Sudan, Republic of Burundi, Republic of Rwanda, and Republic of Kenya, and the Permanent Secretaries and technical officials from respective ministry agencies.
The Uganda delegation was led by the Hon. Minister of Tourism Wildlife and Antiquities, Rtd. Col. Tom Butime, his Permanent Secretary, Doreen Katusime, as well as directors and line commissioners from respective agencies. They signed communique and reports concerning these and other decisions.
Owing to its socio-economic significance in the region, tourism is one of the key productive sectors that has been identified for cooperation in the EAC.
Cooperation in the sector is provided for under Article 115 of the EAC Treaty, where partner states undertake to develop a collective and coordinated approach to the promotion and marketing of quality tourism into and within the community.
EAC partner states also undertake to cooperate in wildlife conservation as stipulated by article 116 of the EAC Treaty, where they undertake to develop a collective and coordinated policy for conservation and sustainable utilization of wildlife and other tourist sites in the community.
In particular, they undertake to:
- Harmonize policies on wildlife conservation
- Exchange information
- Coordinate efforts in controlling and monitoring encroachment and poaching activities
The East African Community is a regional intergovernmental organization of 7 partner states, comprised of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, DRC, and Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.