Wakiso Lays Strategies to Unlock Tourism Potential

Masokoyi notes that for meantime, the district has started mapping and tracing potential tourism sites, which they will use to develop to tourism products.

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Wakiso district authorities have woken up from their comfort zone and started laying strategies to earn from tourism, which has been neglected for so many years. 

Wakiso has more than 70 potential tourism sites including but not limited to cultural sites, religious sites, historical sites and a beautiful ecosystem rich in biodiversity.

The district is also home to Entebbe international airport, the main get way of tourists in the country. However, most of the tourists move to distant tour sites in other places in the country, denying the district huge sums of revenue.


Now, the district authorities say they ready to explore the sector, invest in it and start reaping from it. They also hope the sector will create avenues for residents to either earn directly or indirectly.


Swaliki Wasswa Masokoyi, the Wakiso Deputy Chief Administrative Officer, says there are efforts to unlock the tourism potential, which he agrees that can't be achieved without serious investment.


Masokoyi notes that for meantime, the district has started mapping and tracing potential tourism sites, which they will use to develop to tourism products.


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Masokoyi says most of the tourism sites which have been identified so far are in a sorry state with dilapidated structures. He however, says the district plans to revamp the sites through partnership with the concerned authorities like Buganda kingdom, clan leaders and religious institutions.

He further notes that they are also looking forward to recruit a tourism officer in the 2018/2019 financial year since the department is becoming so important to be integrated within the district commercial office. 

Matia Lwanga Bwanika, the Wakiso district LC V chairperson, says in a bid to explore the tourism sector his leadership has since instituted a District Tourism Committee. Bwanika however, partly blames the slow development of the sector in Wakiso district to limited funding from the central government. 

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Bwanika says that since government has failed to come to their-recue, they are considering developing the sector through public private partnerships.  

Moses Magara, the Wakiso District Principal Commercial Officer who also handles the tourism docket, says although there have been a number challenges, the district is prioritizing the sector and has since been tasked to list the sites and develop several tourism products.

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Among the products they plan to put in place, are the tourism circuit for cultural and religious sites, home stay and ecotourism among others.

"We intend to arrange the tourism circuit where a tourist will be moved from place to place depending on the nature of the story. For example, the Buganda traditional sites have a story, which is very interesting if narrated from the point where a certain event unfolded to another," he notes.

'Home stay' according to him will directly benefit residents since it involves linking tourists to families where they can stay for a while to be exposed to the culture and other practices, such a product is common in South Africa. 



However, some residents that this reporter talked to are skeptical on whether the authorities will this time walk the talk. James Karuhanga, a resident of Wakiso district says all the talk on tourism could be mere conversation if the district authorities fail to develop infrastructure like roads leading to these places.

"No tourist will ever wade in our impassable roads to reach the said sites, first things should come first," he notes.