The quick recovery of Uganda’s tourism industry from the effects of Covid-19, greatly relies on the combined efforts of all Ugandans, especially the entertainment industry, Hon. Godfrey Kiwanda, Uganda’s State Minister for Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, has told music artists.
Mr. Kiwanda, was on Tuesday 2nd March 2021 holding a consultative meeting with music artists, performers and deejays, under their Uganda Musicians Association (UMA) at Mestil Hotel in Kampala.
The meeting was convened by the Ministry and Uganda Tourism Board (UTB), the agency, charged with marketing the tourism in Uganda, as well as regulating industry standards to discuss how the involvement of the creative and arts industry in post-Covid-19 recovery of tourism.
“We would like to work with the creative arts industry- the musicians and the deejays, to incorporate their works in domestic, regional and international tourism,” Kiwanda, told the meeting, adding: “Uganda is our country. Selling it is a collective responsibility and the best way to do this is as a team, because when Uganda grows, we all grow. We have a lot in common.”
In a speech read for her by Vivian Lyazi the Ministry of Tourism spokesperson, Doreen Katusiime, the Ministry Permanent Secretary, said that before Covid-19, music was one of the biggest drivers of global tourism.
“There are a large number of music festivals held around the world that annually attract non-local visitors. In Uganda, Nyege Nyege is one of those mass-appeal events. The impact of these music events on the local economy is massive and largely inclusive. The opportunities spread to all the stakeholders in the music value chain that I mentioned and include the media, food and beverage, accommodation, clothes, transport, security and so many other micro jobs feeding into these events,” Ms. Katusiime said.
“Music is also a powerful promotion tool and I know that a number of musicians and other creative artists have carried Uganda’s flag to heights and places that were otherwise not possible using the traditional promotional tools,” she added.
She further explained that Uganda offers a dream tourism destination to all visitors as it is endowed with abundant natural and cultural resources that form the basis of a lucrative tourism industry.
“Uganda, as a country “Gifted by Nature” is characterized by some of the most diverse and unique assemblage of pristine eco-systems, scenic physical features, water bodies, variety of flora and fauna species and a fast and vibrant stable economy. The Music and Media have the talent and tools to package and tell this story to the world. Indeed, some of the motivations to travel to many destinations is an aura created by the images and music that showcased that particular place. It is in that respect that we recognize the power of music and appeal for the partnership in promoting the destination Uganda,” she said.
Mugabi Claire, the Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) Head of Marketing said that in recognition of this role, the Board will, moving forward, put significant emphasis on the creative arts industry.
“The music industry has big voices, big brands with millions of audiences domestically, regional and internationally. People look up to you and we urge you to use these platforms patriotically,” she said.
“Uganda is undoubtedly the most beautiful country in the world, but if the world doesn’t know about it, it doesn’t help. We will be working with you on creating content that promotes and markets Destination Uganda,” Mugabi told the meeting.
Kiwanda, told the musicians that as one of the ways to collaborate with the industry, his ministry, together with UTB and the private sector were soon launching a nationwide competition to search for a Brand Destination Uganda Tourism song. He also reassured the musicians, that the postponed MTV Africa Music Awards (MAMAs) will be back in May 2021, when it is anticipated that the impact of Covid-19 will have subsided.
Richard Kawere, the Chief Executive Officer of Uganda Tourism Association (UTA) urged the artists to all unite under their umbrella association, saying that there is power in unity.