By Prossy Nandudu
KAMPALA - Legislators from the Japanese parliament are to promote Uganda as a tourist destination in the East African region, as revealed by two MPs Asahiko Mihara and Daishiro Yamagiwa from the House of Representatives of Japan.
They were meeting Uganda’s minister of state for industry and technology Dr. James Shinyabulo Mutende at his office in Kampala.
The two lawmakers were accompanied by a seven-man delegation led by the Japanese ambassador to Uganda Junzo Fujita.
Uganda, they said, has potential in areas of agribusiness and value addition, and various tourist attractions that could earn the country foreign income.
But despite the huge attractions, the MPs observed, many sites have not been visited by tourists due to continuous reports of the LRA insurgency and the two terrorist attacks that took place in 2010.
The legislators who have been on a tour of Uganda said they have discovered Uganda is home to the famous Mountain Gorillas but that there are very few Japanese aware of this. They said this can be enhanced by aggressive marketing of the tourism sector in such countries.
“When you talk about Uganda in Japan, most people think of the LRA insurgency in northern Uganda and majority think the country is still unstable in the area of security,” said Asahiko.
On his part, Daishiro advised Uganda to collectively promote tourism as an East African Community as opposed to do it alone. That way, he clarified, the regional states can attract more investors and tourists.
State minister Mutende asked the MPs to help promote and market Uganda in the Japanese Parliament and the country as a whole, now that they have experienced the peace that prevails in the Pearl of Africa.
“Uganda is a haven of peace and whoever comes to invest here is guaranteed security as a person and for his or her investment. You can never go wrong when you invest in Uganda,” he told them.
Mutende told the delegation that there are many areas for investment including agribusiness, value addition, real estate, services sector like banks and insurance companies, energy among others.