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Gov’t to identify distinctive tourism potentials

By Jeff Andrew Lule

Added 19th December 2016 01:57 PM

"Many of our people need to know where they came from and know what makes them unique in the kingdom."

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The head of Mmamba Clan, Gabunga Mubiru Zziikwa handing over a portrait of the Mmamba (lung fish) totem to former Buikwe MP Dr. Micheal Lulume Bayiga and others during the launch of the fundraising drive of the sh4bn to build a historical tourism site of the clan called Nkajja Heritage site in Entebe, Wakiso district. (Credit: Henry Nsubuga)

The Government has set out to identify and make an inventory of exceptional tourism potentials in different cultural institutions in Uganda.

The move is aimed at protecting culture and promoting the growth of the tourism sector in different parts of the country.

Uganda Tourism Board deputy CEO John Ssempebwa said there are many tangible and intangible cultural heritages with rich history that have never been developed.

He was officiating at a fundraising ceremony for the development and construction of the Mamba (lung fish) Clan Cultural Heritage in Nkajja, Wakiso district.

Ssempebwa said Uganda's tourism sector currently depends on mainly game parks because many potentials have not been developed.

"We are working with the line ministries to begin on inventorying all these untapped tourism potentials ranging from traditional dances, games and tombs among others.

"Tourists mainly come to Uganda to see animals because these heritage sites have not been developed,” added Ssempebwa.

The Kasubi tombs in Buganda, still undergoing reconstruction after a major in 2010, are a world heritage site.

"We are going to start with supporting the Mamba clan as a model heritage site. We shall be identifying and inventorying these things, and develop them into tourism heritage sites to promote tourism in different parts of the country," said the UTB boss.

It is expected that employment will be created, cultural norms promoted and safeguarded as well as raising of awareness of the intangible cultural heritages.

The head of Mamba clan, Gabunga Mubiru Zziikwa, asked all clan members to support the initiative to safeguard their norms for the future generations.

"Many of our people need to know where they came from and know what makes them unique in the kingdom," he said.

Jonathan Nsubuga, the architect of the site, said they need about sh4bn to kick-start the project.

The facility is to be designed in a Mamba (lung fish) shape with a heritage landscape, portraits of the Buganda kings from their clan and previous clan leaders.

Former MP for Buikwe South, also a clan member, Dr. Lulume Bayiga said Ugandans think tourism is about animals, forests, mountains and lakes.

"We need to change this mindset. The Kabaka's lake is popular not because it is big; but just the history behind it.

“When the minister launched 'Rolex' (rolled chapatti containing eggs and vegetables), many laughed but every tourist who enters Uganda wants to taste this delicacy. Now what if our heritage is documented and sites developed, how much can we earn?" said Bayiga.

 The tourism industry fetches about sh1.5b annually. Lulume said all cultural institutions can develop their cultural heritage is to tap into the tourism industry.

They managed to collect sh25m at the event.

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