Sandra Katushabe, a Ugandan living in Belgium has been appointed a tourism ambassador to the European country.
Katushabe, who has lived in Belgium for the last 13 years, works as a secretary at Herbrant Partners, said to be one of the biggest law firms in the country.
In an interview with New Vision, Katushabe said she would actively raise the Uganda flag at seminars and networking events in Belgium.
“I have a big network of friends and professional associates in Belgium. I will be pleased to represent my country at all events,” she said.
Katushabe holds dual Ugandan and Belgian citizenship. She studied at Immaculate Heart Secondary School for Olevel and Highway College, Makerere for Alevel.
She then pursued a diploma in languages specializing in French and Dutch and a second diploma in Secretarial studies. She is fluent in Dutch, French and English.
On Tuesday, Katushabe was handed the national flag and assorted literature, including videos and books about Uganda.
The state minister for tourism, Godfrey Kiwanda, in her letter of appointment, said the sector was relying on the expertise of tourism ambassadors to draw more tourists to Uganda.
“With your love and knowledge about Uganda and through your various contacts and friendships in Belgium, we are confident that we will benefit greatly,” Katushabe’s letter reads in part.
The use of good will ambassadors, Kiwanda said, will help Uganda to attain her goal of drawing four million tourists to the country by the year 2020.
Good will ambassadors serve as volunteers and usually do not receive pay for their services, their only reward being the prestige that comes with the position.
Earlier this month, the ministry enlisted socialite Zari for the ‘Tulambule’ campaign, a domestic tourism drive to draw Ugandans to local tourist attractions during the festive season.
US rapper Kanye West and his wife, Kim Kardashian are expected to return to Uganda for their second visit, during which they will be named Uganda’s tourism ambassadors.
However, this will require aggressive marketing, diversification of the tourism range, improving tourism and hospitality skills and strengthening conservation and cultural heritage, he observed.
Tourism is the leading foreign exchange earner, generating $1.43b (sh5.4 trillion), followed by remittances of Ugandans working abroad at $1.2b (sh4.5 trillion) in 2017.
Earnings from tourism exports have grown from sh5.1 trillion to sh5.4 trillion over the same period. Uganda targets to increase earnings from tourism to sh10trillion by 2020.