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Uganda referred as Primate capital ahead of African Primatological Society Conference 2019

The Organisers of the African Primatological Society Conference 2019 pose for a group photo on Wednesday, August 28, at the Media centre. (PHOTO/ Abraham Mutalyebwa)

KAMPALA – Uganda is set to host the second African Primatological Society (APS) Conference from September 2-6, 2019 at Imperial Botanical Beach Hotel, Entebbe.

It will run under the theme ” Primate Conservation in Africa” with a focus on challenges and opportunities that are prevailing. The first APS was hosted in Bingerville, Cote D’Ivoire a west African country in 2017.

The bi-annual event brings together policymakers, researchers, scientists, educationists, donors among others geared towards the provision of proper policies, practice, networking and sustainability platforms.

Speaking to the media at a presser at the Media Center on Tuesday, August 28, the minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, Hon. Ephraim Kamuntu revealed that is is very important to have the African Primatological Society Conference which falls under the product called Meetings, Incentives, Conferencing and Exhibitions (MICE) that is scientific conference falls under a big pillar in our country and the tourists that come for the conference are in huge numbers.

“We are becoming a conference destination and we shall have researchers about primates and are recognised in the field of tourism. Uganda qualifies to become the primate capital of the world because of the huge number of diverse world life heritage owing to the rich vegetation lying in the Savana and landscape and nearly 54 percent of gorillas are here,” he said

” There are 15 species of primates that are seen now and that justifies as the primates capital of the world. The constitution protects them and since they are part of our heritage as Ugandans by virtue of our clans and so primate tourism is the thing and the biggest contributor to the sector,” he added.

Dr.Gladys Kalema Zikusooka, the director for Conservation Through Public Health(Ctph) who doubles as the Vice President for APS Said;

” Uganda is very blessed with primates and we do not only have Gorillas but other species like colobus monkeys, red-tailed monkeys that are under threat or endangered and we shall discuss factors such as their health, destruction of their habitats due to increased population, bushmeat trade, primate tourism among others.”

” Uganda and Rwanda are ahead in the world with the highest number of primates and other countries are here to learn from us as this will be a sharing and networking platform for us.” she delightful echoed.

(L-R) Dr. Gladys Kalema Zikusooka, the vice president APS, Hon. Ephraim Kamuntu, Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities flanked by Dr. Inza Kone, President APS from Cote D’ivore at the press conference. (PHOTO/Abraham).

Dr. Inza Kone, the president African Primatological Society said:

“I am delighted to be here and creating this society is important. One of the reasons is culture, economic development of a country, advancing the ecological system, scientific uses since 99 percent of our genes are the same as primates which give us a better understanding and it is why they are used for biomedical research.”

“Conservation is very a pertinent matter which is not about luxury and our efforts towards this is coming up despite the little numbers, to make our countries better and conserve them for the future generation. Ever since we started things are changing and which was not the case in the past and in regards to the grants we are getting there due to the good presentations that are made compared to back then,” he noted.

The Conference is organised by Conservation Through Public Health in partnership with Uganda Tourism Board (UTB), Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, Uganda Wildlife Educational Centre (UWEC), Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) among others.

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