KAMPALA – State Minister for Tourism Godfrey Kiwanda has revealed that Uganda will join the rest of the world to celebrate United Nations World Wildlife Day on March 3, 2020.
Kiwanda made the revelations while addressing the press on January 28, 2020, at the Uganda Media Centre in Kampala.
Under the theme “Sustaining Wildlife for the benefit of the present and future generations”, the celebrations will take place at Ssaza grounds in Kisoro Municipality, Kisoro District in Kigezi region.
“The theme of the day is timely and reminds us of the need to ensure peaceful coexistence between wildlife and people for the benefit of present and future generations,” KIwanda said
He added, “This is a great day for Uganda, a country dedicated to protect and conserve wildlife for the benefit of the present and future generations.”
President Yoweri Museveni is expected to be the Chief Guest.
Kiwanda said there will be three events that shall precede the celebrations including the annual wildlife marathon on February 23, 2020, starting at Uganda Museum at 6:30 am.
“The marathon will have 5km, 10km, 21km and 42km categories all ending at the Museum. The Chief Guest at the marathon is expected to be Rt. Hon. Jacob Oulanyah, the Deputy Speaker of the Parliament of the Republic of Uganda,” he said.
He added that a conservation conference on wildlife conservation in Uganda will be held on February 27, 2020, in Kampala.
“The Conservation Conference will bring together conservation practitioners, private sector, policymakers and all stakeholders. The Rt. Hon Prime Minister is expected as Chief Guest at the National Conservation Conference,” said Kiwanda.
He added that wildlife Conservation competitions involving quiz, debates, music dance and drama will be held to raise awareness about conservation issues among the youth.
“Tertiary institutions competitions will be held on February 21, 2020, at Uganda Christian University Mukono, Secondary Schools competitions will be held on February 29, 2020, at Seseme Girls Secondary School, Kisoro and Primary Schools competitions will be held on March 2, 2020, at Mutolere Primary School Kisoro, District,” he told the press.
The main celebrations will have exhibitions and recognition awards for people who have contributed significantly to wildlife conservation in Uganda.
Kiwanda called upon all Ugandans, conservation and tourism partners to promote and participate in the above events to commemorate the United Nations World Wildlife Day 2020.
Tourism is now the leading foreign exchange earner for Uganda, bringing in US$ 1.6 billion (about 24% of the total exports) annually. With a recorded total of 1.5 million international arrivals, tourism which is largely wildlife-based contributes about 9.0% of GDP annually.
The tourism sector provides 1.173 million jobs in Uganda (7.8% of total employment). Uganda Wildlife Authority alone employs over 2,350 staff. We therefore as a country have all reasons to celebrate our wildlife endowment.