ENTEBBE, UGANDA –H.E. President Yoweri Museveni has called on investors that promote responsible investment and sustainable development to partner with Uganda in rehabilitating the protected conservation areas. This was at the media launch for the coming Giants Club’s first ever Conservation and Tourism Investment Forum to be held in Uganda later this year on 6th October.
The Giants Club is an exclusive forum that brings together African Heads of State, global business leaders and elephant protection experts to secure Africa’s remaining elephant populations and the environments they depend on. The club is an initiative of the international charity Space for Giants Foundation.
Addressing journalists at the media launch at State House, President Museveni said the forum is bringing in investors that are interested in sustainable development of Uganda’s tourism and conservation area.
“This Giants Club forum will secure inward investment for Uganda’s tourism sector in the country’s protected areas on a sustainable basis,” President Museveni said. “So, by inviting conservation motivated investors we will rehabilitate Uganda’s protected areas.”
On a light note, President Museveni congratulated Space for Giants for fulfilling their promise to work with Uganda.
“I thought they were telling lies but now Ooye!”
Space for Giants focuses on the protection of the African elephant and its environment. To achieve this, the charity works with a forum of African leaders in a forum called Giants Club. Uganda, Kenya, Botswana and Gabon are the current members of this initiative. The investment forum is a partnership between the Government of Uganda, UNDP and the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF).
Oliver Poole, the Executive Director at Space for Giants representative, said the forum will bring the Uganda Government together with international hotel and lodge developers, tourism businesses and other sector investors.
“We believe this is an important step in protecting the wildlife and promoting tourism in Uganda,” Poole said.
Space for Giants first came to Uganda in 2015 as guests of the Uganda Tourism Board. The founders of the charity were in the country on a familiarization tour to see possible areas of collaboration and investment. As part of the visit, UTB set up meetings with other tourism sector players to identify a number of sites offering scope for commercial tourism enterprise as well as Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) in conservation area management. Today’s official media launch is a fruit of that engagement.
“It is a great joy to see that initiatives started in 2015 finally bear fruit today,” said Stephen Asiimwe the CEO Uganda Tourism Board. “When the President hosts the forum in October, participants will have the opportunity to visit sites identified as having both significant conservation value and a high suitability for tourism investment.”
He added that such international collaborations are the crucial first step in the process of unlocking the new and innovative investment models needed to effectively promote and protect Uganda’s tourism industry. The event will invite responsible private capital and commercial and other partners to participate in investments that combine commercial, developmental and conservation objectives.
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