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TOURISTS game-viewing in South Luangwa National Park yesterday. PICTURE: SALIM HENRY/STATE HOUSE.

Zambia, Uganda forge relations to improve tourism

KELVIN CHONGO, Entebbe, Uganda
MINISTER of Tourism Jean Kapata says Zambia has agreed to forge a partnership in tourism with Uganda in order to enhance tourism in the two countries.
Ms Kapata told a media briefing that she held side meetings with her Ugandan counterpart Maria Mutagambwa during President Lungu’s visit and they agreed on exchange programmes in the hospitality sector.
She said part of the agreement includes capacity building for people in the tourism industry and the promotion and marketing of each other’s tourist attractions through the Zambia Tourism Board.
Ms Kapata said Uganda is willing to come to the country to learn and package Zambia’s tourist’s destinations to the outside world on a partnership programme.
“Uganda is also interested to see how Zambia is managing its more than 2,500 lions and the Victoria Falls, including the Mukuni Park and the rest of the big five in the country spread in various game parks,” she said.
The minister said lions are not a common spectacle in Uganda, and yet Zambia has over 2,500 lions.
Ms Kapata said Zambia has extended an invitation for the Ugandan delegation to come to the country and see what the country offers in the tourism industry. She also said the country is learning a lot from Uganda in terms of capacity building of staff and creating accommodation for tourists.
“Uganda has a lot of hotels spread in many parts of the country; Zambia needs to build similar infrastructure with a conventional centre to cater for more than 2,000 people,” Ms Kapata said.
And Uganda’s Foreign Affairs Minister Oryem Okello last Thursday said Zambia has a rich and progressive tourism industry which his country is willing to learn from.
The minister described Zambia as a model in tourism and agriculture with an exceptionally well developed tobacco industry.
Ms Kapata was in President Lungu’s delegation during his two-day state visit to Uganda from July 23-25.