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Uganda to host first coffee, tourism symposium

Stephen Asiimwe, the CEO, Uganda Tourism Board addressing journalists at Media Centre on Nov.27.

Kampala, Uganda | JULIUS BUSINGE | In a bid to showcase opportunities, come December 6, Uganda will host the first Coffee and Tourism Symposium and Exposition at Golden Tulip Hotel in Kampala.

It is being organised by Coffee Tourism Uganda, in collaboration with the Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) under the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) and the Uganda Local Government Association.

It will be held under the theme, ‘Unlocking Uganda’s Coffee Tourism Potential’ and will bring together key stakeholders in the coffee and tourism subsectors to deliberate on how the gains and potential in both subsectors can be enhanced.

Coffee accounts for around 20% of Uganda’s total export earnings and a third of foreign exchange earnings according to the sector regulator, Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA). On the other hand, tourism contributes over 10% to Uganda’s GDP.

“Where there is tourism attraction, coffee grows. It from this that we have been motivated to organise this symposium,” Joan Kantu Else, the Coffee Tourism Uganda CEO said in a press release dated November 27.

The government of Uganda has sank in millions of money in the coffee value chain right from production with a target of increasing production and exports in the coming years.

It wants to export 20 million (60kg) bags by 2025 up from the current around 4.6 million bags.

Emmanuel Iyamulemye, the managing director of UCDA said: “Uganda Coffee Development Authority is determined to move Uganda’s position from just a top African producer to a top global exporter of premium coffee.”

He added: “We believe that partnering with the tourism fraternity in this symposium will enable us achieve this target sooner rather than later.”

The organizers said that coffee tourism involves linking coffee farmers to consumers under a farm-to-cup approach, with consumers touring farms and sharing their experience with the farmers. The feedback from the tourists would aid efforts geared towards increased production and quality output of coffee and hence boost returns.

Stephen Asiimwe, the CEO of UTB said that bringing consumers to the farms and ensuring they have all the amenities they need in terms of transport, accommodation and on-farm experiences will encourage incremental earnings as farmers and those in the hospitality and tourism industries gain prominence due to global exposure.

Renowned coffee and tourism expert, Glenn Jampol, the President and co-owner of Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation Resort and a renowned international sustainable tourism expert from Costa Rica and Judy Kepher-Gona among other travel and tourism experts will be part of the participants at the symposium.

At least 180 delegates and 20 exhibitors are expected at the inaugural event, organisers said.

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