The Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU), the country’s apex body for the private sector, has launched a partnership with Bird Uganda Safaris Limited, a Ugandan birding tour company that will create at least 3,000 jobs in the tourism sector.
The partnership is in collaboration with the MasterCard Foundation.
Samuel Yalew Adela, country head, Uganda at the MasterCard Foundation said birding and tourism in general is a growing and promising space.
Under this partnership, work opportunities will be generated in birding tours, cultural tours, other nature tours, tour driving, food and craft production, cultural dances value chain and will be implemented in the districts of Kiruhura Kazo, Isingiro, Mbarara, Rubirizi, Bushenyi, Mpigi, Buikwe, Mukono, Masindi, Hoima, Kasese, Bundibugyo, Ntoroko, Wakiso, Kisoro, Kanungu, Kotido, Moroto, Kabarole, Sembabule, Rubanda and Kabale.
Francis Kisirinya, acting executive director, PSFU said: “I want to encourage especially corporate companies to embrace corporate social investment projects as these have proven to be more fruitful in the long run than corporate social responsibility projects. Invest in the future of your business, your customers and your country at large.”
Stephen Asiimwe, the Director – Policy and Business Development at PSFU, and a birding enthusiast said the intervention is timely because the tourism and hospitality sectors across the globe have taken perhaps the greatest hit from the COVID-19 pandemic and any effort to boost the sector is highly appreciated.
Bird watching is the fastest growing outdoor recreation activity in Uganda.
The country boasts 1,081 bird species in the Albertine areas, 85 of which are rare unique species and within East Africa are only found in Uganda.
Speaking at the event, Herbert Byaruhanga, managing director Bird Uganda Safaris Limited said Uganda enjoys substantial economic benefits from visiting birders.
“An average birdwatcher spends between $2000-$7000 on bird watching. This has led to establishment of many birding and wildlife watching enterprises and events as a means of generating income. The professional bird tour guide in Uganda earns $ 150 per day and a fresh trainee earns $ 90 per day, considering a trip for birding goes 13-21 days, a guide earns between $1,800 to $ 3,150. On average a driver will earn $ 50-70 a day. This goes to show that the jobs can be financially fulfilling if taken seriously,” he said.