Association of Ugandan women in tourism gets new leadership

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Association of Ugandan women in tourism gets new leadership
Some of the new leaders for AUWOTT.

Jacqueline Kemirembe, the Managing Director for Platinum Tours and Travel has been elected as the new chairperson of the Association of Uganda Women in Tourism Trade (AUWOTT), an association of women in the tourism and hospitality sector.

During the association’s Annual General Meeting held at Hotel Africana in Kampala,Dorothy Tukamushaba was elected vice chairperson, Aisha Nabwanika, the proprietor of Ewaffe Cultural Village as the general secretary, Gill Kyatuhaire(treasurer), Yogi Birigwa(senior board advisor), whereas Daphine Nahwera and Damalie Lubega were elected as board members.

In her acceptance speech, Kemirembe urged her fellow leaders to hit the ground running to take the association to greater heights.

“We are aware of the many challenges that most of our businesses are facing and we pledge to address them during our tenure. We know many and female youths in the tourism and hospitality sector face a number of challenges in their business like financial constraints, lack of knowledge on tax and business compliance, lack of proper systems in offices, lack of support for enterprise development, lack of affordable funding for affordable financing from financial institutions and lack of training among others but we will try to tackle them,” Kemirembe said.

She explained that expanding the membership of the association will also be key on their agenda by recruiting more companies, individuals to ensure stronger and more exclusive representation.

“We are committed to foster collaboration with other associations both within the private sector and the government bodies. These partnerships will be instrumental in driving our industry forward and address common challenges.”

Kemirembe said the new AUWOTT leadership will seek to establish regional centres across the country, each with a designated representative who with the board will form a leadership council to provide localized support to members.

“Together with determination and unity, I am confident we can overcome obstacles and come out stronger as a collective force in the tourism and hospitality industry.”

Private Sector Foundation Uganda(PSFU) Executive Director, Stephen Asiimwe said the association should facilitate the blossoming of the tourism sector and this way, they will also benefit.

“You need to be a financially resilient association first but then with our support we need to make each of the businesses here financially sustainable. You should also strengthen governance and management systems. You have got to improve and support your data and management systems. Each of your businesses needs to improve its key business processes like financial management among others,”Asiimwe urged.

The PSFU Executive Director said Uganda’s tourism is still young and the country has a superior product that can easily be sold, noting this is an advantage to the association of women in tourism.

“Our wildlife, nature, conservation, culture, heritage and foods are unbeatable but it is the context in which we sell them that need to change. As PSFU we shall support you in this regard in terms of training and capacity building.”

The PSFU vice chairperson, Sarah Kagingo urged the new leadership to ensure AUWOTT members take advantage of the shs812 billion Growth and Economic Opportunities for Women (GrOW) Project of the World Bank implemented by the Ugandan government together with PSFU.

“GrOW project is here for your benefit. It is for specifically for you to scale your businesses. Those are starting small businesses, the project will help you grow them to medium ones and who knows, you can turn out as the biggest tourism business in Africa,” Kagingo said.

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