UWEC takes over management of Entebbe Botanical Gardens

UWEC takes over management of Entebbe Botanical Gardens
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By Lawrence Mushabe

Uganda Wildlife Education Centre (UWEC) has taken over management of the Entebbe Botanical Gardens in a bid  to help promote bio-diversity and eco-tourism.

The Prime minister of Uganda , Robinah Nabbanja accompanied by the Tourism Minister,Tom Butime and the Tourism State Minister, Martin Mugarra Bahinduka presided over the hand over function at National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO) headquarters in Entebbe.

During the hand over , the Prime Minister emphasized President Museveni’s directive of transferring the botanical garden from the Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) to the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities (MTWA) to promote the tourism sector in the Country.

Nabbanja said government has developed a strategy that will see tourism foreign exchange earnings increase to US$ 5.19 billion annually by the year 2028 and also achieve the target of US$ 12 billion in annual tourism foreign exchange earnings by the year 2040.

“Government is therefore committed to developing new tourism products such as Entebbe Botanical Gardens, and revamping of Uganda Wildlife Conservation Education Centre, with planned regional satellite centres in Mbale, Gulu, Kyejonjo and Mbarara.Additionally, there is a planned construction of a conventional centre in Entebbe for Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and exhibitions (MICE), among others, as part of the tourism diversification drive,” Nabbanja stated.

However ,the premier sighted some irregularities including cases of insecurity, lack of facilities around the gardens attributed to NARO’s poor management that led to the transfer.

In May last year ,President Museveni wrote to the Prime Minister ,Robinah Nabbanja  asking him to work with the Minister of Tourism  to transfer the management of the Botanical Gardens to the tourism Ministry for purposes of managing and beautifying the gardens for tourism promotion and education.

“It has been brought to my attention that whereas,the Entebbe Botanical Gardens were established for research purposes under the Management National Agricultural Research Organization(NARO), the gardens could be of great tourism attraction site,"Museveni said.

“I recall in 1965 while i was still a student at Ntare School, we took a school trip to the Botanical Gardens and it was a good learning experience which we have not forgotten.The gardens should therefore, be promoted for conservation,education,as well as tourism”

The Executive Director UWEC, Dr.James Musinguzi said the zoo will take the lead in constructing more facilities, deploy more security among others effective tomorrow 24,2023.

“We are going to continue working with NARO to ensure botanical research support enhancement. We are already establishing a committee comprised of both UWEC and NARO officials to continue set masterminding strategic plans ,budget framework and other developments as we promote tourism.”Dr.Musinguzi said.

The Botanical Gardens opened up in 1898 and is currently sitting on 40 hectares of land in Entebbe

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