During this past weekend’s prayer session, President Yoweri Museveni acknowledged that the tourism and entertainment industries were indeed affected by this. He said that apart from tourism and entertainment industries that would be greatly affected by the threat of the COVID19 pandemic, the economy of Uganda would continue to thrive.
Remember the country has for the next 32 days, starting last Friday, put any gatherings of sorts on hold and demanded that all bars be closed. On top of this, Uganda has now closed its borders allowing only the cargo planes. Though highly welcome in these dire times, the industry will lose over a million tourists that visit Uganda annually. Only last week, tourism enthusiast, Amos Wekesa called attention to this.
“Now for Uganda, the tour operators are actually laying off our employees,” he said. “I know that for sure yesterday three lodges put off 70% of their stuff.” He worried the impact starts from the community but then becomes a national issue. “That means these kids are going to be very desperate in the villages and millions of people are gonna lose opportunities,” he said. “Because tourism is not just lodges and so on and forth.”
But an optimistic Museveni said that while tourism would suffer, this would allow for the country’s business community who have been importing from China to go into manufacturing. “Uganda has been spending US$7bn, importing things from China, but now the businessmen are no longer importing. They should therefore start manufacturing from here. This challenge might in the end become an opportunity for us. It is a wake-up call for Africans to start manufacturing things from here and stop depending on others,” he said.
President Museveni who was accompanied by the First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports, Janet Kataha Museveni was speaking during the intercessory national prayers on the COVID-19 global pandemic held at State House, Entebbe organized by the Inter-Religious Council Union (IRCU). The intercessory prayers sought to seek the protection of God and spare Uganda from the global pandemic that has sieged the entire world. They expressed hope that the COVID19 pandemic would soon come to an end.