Ugandan youth exploring the benefits of tourism development
The Tourism sector is currently among the significant contributors to the Gross Domestic Product of Uganda generating considerable sums of foreign exchange gathered from the Uganda safaris. The sector is also re-known for its immense multiplier effect that trickles down the value chain creating a lasting impact on the lives of both the educated and the less educated citizens.
The Youth population 7,310,386 individuals in Uganda are noted to be in between the age of 15 – 24 years which makes the population pyramid in Uganda triangular presenting a high population growth rate that requires sustainable measures to contain and engaging the youth in tourism is one way to achieve this.
The safaris in Uganda featuring a range of products including the wildlife, people and culture, mountains and adventure, water and recreation and events and conferences present enormous opportunities for the youth. Uganda crowned the Pearl of Africa is a traveler’s paradise with mountain gorillas that are globally endangered, the Chimpanzees, the Big five of land animals, the diverse cultures presented by 65 tribal groups, the 50% of the African bird species, water bodies including the gigantic Victoria lake – the second largest fresh water lake in the world and great Mountains like Rwenzori standing as the third highest on the African continent.
The above mentioned diversity presents diverse scope of opportunities that can be explored by the youth especially the employment aspect both paid and self. The youth are embarking on the venture of souvenir trade where they participate in making of arts and crafts along with operation of craft centers and hawking the craft products which in turn has provided them with source of livelihood. Instead of the Uganda safari undertakers again taking the products gathered from other countries, it would be wise if the youth close the gap and supply the authentic Ugandan made souvenirs to the traveling world.
Besides the souvenir trade, strategizing to acquire the required skills in the technical operations of the tourism and hospitality industry is one way of guaranteeing the youth of sustainable livelihood. The hotels and lodges which offer accommodation to the travelers on safari in Uganda require the skilled chefs, the service staff, the front office staff and the prominent housekeepers of which the Ugandan Youth can ably tap into. The travel part presents the opportunities for tour guiding, travel consultancy and general operations which is a suitable exploration ground for the youth in Uganda.
Tourism relies in conservation and the range of conservation sites in Uganda ranging from the National Parks to the game reserves, Sanctuaries, Zoo and other protected areas require personnel to ensure their smooth existence and no one can ably satisfy these positions other than the youth. This presents a rich ground for the youth to tap into the benefits of tourism development in Uganda