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Gov’t moves to acquire a Shs446b loan from Standard Chartered Bank

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Government is set to acquire a Shs446 billion loan from Standard Chartered Bank to finance the upgrading of the Kitgum-Kidepo Road.

The revelation was made by Amos Lugoloobi, the state minister for planning. Kitgum-Kidepo Road is a tourism route connecting Northern Uganda.

“I tabled a loan request amounting to $117.26 million (Shs446 billion) from Standard Chartered Bank to finance the upgrading of the Kitgum-Kidepo Road and a supplementary budget amounting to Shs1.1 trillion,” he said.

The loan request has been referred to the Committee on National Economy for scrutiny.

During the reading of this financial year’s budget, President Yoweri Museveni said the government is set to undertake the construction of 325 km of tarmac roads and airports in various areas to facilitate the tourism sector in Uganda.

The roads include Kitgum-Kidepo (116 km), Lake Bunyonyi-Kisoro-Mgahinga (74 km), Karenga-Kapedo-Kaabong (70 km), and Kisoro-Rubuguri-Muko (65 km).  The airports will be established in Karamoja and others for the easy movement of tourists.

Currently, Uganda is deemed the best tourism destination, with various national parks such as Kidepo, Murchison Falls, Queen Elizabeth, Lake Mburo, Elgon, Rwenzori, Kibaale Forest, Bunyonyi, and many game reserves across the country. Uganda’s tourism sites rank highly among international media outlets and global tourism agencies.

In the next financial year, the government aims to strengthen wildlife conservation at Mgahinga National Park, Lake Mburo, Semliki, Kibaale, Murchison, Kidepo Valley, Katonga, Toro Semliki, and Queen Elizabeth.

The 2023 Tourism Uganda Ministry of Tourism Wildlife and Antiquities performance report indicates a surge in the number of tourists coming into the country.

According to the report, Uganda registered 1,274,210 tourists in 2023, compared to 814508 who visited the destination in 2022. Arrivals from Africa continue to dominate Uganda’s inbound tourism, with a share of 89.2%. Asia (4.4%), Europe (3.1%), and the Americas (1.9%) continue to be the biggest contributors to overseas tourist arrivals.

The growth was largely driven by an increase in arrivals from Mainland Africa and growth in the country’s traditional overseas source markets, such as the UK, USA, and India. At least 126136 tourists arrived from overseas, while 1136216 came from various African countries.

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