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December 13, 2013
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Sub-Saharan Africa: Uganda – The Pearl of Africa


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A naturally diverse and beautiful country, Uganda is often overlooked as a tourism and events industry destination. Fraught with violence and civil war for much of the 20th century, the “Pearl of Africa” has only in recent decades begun to open its borders to international business and trade. The landlocked nation includes a substantial portion of Lake Victoria, which is shared with Kenya and Tanzania. Its botanical and wildlife parks have the highest concentration of primates on earth, and it is also the source of the Nile River. Uganda offers the best white-water rafting in the world and holds the title for the highest mountain range in Africa – the Mountains of the Moon. 

What’s Happening Now

The solar eclipse was turned into a national tourism event early in November after it was announced that Uganda lies in the path of a Hybrid Solar Eclipse. The country was in the spotlight when scientists, explorers, adventurers and photojournalists converged in Uganda to experience this once-in-a-lifetime event. Arranged by the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, the Pakwach in Nebbi district in West Nile was identified as the best place to spot the total phase of this solar eclipse. 

Key Venues

Hotel Africana and Conventional Center

Located in Uganda’s largest and capital city, Kampala, Hotel Africana and Conventional Center has over 14 conference halls with seating capacities ranging from 20 – 3000 participants. The conference rooms are internet-ready with dedicated high-speed wireless connections.  Tele-conferencing, interpretation booths, built-in PAS, infra-powered communication systems, satellite TV, intercom and internet services are also available. 

Sheraton Kampala Hotel

Located in in Uganda’s largest and capital city, this hotel is 45 minutes from Entebbe International Airport and near the Central Business District. A variety of room types are available, from the two Executive boardrooms (one with natural daylight) for up to 12 people each, to the Rwenzori Ballroom – which accommodates up to 450 people.  There are 233 newly renovated guest rooms and suites.

Getting to Uganda by Air

Air Uganda, ‘The Wings of East Africa’, is the country’s national airline, with connecting flights to major cities in neighbouring states, the Persian Gulf and Europe. The country has eight asphalt airport runways and 26 unpaved runways connecting outlying areas. In addition, other airlines like South African Airways and RwandAir also offer flights to and from Uganda.

Population

34,758,809 According to the CIA World Factbook (July 2013).

Climate

Uganda is situated near the equator and has a warm, tropical climate. It is generally rainy with two dry seasons from December-February, and June-August. Semi-arid regions in the Northeast skirt the Saharan desert. The equatorial climate is ideal for the country’s vast plateaus of arable land, which is listed as a natural resource along with copper, cobalt, hydropower, limestone, salt, and gold.

You Need to Know About

Most mid-sized businesses in Uganda seem poised to improve, according to a survey done by the Daily Monitor, an independent daily newspaper. The survey, which is part of an initiative called “Uganda Top 100 Mid-Sized Companies”, is now in its fifth year. Participating firms receive mentorship, free auditing services and media exposure. The Top 100 initiative was created to encourage long term efficiency and sustained growth in start-up companies. 

Did You Know?

In Uganda, Kenya and South Sudan, boda-boda bikes are used as a form of transport. The motorcycle taxi carries one passenger on the back. The boda-boda is part of African bicycle culture, started in the 60s and 70s, when used to transport people across border posts with minimal paperwork. 


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