JINJA: Hon. Tom Butime, the Minister of Tourism, Wildlife, and Antiquities, highlighted the Ugandan government’s commitment to enhancing and transforming the rapidly growing tourism sector during the 14th pass-out ceremony at the Uganda Hotel and Tourism Training Institute (UHTTI) in Jinja city. The event saw 170 students graduate with certificates and diplomas in various hotel-related disciplines, emphasizing the institute’s role in producing quality human resources for the tourism industry.
Of the graduates, 120 were female (representing 72%), and 50 were male (contributing 28%). Additionally, over 30 students successfully completed short courses at the institution.
Hon. Butime commended UHTTI for its commitment to producing skilled professionals for the tourism sector, noting its contributions to the National Development Plan III and the Uganda Tourism Development Master Plan 2014-2024. He praised the institute’s progress in research and curriculum development, citing the forthcoming Busoga Cook Book and the recently approved course in Culinary Art.
UHTTI, in collaboration with Makerere University College of Agriculture and Environmental Science, launched a research agenda focused on leveraging culture for tourism development. The institute is working closely with Busoga Kingdom to produce a Cook Book for traditional foods in the sub-region, aiming to promote traditional recipes on the international menu and integrate them into the national curriculum for hospitality training.
Minister Butime stressed the importance of enhancing the tourism sector, a core aspect of Uganda’s development. He outlined the government’s commitments, including capacity building, local and international collaborations, tourism infrastructure development, and increased budgetary allocation.
He stated, “Government will continue to accord importance and maximize resources allocated to the skilling of the Tourism workforce. The Ministry will also endeavor to address the presented and emerging challenges that affect the delivery of the UHTTI mandate.”
Richard Kawere, the principal of UHTTI, expressed gratitude to the government for supporting skills training. He assured that the institute would fulfill its responsibility of educating a skilled workforce for the hospitality and tourism industry. Mr. Kawere also revealed a partnership with the International Labour Organization (ILO) to train refugees and their host communities in hospitality, in collaboration with the Uganda Hotel Owners Association (UHOA) and the Ministry of Gender, Labour, and Social Development.
“I don’t expect Pastry and Bakery, Tour guide, or Food Production students from UHTTI to forget to start up an income-generating project under whatever circumstances because you are equipped with Entrepreneurship skills as well,” appealed Mr. Kawere.