Monday, 29 February 2016

UGANDA: Uganda Wildlife Gets New Board

NEW BOARD: Uganda’s Tourism Minister Maria Mutagamba (Front Centre) with the New UWA Board of Trustees
Uganda’s Tourism Minister Maria Mutagamba has inaugurated a New Board of Trustees for Uganda Wildlife Authority retaining Benjamin Otto, a former permanent secretary in the ministry of Tourism, Trade and Industry as the Board Chairperson.

Since March last year when the 7th UWA Board tenure ran out, the organ had had to run with little guidance, which was quite a tussle for both the ministry of tourism and its management. The 8th UWA Board was unveiled last week.

Mutagamba said as members of the 8th Board, the Government expects them to govern Uganda Wildlife Authority in an efficient and effective manner and to be able to enable the institution deliver its mandate to the people of Uganda and international community.

“I would like to draw your attention to the following areas which you should prioritize in your tenure of office. Ensure that Uganda Wildlife Authority Strategic Plan, Protected Area General Management Plans, Programmes, Activities and Budgets, are in line with the Uganda Wildlife Policy 2014; National Development Plan, Tourism Sector Investment Plan and The Manifesto,” she told the new board.

Mutagamba also tasked the board to review Protected Area Systems Plan for Uganda and make recommendations to the Ministry on required Protected Area System changes.

“Address human wildlife conflicts in and around Protected Areas and prioritises problem animal management; elimination of encroachment, boundary conflicts, crop raiding and livestock predation.

“Build adequate capacity of Uganda Wildlife Authority to combat poaching, illegal wildlife trade and trafficking in Uganda and adopt zero tolerance to poaching and illegal wildlife trade,” she added.

She said the new board must promote sustainable wildlife farming and ensure that the wildlife user rights system is based on sound scientific information that guarantees sustainability of species under user rights regime.

“Develop and implement a management plan for wildlife outside Protected Areas. Promote sustainable tourism development in Wildlife Protected Areas in order to increase revenue generation and community benefits,” she told the new board members.

She said they must ensure that Uganda Wildlife Authority works very well with the Private sector, Local Communities, Local Governments, development and other partners.

Benjamin Otto, who worked as Permanent Secretary (Accounting Officer) from 1980 to 1998 in the Ministry of Education and Sports, Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife was retained as the Chairperson. The members are Dr. Pantaleon Kasoma Mukasa Banda, Eng. Batuma Mbabazi, Dr Dianah NALWANGA Wabwire, Leornard Wamakote and Kakuyo Kagumaho.

Amb. Patrick Mugoya, the Ministry of Tourism Permanent Secretary said since March last year, Uganda Wildlife Authority has been operating without a Board which is regrettable.

“The circumstances that led to this delay were entirely beyond the control of the Ministry. Nevertheless, now that the Board is finally here, we are gratified that the Board will now take over the direct supervisory burden from the shoulders of the Minister.”

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