Developmental co-operation project “Establishing tourist information centres in Uganda and building their capacities on the example of Tallinn”

The foundation Tallinn Development and Training Centre (TDTC) organized a visit for three experts from Tallinn to Uganda during the course of the developmental co-operation project “Establishing tourist information centres in Uganda and building their capacities on the example of Tallinn” from 01.03 – 10.03.2015. The study visit was in accordance with the approved action plan of the developmental co-operation project and was attended by tourism experts from Tallinn – Ülle Purga, Varri Väli and member of the board of TDTC Kalle Sepp.

This was the fourth visit to Uganda by the experts of Tallinn during the course of the developmental co-operation project. The participants visited tourist information centres (TIC´s) in Jinja and Entebbe, which were opened at the end of the year 2014. The experts from Tallinn met with the Mayors of Jinja and Entebbe, tourism experts and TIC staff members of both cities, to discuss the results of the first four months of the working TIC´s. It was noted, that both TIC´s have launched successfully and have 2 staff members each, are equipped with a variety of information materials concerning tourism services, have organized a collection of feedback from TIC’s visitors registration, use tablets, which were a gift from the City of Tallinn daily, hand in hand with computers and other office equipment.

A training course held at Civil Service College Uganda (CSCU) by the experts from Tallinn was attended by Jinja’s tourism students from two universities, tourism entrepreneurs, tourism experts of local governments and TIC staff members – all together 95 participants from Jinja. At a similar training held in Entebbe there were 30 tourism entrepreneurs, members of Entebbe’s Tourism Enterprises Association, as well as tourism experts and TIC staff members taking part in the training. As word of the successful launch of Jinja’s and Entebbe’s TIC´s has spread between local municipalities, the Municipality of Mbarara turned to the CSCU and the experts of Tallinn. They kindly asked for a visit by the experts to Mbarara for a meeting with high officials of the city and local tourism entrepreneurs, to advise and train them on the topics of opening Mbarara’s TIC and developing tourism. The delegation of Tallinn met with the Deputy Mayor of Mbarara, Deputy City Secretary and local tourism entrepreneurs. They also gave advice to high officials of the city and local tourism entrepreneurs on the most suitable locations for the establishment of a TIC. It was agreed on, that the experts from Tallinn will visit Mbarara during their next visit to Uganda held in October 2015, where they will conduct a training session for the citie´s tourism workers and local tourism entrepreneurs.

During the visit, the representatives of Tallinn, the Municipality of Jinja and the Ugandan Ministry of Public Services signed a partnership Agreement and Statute for a competition with two scholarships for two tourism students with the best research papers written on the topic of tourism. The year 2015 prize is given out by the City of Tallinn (TDTC) and the year 2016 prize by the Municipality of Jinja.

The CSCU, as the main partner of the co-operation project from the Ugandan side, agreed on a primary schedule, training programme, terms and preparatory activities for both sides of the co-operation project for a visit of a six-member delegation (including local government´s and TIC´s tourism experts, high officials from the CSCU and Uganda Tourism Board) of Uganda to Tallinn in June 2015.

During the visit, the Tallinn delegation participated also in a variety of meetings and discussions concerning the future activities of the developmental co-operation project. The delegation met once again with the Minister of Public Services (first Deputy Prime Minister of Uganda) and high officials of the state to discuss future plans of the co-operation and different topics for a possible future follow-up co-operation programme (implementing one stop shops to the local governments of Uganda and developing e-services). The Ugandan Ministry of Public Services is very pleased with the current development and results of the developmental co-operation project and is most interested in continuing the implementation of Estonia’s experiences in a potential new co-operation project. The Ugandan Ministry of Public Services has started preparing a corresponding letter to the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the aim to continue the co-operation.

At a meeting with representatives of the Ugandan Ministry of Tourism, the matter of an extended co-operation program was under discussion, as well as further joint activities and actions for a better introduction of Ugandan tourism services and Uganda itself as a tourism destination. At the meeting with the deputy director of Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) and the exwcutive director of Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) the participants addressed the topics of developing and marketing of tourism services in these institutions, together with branding. They also discussed a possible training session for the specialists of these two institutions by the experts of Tallinn in October 2015.

The next visit to Uganda by the delegation of Tallinn is scheduled for October 2015, during which, according to the extended developmental co-operation program, the experts from Tallinn will counsel TIC´s staff members in Jinja, Entebbe and Mbarara. The delegation will attend meetings with the leaders of local governments, tourism developers and entrepreneurs. The delegation will advise members of the staff of UTB, UWA and the TIC´s of Jinja and Entebbe together with regional tourism entrepreneurs on preparing and developing of tourism packages. In addition, there will be a meeting with the leaders of the Ugandan Ministry of Public Service, representatives of World Bank Uganda, leaders and specialist from UTB, UWA and CSCU. The ceremony for giving over two scholarships for the tourism-themed students research paper competition will also take place in October. There will also be negotiations held concerning the themes of a possible future follow-up co-operation project (implementing one stop shops to the local governments of Uganda and developing e-services).

PHOTOS and additional materials of the visit can be found HERE and HERE.

Collaborative project funded by the Estonian Foreign Ministry’s Development Co-operation and Humanitarian Aid funds.