The Uganda government has finally formalised Moses Kipsiro, the Commonwealth 5000 metres and 10,000 metres champion, as it’s tourism ambassador.
Mr Arthur Baguma, the executive director of Uganda Tourism Board, announced the 24-year-old long distance athlete, and world musician and Kora Award nominee, Ms Susan Kerunen, as two Ugandan achievers who have enhanced “Uganda’s image and brand as a tourism destination of choice both regionally and internationally.”
While at the Media Centre on Wednesday, Mr Baguma said Mr Kipsiro and Ms Kerunen have done so much for the country’s image that has suffered bad publicity due to its turbulent past. He said Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) has recognized their contributions and will work together to paint a better image of the country every time they represent the country on local or international duties.
Also recognized is Ms Amanda Marks, the managing director of Tribes Travel based in UK, who Mr Baguma said has done a “tremendous job in marketing Uganda’s tourism attractions particularly in UK.” Mr Kipsiro also received Shs2m from the tourism fraternity; he got Shs1m cheque from UTB board chairman Mr William Byaruhanga and another Shs1.5m in cash from Mr Katoto , Director of Katona tours and travel, a local tour agency.
Mr Byarugaba said the duo will be facilitated by UTB on “as is” basis meaning that the tourism promotion agency will pick the bill where necessary whenever Mr Kipsiro and Ms Kerunen engage in events that promote the country’s image.
Mr Baguma admitted that it is an uphill task to market the image of Uganda in the competitivetourism market given that the sector is security sensitive. He said it was a blessing to have young people like Kipsiro who can attract positive world headlines to the country with their talents.
Mr Kipsiro, who hails from Bukwo, said: “I thank God for this honour and I will do my best to represent my country well.” For her part, Ms Kerunen, who hails from West Nile, said: “It is a great honour and source of pride to receive the mantle to promote Uganda, as I have been doing on a personal level.”