Sketchy information show Herbert Byaruhanga, founder of the Uganda Safari Guide Association (USAGA) and the Uganda Bird Guide Association, having been elected to the office of President of the Uganda Tourism Association (UTA), apex body for the various tourism trade associations in Uganda.
The Uganda Safari Guide Association, in its early stages shunned by many of the tour operators over fears for demand for fair compensation for the guides’ services but also for having to deal with them on equitable terms, eventually managed to get enough votes from the UTA board to elect them to membership, supported at the time by this correspondent who served as UTA President from 2000 until early 2007. USAGA responded to the admission to the ranks of UTA by repaying the industry by professionalizing guiding services, introducing guide training, and later on establishing a formal guide certification process, which has lifted standards and now compares with the best in Eastern Africa.
Byaruhanga last year was the first to publicly speak out about the industry’s need for change at UTA, and then relentlessly kept chipping away to convince his peers and colleagues to agree with him, before his “slow but sure” approach finally worked out. Congratulations to Herbert – and his yet to be announced team at the helm of UTA – and thanks to the now immediate past President Amos Wekesa for his services to the industry.