Other tourism opportunities that can be developed
b) Guiding & porter services
c) Rock climbing
d) Chair lifts e.g. in Kilembe
e) Chimpanzee viewing (habituation)
f) Boating on lakes
g) Visits to cultural sites
h) Trans-boundary tourist management
i) Community tourism
j) Opening of other trails.
The drop in number of the tourists during 1995 to 1999 was due to the ADF insurgency that hit the region. With stable security in the region, the number is increasing and Kasese district is reasserting itself as a must tourist destination
Queen Elizabeth National Park:
It has been designed as a Biosphere Reserve for humanity under UNESCO auspices.
The park, in the western arms of the greatest East African rift valley, covers 1,978 sq km and includes a remarkable variety of ecosystems, from semi deciduous tropical forest to green meadows, savannah and swamps.
It was first gazetted as Kazinga National Park on 22nd July 1952 and two years later the Queen of England visited this park and in commemoration of her visit it was renamed Queen Elizabeth National Park.
It borders to the north by the Rwenzori mountains, to the west by Lake Edward which borders Virunga National Park in The Democratic Republic of Congo and to the east the Western rift valley escarpments.
It is the home of the famous tree- climbing lions as well as the Uganda Kobs, other antelopes’ species, elephants, baboons, hippos, buffaloes and chimpanzees. Over 600 species of birds have been recorded, making the park a magnate for bird watchers.
The bird species include the black bee-eater, 11 types of king fisher, and several species of falcons, eagles and other raptors. In the crate lakes to the north, flocks of flamingos can be found. A favourite way to view the game is by launch trip on the Kazinga channel between lakes George and Edward.
Generally investment opportunities in the tourism sector include:
• Tour and Travel business.
• Provision of quality hotel facilities that meet international standards.
• Training facilities in tourism industry.
• Development of specialized eco-tourism.
• Marketing Kasese District both in and outside Uganda.
• Promotion of avi-tourism.
• Promotion of sports in the district.
• Expansion of mountaineering services.
The tradition hospitality of the Kasese people is another important draw-card. The district’s population is united in providing a warm welcome to foreign guests; so even in the smallest of villages, local people will go out of their way to make tourists feel at home. The National Parks have been designated a Biosphere.
The financial services offered in Kasese District are offered by the following:
• Commercial Banks.
• Micro finance institutions, which include NGOs’ and formal
Cooperative Savings and Credit Societies.
There are four commercial banks: Stanbic, Centenary Rural Development Bank and Barclays bank, all in Kasese town.
The micro finance services include those offered by:
• Pride Africa.
• Church of Uganda – Rwenzori Diocese.
• Catholic church - Kasese Diocese.
• Savings and Credit cooperative societies.
· Equity bank
They have been able to meet their initial capital and operating costs. They have been meeting a
real and genuine demand since most of the rural population has been left out from the
formal banking sector.
The overall objective of the financial sector reforms is to increase competition and
7. Investment opportunities in this sector include:
• Provision of professional accountancy services.
• Establishment of rural commercial banks.
• Provision of rural investment advisory services.
• Provision of rural agricultural finance scheme.
A number of factors make Kasese district a major potential investment area.
Kasese District occupies a strategic position in western Uganda, which gives it an advantage for the eventual development of exports to the nearest countries of Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania with a railway line connected to Mombasa, Kenya.
Good political environment
The political governance in Kasese district is committed to economic growth through the liberal economic policies.
Multinational companies like, Kasese Cobalt Company Ltd, Hima Cement (U) Ltd,
Kilembe Mines Ltd, Mweya Safari Lodge and Tronder Power among others are investing millions of dollars in expanding their operations in the district.
The Belgian Technical Cooperation (BTC) has committed a lot of millions of shillings in
improving the rural community based projects in agricultural extension, education, health, community mobilization, water and feeder roads, UNICEF among other donors has also committed funds in the district for improving health, roads, community mobilization, water and sanitation facilities.
Kasese district has benefited a lot in the development of its infrastructure with assistance from the central government. All sub counties are linked with accessible feeder roads. Kasese district is linked with its trade partners with a well-maintained trunk road system. The rail transport, which was used for bulk cargo transport to Kampala, is temporarily out of service.
Kasese district has an operational airfield, which is capable of handling air traffic c to all major
business centres in Uganda. Government is in the final stages of upgrading it to an international airport, capable of accommodating a Boeing 737. The telecommunication infrastructure is well developed which include mobile cellular phones (MTN, Zain, Uganda telecom, Warid and more recently, Orange optic and fixed line services.
Tourist accommodation is currently being catered for by two standard hotels
(Margherita and Mweya Safari Lodge) and other good local hotels in the district. The Ministry of Tourism, Trade and Industry in its Integrated Tourism development Master Plan, recognizes the need to create additional capacity, particularly in the National Parks.
Trainable English Speaking Labour Force.
Kasese District has an exemplary trainable English speaking labour force as other
investors in the district have found out. The district has been heavily committed
towards education. Compensation rates for both skilled and unskilled labour are
provided for under the Workmen’s compensation Act that is a statutory instrument of
Government of Uganda. More important, there has been no history of labour disputes
and industrial strikes in the district.
Abundant opportunities and Natural Resource Base
Kasese’s resource endowment is in its rainfall, favourable temperature range, fertile soils, national parks, lakes, rivers and unexplored mineral deposits that allow the district to offer a wide range of opportunities for investors.
It offers a wide range of opportunities in a wide range of areas of agriculture and agro processing, fisheries, livestock, mining, financial services and tourism.
12. Utilities: power and water
There is reliable hydropower supplied by Uganda Electricity Generation Company Ltd, Kilembe Mines Ltd and Kasese Cobalt Company Ltd. Water is supplied by the National Water and Sewerage Corporation to Kasese Town Council, which flows by gravity from the Rwenzori Mountains. There are several water gravity flow schemes in the district.
Legal, Immigration, Medical, Clearing & Forwarding, & Insurance services are all available in the district. There is a grade I Magistrates court in Kasese Town and other lower magistrate’s courts at sub counties and the provision of the High Court is underway. Immigration services are provided at Mpondwe, which is at the border with the Democratic republic of Congo 50km from Kasese Town.
There is one government hospital (Bwera) and two semi-private ones (Kagando and Kilembe in Kasese District with Health units in all sub counties.
Other services include the National Social Security Fund and clearing and Forwarding services (Panalpina, Transami, Spedag) in Kasese town and Mpondwe respectively.
Quality of life
The quality and cost of living in Kasese District compares favourably with what investors
may hope to find else where in Uganda. Two standard hotels; Margherita Hotel is found in Kasese town while Mweya Lodge is in the Queen Elizabeth National Park. Leisure facilities exist for such pass time as golf, football, swimming, tennis and other indoor games. Primary Education is among the
best in the country with good schools in Kasese town.