Opportunity Awaits as Uganda’s Rwenzori Tourism Academy teams up with US-based nonprofit, The Tourism Academy, to Develop Sustainable Tourism Economy Around UNESCO World Heritage Site, Rwenzori Mountains National Park.
Lakewood Ranch, Florida (December 13, 2021) - The Tourism Academy and Rwenzori Tourism Academy have signed a collaborative agreement to amplify regional workforce development, promote cross-cultural exchange, and generate sustainable economic growth in the areas surrounding UNESCO World Heritage Site, Uganda’s Rwenzori Mountain National Park. Currently, nearly half of Uganda’s population is under the age of 15; 73% are employed in agriculture and 41% of Ugandans live on less than $1.90 USD per day. Tourism development means economic opportunity in a country that hosts the largest refugee population in Africa.* According to the World Bank, the tourism sector created 563,600 jobs in 2019, 5.8% of total jobs in the Country. Additionally, according to the direct contribution of Tourism to GDP in 2017 was UGX 2,699.1bn (2.9% of GDP) while the total contribution, including wider effects from investment, the supply chain and induced income impacts, was UGX 6,888.5bn in 2017 (7.3% of GDP), up from UGX 6,171.5bn in 2016.
The Tourism Academy is known in the tourism industry for custom course development, verified certification & credential programs, engaging speakers, and product training for travel professionals. “We are very excited to partner with the Rwenzori Tourism Academy,” said Stephen Ekstrom, Chief Strategist and Executive Director, The Tourism Academy. “Teaming up with Rwenzori Tourism Academy to provide valuable skill training and create sustainable job opportunities around the UNESCO World Heritage Site is an exciting expansion for our organization.”
“The Tourism Academy is a great partner of Rwenzori Tourism Academy and this agreement exemplifies their dedication to skills development in the tourism and hospitality sector,” said Vincent Agaba, Director of Rwenzori Tourism Academy. “This collaboration reflects our desire to work with educational leaders who share our vision for practical skill training that our stakeholders can apply immediately in real-world scenarios. By giving our students opportunities to experience the work environment while training, we’ve created a better way to impart valuable lifelong learning.”
Multi-national support will be necessary to implement the plan. Initially, Rwenzori Tourism Academy and The Tourism Academy leadership collaborate to share educational resources and create customized curriculum to meet students’ need for skill, knowledge and practical application. As the plan unfolds, The Tourism Academy will reserve at least one internship for a student of the Rwenzori Tourism Academy each year, and provide license to its proprietary learning management system, thereby making training available to remote communities. In addition, The Tourism Academy will facilitate a series of live talks, lessons and presentations for Rwenzori students, conducted by experienced tourism leaders and instructors.
Founded in 2018, The Tourism Academy is the leading provider of training, education and inspiration for the tourism industry. A registered 501(c)3 nonprofit, the organization’s mission is to improve lives through travel and do so by providing travel professionals with the skills needed to advance their careers and grow their businesses, sustainably. The Tourism Academy currently serves over 150,000 people within North America and worldwide. It has been widely recognized for its online, on demand tourism ambassador training, easy-to-implement certification & credential programs, dozens of instructional designers and live programs, led by its 70+ engaging & enlightening speakers.
The Rwenzori Tourism Academy Ltd was formally founded in 2019. It has a formal memorandum of understanding with Rena Foundation, Eye Opener Works and Makerere University. Also Rwenzori Tourism Academy Ltd has a licence from the Directorate of Industrial Training under the Ministry of Education and Sports and aims to assist the youth to make a fruitful career in the tourism & hospitality sector. In addition, it aims to help local tourism businesses in improving their business practices. Since its founding, Rwenzori Tourism Academy has been empowering youth with support from partners like ENABEL and GIZ among others, over 102 students have been trained and more are undergoing training presently. The students who completed their training have been absorbed in the world of work including self-employment.
About Rwenzori Mountains National Park
The Rwenzori Mountains National Park covers nearly 100,000 ha in western Uganda and comprises the main part of the Rwenzori mountain chain, which includes Africa's third highest peak (Mount Margherita: 5,109 m). The region's glaciers, waterfalls and lakes make it one of Africa's most beautiful alpine areas. The park has many natural habitats of endangered species and a rich and unusual flora comprising, among other species, the giant heather.
Nearby sites include Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kibale National Park and Semuliki National Park. The location also hosts Lake Albert, Lake Edward, Kazinga Channel and more than 50 crater lakes.