The NRM National Chairman Yoweri Museveni has today met with a delegation of Giants Club investors, led by the founders of Great Plains Africa, Dereck and Beverly Joubert, who are interested in investing in the conservation and high-end tourism with over US30 million dollars to invest in Uganda.
Giants Club is an initiative of Space for Giants that gives the political, financial and technical muscle to get work done. It unites sitting or former Heads of State of the four countries – Botswana, Kenya, Gabon and Uganda – that hold half of Africa’s remaining elephants.
During the meeting that took place this afternoon at State House Entebbe, the leader of the delegation, Mr. Dereck Joubert told the NRM National Chairman Museveni that they have so far been able to build tourism and conservation camps in Botswana, Zimbabwe, Kenya and were now working on creating one in Uganda.
“We deal with rich influential people that can talk about Uganda. We are also connectors between tourism, conservation and communities. We don’t need money from the Government of Uganda; we just need our investment to be taken seriously and not be caught up in bureaucracies,” he said.
The NRM National Chairman Museveni welcomed the investors to the country and informed them that the greatest challenge to conservation in Uganda is necessity where very many people in the rural areas are dependent on land for charcoal and food yet practice pre-industrial methods of agriculture.
He added that this would be solved through encouraging people to shift to commercial agriculture and participate in industrial and service sectors.
“Here in Africa, the conflict between man and nature is by default because man is where he is not supposed to be. Man, therefore, becomes a parasite to family and nature especially in the rural areas but we can reverse the situation,” he said.
Mr. Museveni also advised the investors to employ young people in the tourism sector who can work as tour operators in the nearby communities such that they can learn the importance of tourism.
“Some people keep asking us if animals are more important than them. But we have explained to the people that tourism brings in more money than the coffee in Uganda,” he remarked.
The President extended an invitation to Mr. Dereck Joubert to become a member of annual presidential round table.
Mr. Dereck Joubert, on his part, informed the President that he was impressed by Uganda’s strategy of re-growing forests as a way of conserving the environment.