UWA Revises Contract Terms for National Park Lodges

2266 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
Raymond Engena, UWA Director Tourism and Business, says the call for revision of the agreements came up in order to increase investment opportunities and create competition for better services in the national parks.

Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) has revised terms for interested parties to manage accommodation facilities in Murchison and Queen Elizabeth National Parks.
  
Raymond Engena, UWA Director Tourism and Business, says the call for revision of the agreements came up in order to increase investment opportunities and create competition for better services in the national parks.
  
A clause that restricted developments in the national parks has been removed from the concession agreement.
  
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The revision of the concession agreements by UWA cancels a 20-year-old agreement between Marasa Holdings, a firm under Madhivani Group, to run accommodation facilities within Murchison falls National Game Park, Bwindi Gorilla and Queen Elizabeth National Park.
  
"The Uganda Wildlife Authority is seeking investors in two national Game parks Queen Elizabeth and Murchison falls. Other areas for investment are Ishasa, Kigezi and Kyambura wildlife reserves," part of the concession letter reads.
 
The concession agreement between Marasa and UWA was signed in 1996. It stipulated that no other competitor would open up a competing business within a radius of 25 miles from the National parks. The new guidelines allow for investors to construct accommodation facilities within five miles from the national parks.

Engena says the only way to attract investors was to break the monopoly in accommodation services which raised the cost of accommodation, scaring off prospective tourists in the last 20 years.
  
However Rukia Emiru Mwai, Marasa Holdings Sales and Marketing Manager, says she is not aware of the new developments and that her organisation is still serving clients, who need their services in Uganda.
  
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Marasa Holdings Director Operations Anil Gei, told URN on phone that the legal team is considering the newly revised concession, bearing in mind that Marasa Holdings had a concession contract for 30 years, until 2026.
  
UWA is mandated to oversee, protect and manage wildlife in Uganda, but also generate revenue for government through the attraction of investors.