New Uganda Wildlife Authority Boss Named

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Uganda has confirmed news of the appointment of a new Executive Director for the country’s largest conservation agency, the semi-autonomous Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA); an organization mandated to manage the country’s wildlife (both fauna and flora) for the people of Uganda and the tourists from around the world who visit Uganda.

The country’s conservationists began to send in congratulatory messages and praises to Sam Mwandha who had unofficially been named UWA the new UWA boss. Others sent in their appreciation to Dr. Andrew Seguya for his guidance and enormous contribution to conservation and tourism development achieved during his time in office. On the same forum, one of the candidates Archilles Byaruhanga was noted to have also congratulated Sam Mwandha as well.

According to a New Vision article by one Gerald Tenywa published this week on Tuesday 13th February 2018, the race to fill the post had entered advance stages following the submission of an interview report by the Public Service Commission to the Hon. Ministry of Tourism, Professor Ephraim Kamuntu with the names of 3 candidates out of about 7 other contenders, who the commission deemed fit for candidature for the Minister’s appointment.

The three candidates were Sam Mwandha who actually worked with UWA a couple of years back but due to some controversies, was fired for reasons not known to the public; followed by Archilles Byaruhanga, a seasoned conservationist and current Executive Director of Nature Uganda, a conservation organization; and thirdly was Dr. Andrew Seguya the incumbent.

Seguya’s contract had been extended for an extra 3 months by the Board of Trustees following its expiration last year in order to allow for interviews to be carried out; and according to reliable sources, this could only be extended until the 15th of February beyond which the honorable minister of tourism would be required to either announce a new Executive Director or appoint an interim ED among the existing Directors of departments at the agency’s Kitante location.

Sam Mwandha joins the wildlife Authority at a time when the country continues to report several positive strides including an upsurge in wildlife populations from the shockingly low numbers that followed the episodes of civil strife that characterized the 1970s. He also joins UWA at a time when there is an increasing interest by investors to develop tourism in the conservation areas as well as the ever growing tourist numbers to the country’s wildlife destinations.

The new UWA boss inherits an office that has achieved a lot but also takes on a challenge to further improve conservation management in the country’s 10 national parks and 12 wildlife reserves.

Sam Mwandha has been the chief of party at the African Wildlife Foundation, one of the continent’s most prized conservation organizations. He has been quoted to be a strong advocate and champion of the conservation model of private conservancies outside the National Parks which are present and have been largely reported a success in the older tourist destinations like South Africa, Kenya and Tanzania.

Some of the expectations of the new Executive Director of the tourism sector players is the introduction of tested models that can contribute to the rejuvenation of national parks and wildlife reserves whose wildlife populations have dwindled and have consequently highly affected the tourist safari experience, the likes of Queen Elizabeth National Park, Semliki Wildlife Reserve, Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve among others. The new UWA boss will also be expected to strengthen the relationship between UWA and the parent Ministry, the Uganda Tourism Board as well as the energetic tourism private sector for combined sector growth.

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