Buganda is located in the central region of Uganda with an authentic culture led by the King known as the Kabaka. The Kabaka delegates his power through the Katikkiro (Prime Minister) who carries out the day to day activities needed to smoothly run the vast Kingdom. Buganda has an ancient Lukiiko (Parliament) that is similar to many modern parliaments today. The white missionaries who first arrived in Buganda were shocked to find a replica of Europe’s political system. The Kingdom in its current set up is nearly 1,000 years old.
Because of this huge heritage, Buganda has many tourist attractions. These include the UNESCO world heritage site, the Kasubi Royal Tombs, which is now under reconstruction after they were gutted by fire in March 2010. There are coronation sites, palaces and tombs of former kings, and many others.
Lake Victoria, the world’s second largest freshwater body is mainly located in Buganda and its shoreline is full of tourist attractions such as bird watching sites and beaches that tourists enjoy.
However, some of these attractions were previously not marketed vigorously. The Kingdom of Buganda through its Buganda Tourism and Heritage Board applied for a grant from CEDP that enabled it carry out research on these attractions and documented them. A book on Buganda’s tourism titled “Buganda, gateway to the pearl” was eventually printed and launched by the current Kabaka of Buganda, His Majesty Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II during a tourism expo this year. The book is available in bookshops in Kampala.
Commenting on this milestone, Katikkiro Charles Peter Mayiga said that tourism can create many jobs for the people of Buganda and significantly contribute to national development through taxation. “Ssese Islands is one of the most beautiful places in Uganda and can attract a lot of tourists. The mace known as Ddamula that symbolizes the authority of the Katikkiro is cut from a tree that is found in a forest in Ssese. This forest can be a very good tourist attraction,” Mayiga said.
Once the Kabaka has appointed a Katikkiro, he hands over Ddamula to him, which enables the Katikkiro to run the Kingdom on behalf of the Kabaka.
There are many such stories that are chronicled in the book that can be very attractive to tourists. The CEDP grant to the Kingdom has enabled the documentation of Buganda’s heritage from which generations and generations to come can refer to and further develop many areas that would enable tourism to thrive.
BENEFITS FROM THE BOOK PUBLICATION
With this information made available, it will enable the Kingdom to draw a plan on how to develop these sites into proper tourism sites for the tourists but also it will enable tour operators to be able to enrich their packages with cultural tourism activities to enable the tourists extend their stay in the country thereby spending more money.