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Gulu District in Uganda
Sunday May 8, 2011
Although devastating memories still resonate in the minds of people in northern Uganda for suffering a two decade rebel insurgency, most of the shortcomings are to certain magnitude being offset by the fast pace of development in the region especially in Gulu.
A range of development indicators could reflect Gulu’s level of development, but the most outstanding is the hotel industry.
Gulu town, Uganda’s second fast growing after Mbarara boasts of over 12 modern hotels approximately rated one star level and below. About seven around the vicinity are also under construction.
Hotels here offer services blended with local and international cuisines, wireless internet, comfortable accommodation ranging between sh70,000 and sh120,000 per night and food costing between sh15,000 and sh20,000 a meal.
The hotel industry is supplemented by the multiplicity of lodges scattered in the town centre as well as its outskirts.
“Gulu town has many hotels and lodges but it is surprising that you may end up failing to get where to sleep should you fail to book for accommodation before 9:00pm,.
This means that investing in this town’s hotel industry would be a feasible development idea,” says Stephen Stewart, an employee with a foreign humanitarian agency operating in the region.
He says that in some instances, a hotel could be overbooked for example in the area of conference facilities leaving it with room to offer accommodation and consequently refers the conferencing businesses to another.
According to Joshi Kidangana, the general manager for Palema Crown Hotel, the growth of Gulu’s hotel industry is precipitated by the existence of many local and foreign civil society organisations, government bodies and the movement of traders between Uganda and Southern Sudan where Gulu normally serves as a stop over point.
The industry is really busy here and we envisage more business as intra and cross-boarder trade continues to flourish,” he said.
According to Francis Okiror, the national chairman for Northern Uganda Manufacturers Association (NUMA), the return of peace to the region is breeding a vibrant manufacturing sector. NUMA has a membership of 400 small scale manufacturers.
“Many of us are involved in manufacturing value addition and agro-processing machines, our local clients are involved in wine and juice processing, flour milling,
Garment makers, handcraft businessmen, hides and skins shoe manufacturers, furniture
By David Sempijja: The New Vision Newspaper
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