By Moses Oketayot
Kampala – Kampala capital city is strategically located north off the shores of Lake Victoria, occupying more than 21 hills that contain beautiful tourism sceneries. On top of being a hotbed of many tourism activities and centers it is also the first destination area of foreign tourists and other domestic tourism activities which earns approximately 40% in revenue and employment.
Now to maximize its Tourism potential, Kampala Capital City Authority ED, Dorothy Kisaka aka DK, used the Tuesday World Tourism Day celebrations held at Sheraton Hotel, Kampala to enumerate what must be done to make Kampala a smart tourism city. The day was celebrated under the theme “Re-thinking tourism.”
To drive her point home, DK first listed the core pillars of the KCCA smart city campaign and these are; technology, infrastructure and people (TIP). “A smart city is not just smart talk but smart actions,” she said.
DK explained that there is a need to reposition and create a collective consciousness city that speaks well. “We baptised it ‘smart city’ meaning smart people living in it,” she said adding that rethinking is key to development, “When we started talking of a smart city, people thought we were joking by saying how do you call this city smart.”
She also noted that it is called smart city with all its infrastructure, and all its people across all the five divisions making Kampala.
To her, the current generation doesn’t love to do tourism in a dirty city—people visit cities because they are smart. She encouraged everyone to keep the city smart so as not to be challenged when they visit other cities.
She gave an example of the recent tour in London where they saw the beauty of infrastructure that should be envisaged in our generation.
The phrase ‘smart city’ has been articulated to serve the needs and expectations of the city residents and tourists. The phrase embraces KCCA’s vision to be a vibrant, attractive and sustainable city with the mission of delivering quality services to the people of Kampala.
The strategy will include every stakeholder in what the Authority is doing as technical people and the main goal is to create a call of appreciation around three core pillars of smart city; technology, infrastructure and people (TIP).
Under technology Kisaka said: “We would like to make it easier for people to do business like KCCA technological applications for service delivery. The focus is to make each directorate use technology today, not in the future.”
She informed the stakeholders that Uganda is a member of Africans Smart Towns Network (ASTON), a network of Africans towns that use digital tools to address local and global challenges. Uganda is also a member of WIKO – the world’s smartest sustainable cities organization, which was established in 2010.
The organization brings together cities and other local governments with ‘Smart Tech’ solutions, the providers of national and regional institutions’ committed to transformation of regional cities into sustainable, KCCA is going to work with the ministry of tourism wildlife and antiquities and they have already signed a MoU for tourism development with UTB & UWA.”
She emphasized smartness in the infrastructure and said very soon there will be a launch of a new project worth USD288m to improve about 7Kms of roads, lighting around the city, drainage walkways, smart transport, non-motorized walkways, flyovers, new roads and traffic control systems. This will position Kampala as a vibrant, attractive and sustainable city.
“Kampala is an exciting city with a lot of attractive potential for tourism development. In the near future, there will be a launch of the smart city expo,” she concluded stressing that a smart tourism city is about people and Ugandans are known to be hospitable and Kampala should champion it as a community.