Uganda Tourism Board appoints first female CEO

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The Uganda Tourism Board (UTB), the government body in charge of promoting and marketing tourism, has appointed its first female CEO after months of searching.

Lily Ajarova beat her male counterparts Dr. Andrew Seguya Ggunga former Uganda Wildlife Authority Executive Director  and Bradford Ochieng formerly director of corporate affairs at Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority after the three had been short listed for oral interviews in December, 2018.

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Ajarova has been the Executive Director of the Chimpanzee Sanctuary and Wildlife Conservation Trust since 2005, after serving at UWA as Marketing Manager in charge of Product Development. She wass also on the board of UTB in charge of directing Quality Assurance  ,on the Uganda Conservation Society Board, as well as  and Nature Uganda, a conservation organization that champions the protection of birds and their habitats.

She replaces Dr. Stephen Asiimwe who has opted out to pursue further studies.

Bradford Ochieng who had contested for the top job had to settle for second spot after being appointed deputy chief executive officer, replacing Mr John Ssempebwa.

“I expect the two principals to hit the road running,” said State Minister for Tourism Wildlife & Antiquities  on Thursday evening after announcing the appointments  at the ministry headquarters in Kampala.

He said: “By next year, we expect them [new bosses] to increase the number of tourists visiting the country by two million. At the moment, we get about two million arrivals. So, we expect to have four million tourists by the year 2020. They must make that happen.”

Ms Ajarova also has training at  the  International College of Tourism & Management  Austria (1996) and a Bachelor’s Degree from the prestigious Makerere University, Kampala (1994). She was  the recipient of the prestigious National Golden Jubilee Award 2015, Tourism Excellence Award 2017 and Wildlife Conservation Award 2017

Last year, she was selected among Africa’s top travel 100 women as a leader, pioneer and innovator.