The Uganda Hotel Owners Association (UHOA) is optimistic about the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) tournament, set to be co-hosted by Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania in 2027. The announcement by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has been welcomed as excellent news by the association.
Ms. Jean Byamugisha, the executive director of UHOA, expressed her excitement about Uganda’s selection as a co-host, highlighting the significant opportunities it presents for the hospitality, tourism, and entertainment sectors. She emphasized the chance to showcase East Africa’s nightlife capital to soccer fans and noted plans to collaborate with the police for special screening events and security training for hotel staff.
Addressing concerns about accommodation capacity, Ms. Byamugisha stated that the Kampala metropolitan area, including the capital and districts of Wakiso and Mukono, offers approximately 70,000 hotel rooms. She also mentioned that based on their experience from events like Nyege Nyege, some foreign guests may prefer tent accommodations, providing flexibility for merrymakers.
Efforts are underway to enhance the skills of various hospitality and tourism professionals, including chauffeurs, hoteliers, guards, tour guides, craft sellers, and business executives. Training programs are focusing on soft skills such as cultural sensitivity, conflict resolution, and guest satisfaction.
George Ogumbo, the secretary general of the Hotel Managers’ Association of Uganda, affirmed the readiness of hotel staff to provide enjoyable and professional service through in-service training. He mentioned the government’s skilling program initiated in 2019, which has created a network for sharing global industry trends and best practices.
Leisure and hospitality training consultant Paul Aloni Kireta highlighted Uganda’s improved institutional and infrastructure capacity due to years of hosting high-profile events. Comparing the situation to the 2007 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), he stressed the need for refresher training to ensure a top-notch experience for Afcon guests.
In addition to hotels, the availability of furnished apartments in upscale Kampala neighborhoods and private modern houses on platforms like Airbnb will offer affordable choices for Afcon visitors, further enhancing their stay in Uganda.