The European Union and the Uganda Development Bank have pressed tourist companies to finish the EU/UDB Tourism Intervention Fund rescue package. The bank still has 44 billion shillings of the 62 billion shillings meant to rebuild the tourism industry following the COVID-19 issue on hand. Only 18.2 billion of the total amount has been spent.
According to Uganda’s state minister for tourism, Martin Mugarra Bahinduka, while the program’s first phase helped a few operators, the number of companies in the area is substantially larger. The United Development Bank contributed 40 billion of the 62 billion, while the European Union contributed 21.8 billion, decreasing the interest rate from 12% to 8%.
According to Caroline Adriaensen, the EU’s head of cooperation, and delegations in Uganda, the project’s initial phase was a large ground-breaking operation due to the EU’s involvement. The country has seen firsthand the benefits of the government and other groups working together on loans and grants. Furthermore, she believes that the current call is geared to the industry’s present context as the epidemic fades; Andriaensen adds that operations have been slow and hostile since they needed to guarantee that their grant and loan combination worked well.
The Uganda Development Bank’s managing director, Patricia Ojangole, declared that the lessons and challenges of the first phase had been overcome. Ojangole believes that the industry still requires their aid, hence a second phase of the project has been established.
According to Samuel Edem Maitum, UDB’s director of credit, they have even loosened the application standards and limits after determining what has disqualified the majority of the applications. Only 94 enterprises applied, 44 of which were selected, and the first phase of the facility cost only 18.2 billion dollars. This resulted in queries, which we were able to answer.
According to Edem, the second call is aimed at supporting firms in the tourism value chain that are struggling to keep their feet on the ground. We established a special call with a grant component to aid firms that survived the outbreak unscathed.
Enterprises that meet the new criteria will be eligible for a maximum of one billion shillings and a minimum of one hundred million shillings. When applying for the loan, they must, among other things, disclose their greening program, be in business for at least two years, and employ at least five people.