During his address at the Miss Tourism Uganda 2023 event, held on Saturday evening, September 9, 2023, at the Kampala Serena Hotel, Minister of ICT and National Guidance, Chris Baryomunsi, voiced his worry regarding the absence of male participants in certain competitions extending to the national level.
As the Chief Guest at the event, the Minister expressed his disappointment over the lack of involvement of men in the competition. He recalled his own experience growing up in the hills of Kigezi, where he had previously taken part in a similar prestigious contest that had both Miss and Mr. Tourism Kigezi.
Minister Baryomunsi pondered whether the competition for males terminates at the district level and does not progress to the national stage. He suggested that in future editions, organizers should consider including a Mr. Tourism category.
The Minister expressed his gratitude to the organizers for sustaining the Miss Tourism Uganda project, which was established by the late Former Tourism Minister Maria Mutagamba in 2013.
The 25 finalists represented various sub-regions including Buganda, Kigezi, Karamoja, Tooro, Teso, and Ankole.
Ruokaya Kiyayi Nabukonde was crowned as the winner, with Martha Apero from Karamoja sub-region as the first runner-up, and Alison Mary Akello from Teso sub-region as the second runner-up.
Other winners included Lilian Lissa for Miss Tourism Wellness, Sylvia Kasemire for Miss Tourism Congeniality, and Joy Ariye for Miss Tourism Heritage.
In his address to the audience, Minister of ICT and National Guidance, Hon. Chris Baryomunsi, emphasized Uganda’s commitment to strengthening the tourism sector. He encouraged Ugandans to explore the diverse array of tourist sites scattered throughout the nation.
Prominent attendees at the colorful event included Minister of ICT and National Guidance, Chris Baryomunsi, State Minister for Tourism, Martin Mugarra Bahinduka, Vice Chairperson of the Board of Directors at Private Sector Foundation Uganda, Sarah Kagingo, and many others.
Nabukonde will represent Uganda in the upcoming Miss Tourism International Competition, scheduled to be held in Malaysia in November 2023.
The Miss Tourism Uganda 2023 edition commemorates the pageant’s 11th anniversary, showcasing its growth and success over the years.