Integrating the tourism and energy sectors of Uganda and encouraging cooperation through stakeholder interaction and communication systems and strategies
- Client: Total E&P Uganda
- Project Duration: April 2012 – September 2012
Energy company Total E&P Uganda is conducting oil and gas exploration in and around Murchison Falls National Park in Uganda. Because of the potential impacts this would have on tourism, Total E&P needed to engage the sector. The presence of oil combined with its important sustainable tourism assets means MFNP is integral to Uganda’s economy, though for seemingly contradictory economic activities. Therefore Total E&P would need to enable an operating environment where both industries could prosper. Total wanted to establish communications and grievance systems along with trained staff to respond to the specific needs of the tourism industry. This would be the basis of a Tourism Stakeholder Engagement Strategy that provided a road map for the future of Total E&P’s relationship and coordination with the tourism industry.
Solimar supported Total E&P Uganda with the development of its Tourism Stakeholder Engagement Strategy and tools for implementation. Solimar supported by coordinating engagement meetings with tourism stakeholders in Kampala and around the park area, in the recruitment and training of a Tourism Liaison Officer, in developing and implementing a grievance management procedure, and in developing and disseminating communication and informational materials on Total E&P’s activities in the region. Solimar and Total established a system for interaction and coordination between Total and the tourism sector that ensured the availability of accurate information for all stakeholders and that there was a mechanism in place to address any problems between the two sectors.
- Recruitment and Training of a Tourism Liaison Officer: Solimar worked with Total E&P Uganda staff to define the scope of work of the Tourism Liaison Officer, their role within the company and their tasks in relation to the tourism sector. Solimar advised during the recruitment process and once the Officer was selected, we trained them on approaches and methodologies for working with the tourism sector,; overall operations and understanding of how different tourism stakeholders work (e.g. lodging, tour operators, transport providers, guides, government tourism and wildlife agencies, community tourism enterprises, etc.); common issues and interests of each tourism stakeholder group; and introductions and discussions with key tourism stakeholders in the country to gain an in-depth understanding of the sector.
- Supported Total E&P Uganda with an Oil and Tourism Stakeholder Forum: Solimar supported efforts to host a half-day event in Kampala and a similar event in Murchison Falls National Park between Total, government agencies involved in the oil sector and tourism stakeholders. At this event, Total and its government partners presented respective roles, activities and plans. This was followed by a facilitated Q&A session and concluded with revisions to the tourism grievance management procedures and informational materials.
- Developed Tourism Grievance Management Procedure: Based on the existing grievance management procedures within Total E&P Uganda and the feedback from the forum, Solimar developed a procedure specific to the tourism sector. This was achieved through an initial meeting to review the documents and gather comments and after the forum draft procedures were developed for review.
- Developed and Disseminated Communication Materials for Tourism Sector Stakeholders on Total’s Activities in Murchison Falls National Park: We developed two pieces of informational materials that explain Total E&P Uganda’s activities in the region. The first was an information document intended for tourism sector stakeholders (the businesses and government agencies involved in tourism) and informed stakeholders about the oil operations in the park, plans and activities in the future as well as information about who to contact for further information or complaints. The second communication piece was a simple brochure that was intended for park visitors and briefly explains the oil operations and activities within the park.
- Reviewed and Provided Recommendations on the Total E&P Uganda Tourism Strategy: Prior to the forum Solimar reviewed the strategy developed for the tourism sector and gathered input and thoughts from stakeholders. Based on additional feedback from the forums, we provided recommendations and modifications on the tourism strategy.
- Established relationships between tourism sector stakeholders and Total E&P Uganda
- Established Tourism Grievance Procedures for Total E&P Uganda
- Hired and trained a Total E&P Uganda Tourism Liaison Officer
- Developed communication materials explaining Total E&P Uganda’s operations in relation to the tourism sector
- Created a Tourism Strategy for Total E&P Uganda