Reigning Miss Uganda, Quiin Abenakyo who was recently crowned Miss World Africa will Wednesday be hosted to a State Dinner by President Yoweri Museveni, according to the Uganda Tourism Board.
The Deputy chief executive of UTB, John Ssempebwa told the press on Tuesday that Miss Uganda will return to the country on Wednesday following her long trip to China where she took part in the Miss World contest.
She is scheduled to arrive at Entebbe International Airport at around 1:30pm, and according to Ssempebwa, Abenakyo will be accorded a grand welcome like no other celebrity has had before.
She will be hosted at State House Entebbe where there will also be a press conference.
On December 8, Abenakyo made history when she was crowned Miss World Africa in the 68th Miss World contest. Quiin Abenakyo became the first Miss Uganda and African to make it to the top 5 contestants.
“We have had very terrible history to the extent that when a potential tourist Googles Uganda, all they see is poverty, war, disease, Idi Amin. So, anything positive about Uganda is a welcome cue, such that people can begin to think about Uganda in a positive way and visit,” Ssempebwa told SoftPower News.
“This lady got a lot of audience when she was at the Miss World contest. She therefore becomes a partner in conveying tourism messages especially to the youth”.
He said that government is committed to supporting the Miss Uganda beauty pageant which according to him can not be detached from Uganda’s tourism.
“There’s no doubt this is one thing we will support. Miss Uganda is actually an Ambassador of tourism whether you appoint her or not. She is going to be a key partner”.
Abenakyo’s mark on the global stage comes at the time when Uganda is investing millions of dollars in promoting Uganda’s image globally – particularly in the U.S, UK, German speaking countries, China, Japan and the middle East.
This is in line with government’s plan to grow the number of tourist arrivals from 1.4 million in 2017/18 to 4 million by 2020. Tourism is Uganda’s biggest foreign revenue earner.
Ssempebwa also addressed recent allegations that government did not throw its weight behind Abenakyo’s bid for Miss World in the days leading to her departure to China.
He refuted the reports, saying that government offered support to Abenakyo but blamed the organizers for not coming out in advance to notify government.
“Miss Uganda is a private initiative. And the problem is, when such events come up, people approach government for help on short notice. Nonetheless, we facilitated Abenakyo,” Ssempebwa said.
Abenakyo, 22, a graduate of Computer Science was crowned Miss Uganda in August, beating 21 other contestants. She hails from Mayuge district in Eastern Uganda.