Local Tourism: Lira University holds first international conference in Lango

Prof Okaka Opio Dokotum addressing journalists at Lira University ahead of 2018 Lango Tourism Conference. File photo


By Frank Oyugi & Isabella Awor

Lango sub-region might have been endowed with a vast number of cultural heritage and tourist attraction sites, but most of them remain undiscovered and as a result it’s a white elephant in the local economy.

Some of the would-be tourist sites that Lango sub-region boasts of include, “Tyen Olum” which loosely translates to the foot prints of Olum found on Ibuje hills in Apac district. This is believed to be the foot prints of the earliest human being.

Others are the Bunker in Kangai in Dokolo district where Kabaka Muwanga and Kabalega were arrested, Barlonyo Massacre site which hosts the remains of over 300 people who were brutally murdered by the Lord’s Resistance Army-LRA rebels nearly fifteen years ago.

There is however, a ray of hope in the tourism sector of Lango as Lira University under the stewardship of Associate Professor Dr. Opio Okaka Dokotum, the university’s vice chancellor organizes the first ever International Lango Cultural Heritage and Tourism Conference.

According to a concept note signed by Dr. Opio, a copy of which this contemporary news website has got a copy, the international conference which aims at harnessing and promoting the Tourism potential of Lango to the globe is slated for 21-23, October 2018.

“The first Lango Cultural Heritage and Tourism conference is by no means an inward looking Lango conference but international and multidisciplinary conference that will theorize and discuss the latest trend in Tourism,” Dr Okaka’s concept release to the media read in part.

Ker Tekwaro Lango, Lira Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, Lango Tourism Cluster is closely involved in the organization of the conference according to Dr. Okaka.

Dr Okaka says a monument in Amolatar district believed to be the center of Uganda, Ngetta Hills believed to have fallen from heaven in the mythology of Lango and burial sites of fallen heroes such as former President Dr. Apollo Milton Obote, David Oyite Ojok in Loro – Oyam district and Okello Field Marshall in Alebtong district will all be visited.

Some of the strategies that will be discussed during the conference with the view of promoting local Tourism in Lango include reconstructing and translating the local mythology into a global tourist brands, promoting Lango and its heritage sites as location for film productions and establishing Diaspora networks for promoting tourism in Lango, among others.

On the other hand, while speaking at Lira University on Saturday ahead of the conference, Emily Akullo, the head of Policy and Research at CRIID Consults called on the political leaders in Lango to embrace the conference and to also play a critical role in promoting local Tourism.

“Lango is blessed with many tourist sites which when promoted can have a positive impact on the local economy, I urged our politicians to embark on this seriously in one accord,” Mrs Akullo implored.

The conference is expected to attract a number of people with Lango at Heart from the Diaspora as H.E Ambassador Julius Peter Motto, Uganda’s High Commissioner in the UK and  Republic of Ireland is on a rigorous process of mobilization.

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