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Thursday, 13 November 2014

Agriculture Vs Tourism As Backbone of Zanzibar's Economic Growth

Zanzibar — LIKE in many countries across the world, agriculture has been backbone of Zanzibar's economy for many years. Although it is small scale farming, agriculture has been basic occupation for majority people with over 70 per cent of population relying on agriculture and fishing for its livelihood.

The main farm production has been cloves, spices and fruits. Farmers take care of entire process of agriculture like sowing seeds, weeding, harvesting crops, and watering, while government helps to provide inputs including required knowledge, tilling of the land by tractors, provision of seedlings, fertilisers, and better prices after harvest.

Under the motto 'Mapinduzi ya Kilimo (revolution in farming)' introduced after the formation of Dr Ali Mohamed Shein's Government of National Unity (GNU) it has been taking several steps to improve agriculture, including providing education to farmers on how to increase productivity.
However, despite government promoting farming, some people particularly the youths are not giving agriculture due treatment. People fail to understand the importance of this sector because of slow economic achievement.

Very few youths select this field as career or occupation. But Tourism is another main industry in Zanzibar. Having realised the importance of tourism to the economy, the Islands' Government has been working hard to further promote tourism to attract tourists from around the world.
The government has designated tourism as a priority sector of the economy; contributing twenty seven per cent to the Gross Domestic Product and providing directly 20,000-40,000 jobs.

It is estimated that indirect employment is between 60,000 and 100,000 people in the industry, they include food suppliers (and fish mongers), traders selling tourists items, and taxi drivers.
Since tourism accounts for 80 per cent of the foreign currency, many leaders and members of the business community describe the sector as the backbone of the future economic growth and development of the islands.

The Zanzibar Association of Tourism Investors (ZATI) recently had a colourful annual dinner held at the Zanzibar Beach Resort, where the ZATI chairperson said; "Tourism is now the leading industry. It is the backbone of the economy.

So, it really is a time for tourism for all... " ZATI chairperson Mr Abdulsamad Ahmed Said informed the gathering that tourism requires knowledge and awareness -- that would in turn bring positive change.

He said: "I believe that Zanzibar can strive to be the destination that we want it to be." The event was officiated by German Ambassador, H.E. Egon Kochanke as guest of honour.
He said Zanzibar has a bright future should the tourism industry be well managed with workable planning. Minister for Information, Tourism, Culture, and Sports Mr Said Ali Mbarouk, Urban West Regional Commissioner Mr Abdalla Mwinyi Khamis, Commissioner of Police- Zanzibar Mr Hamdani Omar, ZATI Executive Board, and ZATI members were also at the function.
ZATI director & advocacy officer, Ms Pamela Matthews, and administration assistant Ms Farida Nassor were also at the function where Mr Said mentioned several key areas aimed at improving tourism in the country.

The areas include: dealing with issues surrounding liquor licences, the Policing, safety & security placed high on our agenda by working closely with consultants, Ministers, Police in order to work towards improvements of security in the islands.

"Following up on concerns over security at the airport; Taxation and in particular the ongoing issue of the VAT Amendment; Waste management issues and monopolies and issues with regional administration; and the Zanzibar Commission of Tourism (ZCT) Regulations review," the ZATI chairperson said.

He also mentioned other subjects being dealt with by his office to build tourism as Lobbying Government at Parliamentary sessions for changes; working closely with the Ministry of Health on Ebola & sharing of information; and Conservation, by taking part in the South West Indian Ocean Fisheries Project designed to improve the management of fisheries and promote sustainable practices.
Mr Abdulsamad Ahmed Said, emphasized on having a good investment environment, and that success of his private sector organisation (ZATI) is very much dependent on the relationships with the Public Sector, to support the growing industry to thrive and achieve its potential for the people and the economy of Zanzibar.

He said, "So let's work together to face and resolve the challenges that we are all facing. We are stronger together. More effective together, we must encourage more and more public private partnerships as this is what will enable us to make the changes that we all wish for."
According to the Zanzibar minister responsible for tourism development, Mr Mbarouk, Zanzibar needs to improve its attraction sights like culture, beaches, diving, forests, security, and the historical sights. He said that visitor arrivals have been increasing to Destination Zanzibar, with annual average visits of 150,000 in the past recent years.

The minister said that the increase represents visitors from across Europe and US. The minister emphasized on workable advertisements, organized tours, peace and having no worry of insecurity, and involving everybody in the campaign to promote tourism.


For more information on travel to Zanzibar and or a Safari Holiday please follow the links or call: 01227 753181

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Tanzania Offers to Lease Islands



The government is finalizing the evaluation of two bidders selected to invest on the Indian Ocean islands close to Dar es Salaam city. The selected companies are Landmark Hotels and Prime Time Promotions.

The move by the Dar es Salaam Marine Reserves (DMR) to lease the islands is to boost tourism. The islands have for many years remained deserted.

DMR manages a group of marine wildlife reserves in Tanzania, situated off the coast of Tanzania. The reserve system consists of nine uninhabited islands of Bongoyo, Mbudya, Pangavini and Fungu Yasini.

Others are Makatumbe, Sinda and Kendwa Island. But to start with investors would take over Mbudya, Bongoyo and Sinda islands.

DMR provides protection for several important tropical ecosystems; coral reefs, mangroves and sea-grass beds.

According to DMR's Head of Tourism Services Dept, Idelfonce Masekesa an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) has been conducted and upon completion it would be sent to the National Environmental Management Council (NEMC).

Apart from those islands, DMR has also identified six areas for investments along Mtwara region coastline, Southern Tanzania.  Meanwhile the government is revising the law to include fresh water islands.

"We are in a process to review the Act that established DMR, instead of relying on Indian Ocean islands, we are now planning to include fresh water islands on Lake Victoria, Tanganyika and Nyasa," he said.

Islands in both the Indian Ocean and the lakes have been idle in tourism for many years.
Previous government decisions may also been contributed to the delay in investments, because in early 1960s the Kawawa Commission recommended among other things to restrict investors from islands for security concerns.

Mbudya Island is an uninhabited island in Tanzania, north of the country's capital city, Dar es Salaam.
The island lies close to the beach resort and fishing community of Kunduchi and is reachable by means of a 20-minute motorboat ride crossing from the mainland.

It is therefore a popular daytrip for both tourists and Tanzanian residents alike, serving as a location for a variety of leisure activities, including snorkelling, sunbathing and hiking.

Bongoyo Island is an uninhabited island in Tanzania, situated 2.5km north of Dar es Salaam.

It is the most frequently visited island of the Dar es Salaam Marine Reserve (DMR) and a popular daytrip for both tourists and Tanzanian residents alike for snorkelling and sunbathing.

Source: eTN


Fore more information on travel to Tanzania or Safari Holidays please follow the links or call: 01227 753181

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

News from The Cheli & Peacock Community Trust and its partners, they treat over 500 patients in three days at Maasai Mara Medical Camp.

Last month the Cheli & Peacock Community Trust held its third medical camp at the Aitong Health Centre, not far from Elephant Pepper Camp in the Maasai Mara. The three-day camp took place from 24th – 26th June 2014 and focussed on adult health, maternal child health (including cervical cancer screening and family planning), nutrition and dentistry. The main aim of the camp was to concentrate on these four areas of health, while also building the capacity of the staff clinicians and Community Health Workers.

Working with our partners Safarilink Aviation and The Kicheche Community Trust, a team of six were flown to the Mara North Conservancy for the medical camp and stayed at the nearby Elephant Pepper Camp. Dr Anne Kihara, Dr Rose Kosgei, Dr Irene Marete, Dr Sarah Awino and three dentistry experts kindly volunteered their time to work alongside health centre staff to treat an impressive 544 patients!

The majority of patients required paediatric attention, while others were treated for obs and gynae related matters, general ailments and dentistry. Fantastic progress was made with general outreach although, to build a way forward with the community, the Trust has highlighted that more training on early diagnosis, prevention of infection, dietary issues that place severe pressure on dental care and male attitudes to family planning needs to be the focus of future work with the Aitong Health Centre.  It was also agreed that collaborating with other partners and clinics in the area, alongside the Ministry of Health would also bring great benefit.

The Cheli & Peacock Community Trust, its partners and volunteers are already planning the next medical camp in November/December this year, which will look to build the capacity of Aitong clinic staff through training on key health-related issues (such as Emergency Obstetric and Neonatal Care) and also branch into other clinics nearby.


For more info or to enquire about a safari at Elephant Pepper Camp please call: 01227 753181

Monday, 21 July 2014

Injury to trophy hunter re-ignites calls to ban licences to shoot Namibian elephants.

The trampling of a Namibian trophy hunter by an elephant has raised the debate around hunting permits issued for the country’s gravely endangered desert elephants.

As reported in the Namibian newspaper New Era, a Namibian professional hunter sustained multiple injuries when a young elephant bull attacked him in the Uukwaluudhi Conservancy. He is now recovering in hospital.

The victim was assisting a German hunter who owns a hunting safari company. He was given a permit by the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) and the professional hunter was helping him to identify the best elephant suitable for hunting.

The bull was subsequently shot by environmental officials and the meat distributed to the local community. It was the second elephant to be killed in the region in recent weeks.
Conservationists have been outraged over the government’s issuing of permits to hunt desert-adapted elephants found in Namibia’s north western reaches. 

Namibian environmentalist Garth Owen-Smith, who won a prize in the 1990s for his conservation work against illegal hunting, recently highlighted the dwindling numbers of these unique creatures.
“This population of between 120 and 150 elephants that live most of their lives in the northern Namib are of enormous value to the country and the world,” he said.

According to sources on the ground, of this number only 18 are mature bulls – a fact which has enormous implications for the breeding potential and ultimately survival of the group.

The two trophy kills follow a press release by the MET, in which it stated that only two ‘own-use’ hunting permits had been issued to conservancies in Namibia’s north western region. However, this is allegedly in addition to seven trophy hunting permits that have also been issued.

The two bulls killed were both of breeding age. Following the death of the first, a member of the Namibian Professional Hunter’s Association commented to the Conservation Action Trust: “While I am completely in favour of sustainable hunting, I don’t feel entirely comfortable with the idea of shooting elephants in the Kunene region – particularly if they are of breeding age, as this bull was.”
Suzi Van de Reep, co-owner of the Kunene region’s Huab Lodge said: “I am horrified by what is happening. At the start of the century, we had 13 bulls who used to visit regularly – we could virtually set our clocks by their arrival to dig waterholes in the dry riverbed. 

“Then, within a space of three years, we lost every single one of them to the gun – simply and solely because of hunting permits issued by the MET. 

“And the tragedy is it’s not stopping. The government has to realise that these elephants are not replaceable.”



And you can spread the word - the MET needs as much heat on them as possible...


For more information or to book a safari to Namibia please follw the link.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

South Africa- Proposed new immigration rules - UPDATE


The Department of Home Affairs have now confirmed that the proposed date for implementation of the new Immigration Amendment Act concerning children traveling to South Africa will be October 1st. This is confirmed here.

"The Department of Home Affairs has provided a grace period to allow children to travel with parents or guardians without an unabridged birth certificate until end of September 2014.
This means that families will be able to travel with children even for the coming school holidays as some would have made the necessary arrangements ahead of the commencement of the Immigration Amendment Acts of 2007 and 2011 and the new Immigration Regulations. The Amendment Acts and the new Regulations came into effect on 26 May 2014.
From 01 October 2014, the requirement for an unabridged birth certificate for children travelling with parents will come into effect for the safety of children, including their protection from child trafficking, abduction and kidnapping.
The Department urges citizens and foreign nationals to heed the call to apply for unabridged birth certificates for children. An unabridged birth certificate of the child reflecting the particulars of the parents is required in terms of the Immigration Regulation 6 (12)(a) for children travelling with parents."

For more information on travel to South Africa Please follow the link or call: 01227 753181

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Half of African countries (27 in total) are now classified as middle-income countries.

 A significant yet seldom highlighted World Bank statistic is that half of African countries (27 in total) are now classified as middle-income countries. Private equity has enabled businesses in Africa to grow by servicing rapidly gentrifying populations and is providing returns for investors that outstrip public markets. Among the most promising sectors is financial services, which has long been popular with the region’s private equity houses, particularly as technological innovations, such as mobile payments, have made financial services products more accessible for the remotest of communities and as banking reforms in many markets have led to consolidation. Other sectors that are attractive for private equity investments include consumer industries, infrastructure, telecoms, agriculture and forestry, and industrial goods.

Africa set to gain US$3bn infrastructure fund. Africa’s largest development lender, the African Development Bank, plans to launch a US$3bn infrastructure fund this month, aiming to raise money from regional and non-African pension funds, insurance groups, sovereign wealth funds and institutional investors. The fund, to be known as Africa50, will help the continent in delivering vital infrastructure through a new global partnership platform, according to the proposal by the African Development Bank. Africa needs about US$95bn a year to close an infrastructure gap in electricity, roads, railway and port. Current investment is running at about US$45bn. The AfDB, which will invest US$500m, aims to approve the fund this month during its annual meeting in Rwanda.

Ethiopia receives first sovereign Standard & Poor’s rating. Ethiopia has received its first sovereign credit rating from the top global agencies. Moody's assigned a B1 issuer ratings to the Government of Ethiopia. Ethiopia is one of the world’s fastest growing economies, averaging growth of more than 10 per cent per year over the last decade and attracting the likes of clothing giant H&M and private equity groups.

Rebasing the Nigerian Economy. Nigeria, Africa’s top oil producer and the most populous country in sub-Saharan Africa, with an estimated 170 million people, has overtaken South Africa as the largest economy after a rebasing calculation almost doubled its gross domestic product to more than US$500bn. Nigeria’s market has been growing as an investment destination owing to the size of its consumer and growing capital markets. GDP growth averaged at 6% over the last 10 years despite global economic and local market challenges. Most governments overhaul GDP calculations every few years to reflect changes in output, but Nigeria had not done so since 1990, thus sectors such as Telecom Media and Technology (TMT) i.e. e-commerce and mobile phones, strong financial services, growing labour market and its prolific creative sectors such as “Nollywood” films now worth 1.4 % of GDP had to be factored in to give an up to date picture. This is in addition to the revenue generated from the petroleum industry which accounts for 95 % of Nigeria’s export earnings and 85% of total government revenue.

Private equity fund - a first for Tanzania. Locals have been urged to invest more in Tanzania as the country launches the Mkoba Private Equity Fund – the first ever private equity fund in the country. The Sh480 billion (US$300 million) fund aims to provide growth capital to portfolio companies not on the radar of most funds. The fund will focus on Ethiopia, Tanzania, Rwanda, Mozambique, DRC, South Africa, Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia and Sierra Leone, targeting equity investments ranging from US$1.0 to US$15 million.

Biggest oil discovery yet in Kwanza basin off Angola. Cobalt International Energy has discovered significant quantities of oil offshore Angola, calling the find the biggest so far in the promising pre-salt layer in the Kwanza Basin. Oil drillers hope discoveries under a deep submerged salt crust off Angola known as pre-salt may match the prolific finds beneath similar deposits off Brazil on the other side of the Atlantic in recent years.    Analysts say Angola, Africa's No. 2 oil producer, could double its oil reserves, which are currently estimated at just under 13 billion barrels, if pre-salt drilling proves successful. Cobalt estimates the well may hold between 400 million and 700 million barrels of oil.


Kenya and Nigeria sign trade agreement. Kenya and Nigeria have signed three agreements and four memoranda of understanding aimed at promoting trade between the two countries. The agreements were on trade and agricultural cooperation which lay the foundation for business people from Kenya and Nigeria to interact and promote business and make provisions for the two countries to work together in boosting their agriculture respectively. MoUs signed were on cooperation in police service, five year multiple visa for prominent businesspersons, cooperation in control of the possession and trafficking in narcotics drugs and psychotropic substances, and one MoU between Nigerian Association of Chamber of Commerce Industry, Mines and Agriculture and the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry which was signed at a business forum attended by Kenyan and Nigerian business people.


For more information on travel to Africa please visit the Pure Safari site.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Private reserve joins efforts on wildlife conservation in Tanzania



Recognizing the integral role of wildlife conservation for the development of tourism in Tanzania, the Singita Grumeti Reserves, a privately-owned wildlife reserve, has joined conservation programs through logistical and financial support.
Located in North Western Tanzania, on the borders of the Serengeti National Park, Singita Grumeti Reserves is an American owned private concession of 140,000 hectares (350,000 acres) on the famous Serengeti migration route of nearly two million wildebeest.

For more information on Safaris in Tanzania please follow the link or call: 01227 753181