MORE OFFICIAL PROBLEMS AT LAUNCH OF PRECISION AIR IPO
Official Tanzania has apparently tried to throw one last spanner in the works of the ongoing IPO sale of shares by the countrys leading airline, when vital documents from the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange were delivered late to several leading banks participating in the launch. Subsequently some banks were compelled to defer the start of handing out application forms until Monday, prompting yet more rumours of sabotage, something which has often been suspected in the past too.
Inspite of the Tanzanian governments verbal assurances towards private enterprise, it has seemingly never been too comfortable with the idea per se, and constant financial bailouts for failed Air Tanzania, instead of throwing its weight behind a successful private company, have more than once raised eyebrows amongst aviation observers, that the playing field was being tilted in against Precision Air.
Long and arguably deliberate delays in granting the airline self handling status and allowing it to break away from having to use the services of an overpriced near monopolist and the failure by TAA to connect in a timely fashion Precision Airs multi million US Dollar hangar maintenance facility with a taxiway to the rest of airport in Dar es Salaam are only two examples of how the odds were stacked against Precision.
The airlines partnership with Kenya Airways, which until now was holding 49 percent but will in the process of the IPO see its shareholding reduced to around 30 percent, has often been cited by close political observers as the main cause of the mental rejection of the carrier by leading politicians who are known to stoke paranoia against the neighbouring country using sentiments rooted in the developments of the 1970s when in the wake of the breakup of the old East African Community Tanzania shut her borders with Kenya for several years.
An attempted IPO launch earlier in the year was brought to an abrupt halt when the DSE cited a winding up petition against Precision Air as reason to stop the process, but the legal case was largely seen as frivolous and politically inspired, over an alleged claim of about 100.000 US Dollars vis a vis a business worth dozens of millions of US Dollars, eventually compelling the DSE to permit the process to resume.
About 59 million shares will be sold through a process of application, and the launch is expected to be oversubscribed by financial pundits in Dar es Salaam and the wider region. Other financial institutions reported keen interest by potential investors on the first day of the IPO. Precision is the third largest airline in the wider East African region behind partners Kenya Airways and Ethiopian and going places considering their past performance and future plans for fleet and network expansion. Watch this space.
Archive for October 8th, 2011
MORE OFFICIAL PROBLEMS AT LAUNCH OF PRECISION AIR IPO
CULTURAL HERITAGE CONSERVATION PROGRAMME LAUNCHED IN PORT LOUIS
Earlier in the week did the Port Louis municipal council, jointly with the US Embassy, launch a cultural heritage conservation programme. The initiative is aimed to preserve and promote the islands heritage beyond the two globally recognized UNESCO World Heritage Sites Mauritius already has under her belt. Best known for its beaches and deep sea fishing Mauritius attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every year and highlighting cultural heritage is closely linked to the tourism industry, as it gives foreign tourists an insight into the history of the island. UNESCO World Heritage sites are prized assets when it comes to promoting tourism and Mauritius is no different from making best use of already recognized but also other less known sites to provide more to see than just sun and sand.
Tanzania conservation news – Minister for Education launches new national ‘World Heritage Committee’
TANZANIA LAUNCHES ITS OWN WORLD HERITAGE COMMITTEE
The Minister for Education and Vocational Training, and notably not the Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism, earlier this week launched a 7 member national World Heritage Committee, causing both applause and bafflement amongst regular pundits. Led by Prof. Kabuli the committee is tasked to, amongst other things, promote the UNESCO sites internally and work hand in hand with the Tanzania Tourist Board and other related statutory bodies, supposedly including TANAPA and the national museums. The Minister was quoted at the launch of the committee to have said: Experience has shown that there are tourists who specifically visit countries that have world heritage sites. Without mentioning them when we publicize the attractions of our country, chances of generating the full potential of revenue is slim. This however seems in stark contrast with other actions of the Tanzanian government, frequently written about here, where ambiguity and outright deception seems the order of the day when it comes to maintaining some of the most prized World Heritage Sites amongst the many UNESCO has on its list.
Tanzania presently has 7 UNESCO recognized World Heritage Sites, some of them under threat to be declared Endangered and recent spats by tourism minister Maige, who had in some anger called UNESCOs World Heritage Committee an inconsequential entity have not done much to restore friendly relations. Under founder father of the nation, the late Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, conservation was a cornerstone of Tanzanias political credo, but sadly this level of commitment has long since been discarded.
On direction of the countrys president was an application for a new site, the Eastern Arc Mountains withdrawn by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, ostensibly to permit mining and logging without external meddling as senior figures within the current political establishment in Dar es Salaam seem to think. The controversial Serengeti Highway plans, the intention to commence Uranium mining in the Selous Game Reserve, plans to build a now port right in the middle of the Tanga Marine National Park where the long thought extinct coelacanth fish was discovered, prompting the inauguration of that area as a marine park in the first place just a few years ago, the intent to harvest soda ash at Lake Natron threatening the sole breeding ground of the lesser flamingos of Eastern Africa and rejuvenated plans to build a hydro electric dam at Stieglers Gorge in the Selous have all cast serious doubts on the overall policy direction of the Tanzanian government. A regular source from Arusha, understandably concerned for their own safety and economic wellbeing demanding strict anonymity, had this to say: On one side it is a welcome development. Having our own committee tasked to be responsible for such sites is very good. But immediately the contradictions are coming to the fore. The tourism minister has it in for UNESCO, that much is clear from his past comments and reactions. Several of our sites are risking being listed endangered, like the old Stone Town of Zanzibar over a high rise hotel development, the Selous over mining and damming, Serengeti over the highway where our government is using deception if not lies to conceal their real intentions. I think Tanzania could easily have a few more UNESCO sites but that would not allow the exploitation of such areas for mining and other exploitative measures. I think and some of my colleagues think this also, this might just be a window dress to calm the storm of outrage ahead of our 50th Independence anniversary. The anti highway coalition has rained on that parade already and more opposition is forming over the other cases you have often written about. TTB [Tanzania Tourist Board] is struggling to come to term with these issues and cannot explain the controversies away, and it affects our standing, our ability to sell based on strict conservation commitments. So forgive us for being skeptical. Just ask why this was done by the Education Minister and not the Tourism Minister. That alone tells its own story.
In a related development has the recent announcement about the construction of a new railway line from Tanga to Lake Victoria, made during a state visit by Ugandan president Museveni to Tanzania last week, caused added concern in the absence of a clear commitment that the routing of the planned railway would NOT go through the Serengeti National Park but follow the present routing to Mwanza around the Southern side of the Serengeti / Ngorongoro ecosystem. Watch this space for regular updates and critical analysis of events affecting conservation in the Eastern African region.
MAGICAL KENYA TRAVEL SHOW TO HIGHLIGHT KENYAS ATTRACTIONS
Nairobi will see the inaugural version of Kenyas own international tourism show go underway when on October 19th and 20th the industry will be showcasing the countrys attractions from its sunniest side at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre in Kenya’s capital city.
The exhibition, planned for a while already, is coming at an opportune moment, giving Kenyas tourism stakeholders the opportunity to alleviate fears caused by the abduction of two foreigners in recent weeks by Somali militants and counter the negative publicity fall out with some good news.
A source in Nairobi said that they were expecting several hundred visitors and buyers from abroad but that the exhibition would also be open for Kenyans to visit and appreciate the wide range of locations and attractions being marketed.
The Magical Kenya Travel Show will also be the official launch pad for the new Kenya Tourist Board chairman Kitili Mbathi and some of the recently appointed new board members like Serenas Mahmud Jan Mohamed and Mombasa Air Safaris Capt. John Cleave who will undoubtedly use the opportunity to present a unified tourism sector to the world and concentrate on the positive developments of the industry in Kenya. The country is on course to set new arrival and revenue records in 2011 and expects to reach its targets inspite of growing fears over the global economy and recent events.
A range of new upmarket properties, in particular on the safari circuit, has in the recent past made its way into the spotlight of global tourism award ceremonies and bagged prizes and recognition, with some of the most relevant being the World Tourism Awards and the Good Safari Guide Awards, the latter of which focuses entirely on top quality African hospitality businesses, be it beach resorts, safari camps or city hotels.
The inaugural event will also be covered by the media with global travel publications and dedicated tourism media representatives in attendance and able to sample Kenyas sundrenched beaches and big game safaris.