MORE RADAR STATIONS FOR TANZANIA TO IMPROVE MONITORING
It was learned that the presently single radar station in the country in Dar es Salaam will soon be supplemented with new radar equipment to be installed in Mwanza, the countrys lakeside municipality on Lake Victoria, where construction is at an advanced stage according to information received from Dar.
The Minister for Transport Omar Nundu has also announced earlier in the week that a total of 6 more such stations would be constructed across the country to improve air traffic monitoring but also permit for the gathering of weather data which can be used to provide airlines with up to date information while also making the results available to other sectors of the economy.
Tanzania has in recent years embarked on a major programme to refurbish and upgrade aerodromes, secondary airports and the two international airports with the aim of providing better infrastructure for airlines flying to the often remote locations which can otherwise not be reached with ease from Dar es Salaam.
It is part of the East African Communitys commitment to have crucial transport infrastructure, like rail, roads and also air transport ground facilities pushed to the top of the agenda in recognition that excellent infrastructure goes hand in hand with economic development.
In a related development has the aviation conference also ended yesterday in Dar es Salaam with government participants rooting for a strong national airline to support development goals, a demand met with skepticism by private sector participants though who felt that the market should be the deciding factor with open competition deciding the fate of airlines and that constant bailouts by government tilted the playing field in favour of the often weaker party versus a commercially run stronger entity. Repeated a regular source from Dar his earlier sentiments when saying: Instead of pouring money into ATCL, let government buy shares in Precision Air and make it into a strong, viable and well supported quasi national airline. That should be the way forward, not constantly flogging a dead horse which is now covered with flies harsh but true words. Watch this space.
Archive for March 23rd, 2012
MORE RADAR STATIONS FOR TANZANIA TO IMPROVE MONITORING
TAMARIND VILLAGE OWNERS VOW TO RESIST ROADS AUTHORITY
When news emerged earlier in the week that the Kenya Road Authority has floated plans to build another bridge from the island of Mombasa to the northern mainland, and along the route of the old pontoon bridge which at the time allowed only one way traffic until the new Nyali bridge was built at the time by the Japanese government as part of their infrastructural development aid, owners of buildings since put up along the formally decommissioned road reserves and wayrights by government were shocked to learn they are being targeted for destruction. Kenyas recent history with demolitions is reading like a demons sermon, with in particular the court prohibited but nevertheless carried out massive destruction of residential homes near the international airport in Nairobi raising the heat and passions, ending the Kenya Airports Authority CEO in court with contempt charges and the likelyhood, if losing the case, of KAA having to cough up multibillion settlements to those whose livelihood they wantonly destroyed under the cover of armed security.
In Mombasa, the old bridge was owned by Nyali Limited and when it was decommissioned back then they company sold the landing sites and adjoining parcels of land.
The famous Tamarind Restaurant, a culinary and architectural landmark set above Tudor Creek, then purchased some of the land to eventually develop condominiums under the name Tamarind Village which took the market by storm and resulted in big names purchasing the condos as an investment or to spend time in gated and well managed luxury on vacation or for long weekends.
The owners were hence swift in turning the tables on the Kenya Road Authority and accused them of deliberate mischief, while presenting title deeds and transaction notes from 1986, when their land purchase was completed and registered. A spokesperson for Tamarind Village Ltd. also revealed that the company had 58 shareholders and was registered as a public limited liability company with all relevant authorities and had been granted all prerequisite licenses and permits to first build and then operate the posh creek side apartment complex.
Said a periodic source with ownership in the complex: This is a new Kenya under a new constitution. When I see the accusations made of having fraudulently acquired the land, these chaps should be sued for slander immediately. But then, as you wrote yesterday about an arrest inspired by the KWS CEO of a critic of his statistics, they might throw that law at us too for undermining the authority of a public officer, even if he speaks utter nonsense. I understand the lawyers are already involved in the case and may well pre-empt action by getting a permanent restraining order against the road authority to interfere with our property, but again, that is no guarantee that officials will not go berserk and in a cloak and dagger action under cocked guns by the police could not come and start knocking things down. But I am sure you will follow that story as it goes on.
Roads minister Franklin Bett, in a display of almost institutional arrogance, claimed in an earlier statement that he had demanded the land titles be cancelled although unwittingly he conceded in his hastily organized press conference that deeds had been issued and relevant planning and building permits issued by government. Figure that out watch this space.
RWANDA EMBARKS ON GOOGLE MAPPING OF TOURISM ATTRACTIONS, ANOTHER FIRST
Today is a significant day in Rwanda as work will go underway for another First, where Rwanda takes the lead in the region and on the continent, with teams going out into the field, especially the Western part of the country with the national parks of Volcanoes and Nyungwe but also the increasingly popular Lake Kivu shores, along which the Congo Nile Trail runs between Cyangugu and Gisenyi.
Key locations and attractions, islands and trails, villages and towns will be cartographed allowing visitors to Rwanda to get a Google Map location on resorts, safari lodges, restaurants, guest houses and hotels, not just in the city of Kigali where in fact every street name will be captured but also in the country side, which in conjunction with a GPS function on a smart phone can pinpoint ones precise situation, as navigational aid or for sheer documentary purposes when tweeting from a trip or sending pictures for Facebook uploads.
The Rwanda Development Board, which has taken a leading role in the exercise, has expressed their excitement over the work which is now unfolding, as it will put the country again in the spotlight, this time seen through the eye in the sky, as satellite images become available of such properties like the Lake Kivu Serena, the Nyungwe Forest Lodge or even smaller individually owned lake side resorts like the Paradis Malahide Resort and its little offshore island in Gisenyi.
Running searches on any location in Rwanda will upon completion of the project be just a few clicks away, or entering a particular spot of interest on an I-Pad, a tablet or on a smart phone, catapulting Rwanda fully into the 21st century of available information on the spot and on demand. Well done Rwanda, another first, AGAIN.
The Kigali Serena Hotel and RwandAir last evening hosted a wide range of corporate clients, including leading bankers, to present their respective loyalty schemes Dream Miles and Prestige Club. The two schemes, offering a variety of benefits to members, will undoubtedly be more closely aligned in coming weeks, so that miles can be earned and burnt when using respective services.
The two companies were represented by RwandAirs Deputy CEO Jean Paul Nyirubutama and Serenas Rwanda Country Manager, who is also the General Manager of the Kigali Serena Hotel Charles Muia.
RwandAir took the opportunity to talk about their future expansion plans, boosted by the announcement a few days ago of a purchase deal with Bombardier for two CRJ 900 NextGen plus two more options. By 2017 the national airline of Rwanda intends to be flying to a number of additional destinations in the wider Eastern and Southern African region and will have gained intercontinental capabilities with the expected arrival of at least two B787 Dreamliners, while Serena, already East Africas premier hotel, resort and safari lodge group, continues to look at an expansion across the region including here in Rwanda.
The banks in particular were of interest amongst the participants to the hosts, as both of them now have state of the art, secure transaction platforms on their websites, through which credit card payments can be made for tickets and accommodation, a trend encouraged by both teams as e-Commerce continues to penetrate deeper and deeper into the African business landscapes.
The function also allowed for an evening of intense networking amongst business leaders from Rwanda who had nearly two hours during the cocktail party ahead of the dinner to interact and strike alliances aimed at building the new Rwanda. Door prizes on offer for raffle showed that both hosts spared no expense as a total of 4 return business class tickets eventually found new owners as did stays, including meals, at the Kampala Serena Hotel and the Mombasa Serena Resort and Spa. Said Michael Otieno, Corporate Communications Manager of RwandAir who also emm-ceed the evenings proceedings: RwandAir values the partnership with Serena. Both companies are leaders in their field and complement each other. Working hand in hand makes sense and creates greater impact while bringing added value for our clientele. Not everyone flying with us stays with Serena and not everyone staying with Serena flies with us. These are opportunities to create more business for each other which help us to grow. Added Charles Muia: We had independently launched our corporate loyalty schemes, almost at the same time. We now see that if we seek common ground and do a few alignments here and there, our Prestige Club can enhance the value of RwandAirs Dream Miles and vice versa. We are now exploring how guests staying at Serena can earn miles with RwandAir and in turn how such miles can be utilized for rewards given by Serena and RwandAir like upgrades to business class, free late checkouts, room upgrades etc. We at Serena like to work with the national airline where one exists and working with RwandAir is a winning combination. They are young and ambitious and we at Serena want to expand in Rwanda, so we need the airlines to provide the seats to bring in extra guests.
The evening also brought two hectic days in Rwandas capital for this correspondent to a fruitful conclusion in search of new story lines and latest news from The Land of a Thousand Hills which will in coming days appear her. Watch this space.