BRITAIN SENDS THREE EASTERN BLACK RHINOS TO TANZANIA
Information sent over the weekend but only now accessed and processed speaks of the UK donating three Eastern Black Rhinos to Tanzania, which after their arrival on a cargo plane at Arushas Kilimanjaro International Airport were promptly taken by road to their new home at the Mkomazi National Park. Initially to be held in close confines until acclimatized and the standard veterinary quarantine has been observed, the three will then be gradually release into wider domains before they can then roam the park at will. They will according to a regular source be protected by a specially trained team on a 24/7 basis to avoid any risk of the new arrivals being poached and dehorned.
Present at the airport was the British High Commissioner Ms. Diane Corner and the Tanzanian minister for natural resources and tourism Amb. Khamis Kagesheki, who received the donation with the thanks from the people of Tanzania as well as Mr. Tony Fitzjohn of George and Joy Adamson fame, who has created the rhino sanctuary at Mkomazi and is now tasked to have a breeding programme go underway in a relatively safe and controlled environment for the rhinos.
The rare animals were donated from the UK and came according to a source in Arusha from a wild animal park in Port Lympne. Well done on this outstanding conservation achievement and for bringing more the species home to Africa to hopefully go forth and multiply and in years to come once again fill the national parks with their offspring. Watch this space.
Archive for June 19th, 2012
BRITAIN SENDS THREE EASTERN BLACK RHINOS TO TANZANIA
ZANZIBAR AIMS AT HALF A MILLION TOURIST VISITORS BY 2020
Although the recent riots are now a thing of the past, they also left some intense concerns amongst tourism stakeholders on the spice island of Zanzibar where many investors fear any repeat could irreparably damage the industry for years to come, a development with devastating consequences according to a regular source from the island. We make about 75 percent if not slightly more from tourism income as far as our foreign exchange earnings go. The balance comes from cloves and spices we export. It shows how big tourism has become for the economy here. And then, through direct, secondary and tertiary employment more than 2/3 of the adults in a working job are benefiting from tourism, in resorts, restaurants, the tour companies, taxies, guides and those working for suppliers, farmers delivering produce, fishermen selling their entire catch to the resorts and more.
These riots caused a lot of worries because the same group last year fired up some restaurants and bars. Thankfully everyone in tourism worked hand in hand this time and tourists were kept in the resorts but imagine something might have happened, we would be hang out to dry by the international media. Or government here on the island and from the mainland must do what they can to prevent any future outbreaks of such random violence and church burnings. I am Muslim as you know but we respect the Christian religion. We take them as the people of the book, reading the same sections of their bible as we read from the Koran. Most of us have absolutely no issue with churches or other religions, we are tolerant and have peacefully coexisted for very long. But a few hotheads, trying to use sentiments against the central government have tried to spoil our reputation and that we must resist at all cost a regular source wrote to this correspondent yesterday following an address, finally one is inclined to say, by the islands president Ali Mohamed Shein on a range of issues. He was quoted to have specifically made reference to the islands tourism industry when he said on the opening of the Tourism for All Conference: Everyone has a role in promoting tourism. It is our leading foreign exchange earner. We need [your] views for promoting tourism and we can promote tourism and still safeguard our culture, norms and religious principles. President Shein was quoting that in his estimate some 70 percent of adult Zanzibaris have jobs as a result of tourism and that the island was earning as much as 80 percent of its foreign exchange income from the sector while most of the foreign investments were centered on the tourism sector through resorts. Several speakers at the one day conference attended by government officials and private sector stakeholders made presentations on the opportunities the industry was creating and the need to preserve culture, heritage and history on the island to showcase to visitors. While a representative, according to the source, from the Anglican church, which saw three churches burned in the recent riots, appealed to tourism stakeholders to advise tourist visitors of sensitivities and to respect local culture and customs, like during the forthcoming holy month of Ramadan, a representative from the Muslim Iman Association raised not only eyebrows but renewed suspicions, when he demanded that peace was to be kept by police and security organs too who should stop beating innocent civilians, ostensibly making reference to the reaction by security to the recent riots, when rioters were harshly dealt with before producing them in court to be charged with a range of crimes. Also present were the directors of the Zanzibar Tourism Commission and of the Zanzibar national museum, also seeking stakeholder input to the question of the way forward for Zanzibars tourism industry. Watch this space.
Korean Air rushes to apologize over calling Africans ‘full of primitive energy’ in start up commercial
SO NOW WE ARE FULL OF PRIMITIVE ENERGY
Getting an invitation for an inaugural flight celebration is often something to be more than just a little happy about, as the access to the apron and the smell of jet fuel tends to bring out the best in me when writing about aviation developments. Months ago already when able to tell my readers about Korean Air planning to fly to Nairobi, I was almost excited about the prospect to fly over to Nairobi to see Korean Air touch down at JKIA but now I am no longer so sure that I will. The airline had launched the mother of all insults to us Africans when in a promotional clip the tried to entice travelers from Korea and connecting destinations to Fly to Nairobi with Korean Air and enjoy grand African Savannah, Safari tour and indigenous people full of primitive energy
I know from personal experience how easy it is to become a black sheep and be looked upon with both suspicion and pity for havingmade Africa my home, but here I am and ready to defend my turf alongside my fellow brethren and sisters I live amongst, interact with, visit and meet every day and no wonder my inboxes yesterday filled up fast when in particular Kenyans, but to no surprise East Africans and the rest of the continents contacts and sources I have voiced their opinions on this faux pas.
Whoever created this tag line, whoever is responsible for letting it slip through the inevitable reviews and edits and whoever within the airline and their advertising agency is responsible simply MUST BE SACKED for calling us primitive, as it is a reflection of how they view us and the racial prejudice this message brings to the forefront.
We might still need to develop, have challenges ahead of us which amount to Herculean tasks and are fighting climate change perpetrated on us by the developed world, including Korea by the way, but one thing we are not, and that is primitive. Africa can be proud of being a continent which has produced some of the finest poets, excels in arts and music, creates colourful fashion and is turning out professionals in demand around the world as expatriates, from pilots to engineers, from nurses to doctors in all fields of trade, commerce and industry.
The social media time lines are full of the insult and the reaction was as sharp as it was a few days ago when the embattled Spanish prime minister, in a private message, outed since then, to his finance minister, who was kowtowing before the European mega powers begging for a 100 billion Euro bailout, that Spain is NOT Uganda.
I am painfully aware of the many shortcomings we have, in Uganda in particular, Eastern Africa and the continent of Africa in general, but we walk with our heads held high, proud of what has been achieved in nearly 50 years of independence and aware of what still has to be accomplished in years ahead.
But still, to be so insulted, first by a Maskini, aka beggar wearing the robes of a prime minister and only days later by Korean Air, is a sign of only the tip of the iceberg of negative sentiments about Africa, of how the rest of the world eyes our mineral resources with great envy and greed but disrespects us as the people who own then.
While it is worth to mention that faced with a fire storm of biblical proportions from Kenya, Eastern Africa and much of the continent Korean Air moved swiftly to remove the offensive commercial message, we want to see heads roll too or else might think that the apologies now offered are neither genuine nor given under anything else but commercial duress, fearing that their flights will be shunned and they be deprived of loads.
What could have been a grand start of cooperation with Korean Air they are Sky Team partners like Kenya Airways is their start up now is sullied and stained. A regular source close to Kenya Airways, when asked overnight to comment, had this to say: True, Korean is a Sky Team partner and those at Kenya Airways were looking forward to extend a partnership to have access to nonstop flights to Seoul and beyond with code shares and closer links. This advert however has created some real problems for them. Privately many of our colleagues are now looking at them, at their staff in particular, and wonder if that is how they see us. Are we some stoneage dwellers in their eyes, maybe cannibals or barbarians? There is a great need to clear the air with more than a published apology to show Kenya that this is not symptomatic, generic of how they see us Africans and there is more to international relations than to seek exploit our mineral resources. In fact for some it is embarrassing now to be known as a partner through Sky Team but there is not one amongst our colleagues who would defend them but we all condemn that stupid portrayal of us being primitive. It also spoils the launch party of course and overshadows any celebrations of the inaugural flight because the word PRIMITIVE will be overshadowing it all.
Barbs galore it is for Korean Air and only time will tell in fact if ever they get a review or mention here again for sure not before they have done penance to the people of Africa they so insulted. We will not turn the other cheek and we will not be your friends until this mess is sorted out to the satisfaction of the continent and the people of Africa, yours truly included. Watch this space.