Brussels Airlines marks 15 years of operations into Africa


(Posted 18th August 2017)

This summer marks the fifteenth anniversary of the first Brussels Airlines flight to Entebbe and Kinshasa. Very soon after the creation of the airline, Brussels Airlines already started to roll out its African network, thus continuing the long presence of Belgian aviation on the continent like predecessor airline SABENA.

In 2002, the African network consisted of 13 destinations which were opened during the course of the spring and summer: Kinshasa, Dakar, Banjul, Conakry, Monrovia, Douala, Yaoundé, Kigali, Entebbe, Nairobi, Abidjan, Luanda and Freetown. These destinations were served with 3 long haul aircraft, operating 38 flights per week.

Fifteen years later, Brussels Airlines’ African offer consists of 82 flights per week to 17 destinations. Now operated with 7 aircraft, the African flight program was extended to Bujumbura, Cotonou, Accra and Ouagadougou. On top of the new destinations, the number of flights to existing destinations was increased.

Africa hub

In those 15 years, Brussels Airlines welcomed more than 8.2 million passengers on board of its flights from and to African destinations and transported over 300,000 tons of cargo.

While Belgium remains a number one destination for several connections (Kinshasa, Kigali, Dakar), there are also a lot of passengers who fly with Brussels Airlines or Star Alliances partners to other countries via Brussels Airport (in Europe mainly to France, Great-Britain, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and Scandinavia, intercontinental mostly the States and Canada). Brussels Airlines has developed a real African hub at Brussels Airport with several thousands of Africa passengers arriving, departing or connecting to other countries every single day.

The bellies of the planes flying from or to Africa are mainly loaded with fresh vegetables and fruits, fish, spare parts, mail and medical shipments. Brussels Airlines is not only known as an African specialist in the passenger market but also in the freight market. Brussels Airlines Cargo developed for example a successful ‘Fresh to shelve’ service that allows African farmers and breeders of agricultural products to send their fruits and vegetables to Europe only a few hours after the harvest. This way, the products are already available in the supermarkets 24h after harvesting. Also for pharmaceutical shipments, which are very sensitive to temperature changes, Brussels Airlines Cargo invested in solutions that can guarantee optimal temperature control during transport.


To operate its flights to and from Africa, Brussels Airlines has about 140 crew members on board every day. Hundreds of ground staff members (maintenance, check-in, tarmac services, security, catering, cargo) are working every day at the different airports. On the African continent, Brussels Airlines offers direct employment to almost 400 staff members. A number of them are working for subcontractors who provide the ground services for Brussels Airlines like ENHAS in Entebbe.

Corporate Social Responsibility

Brussels Airlines is very active in Africa in terms of Corporate Social Responsibility. The Brussels Airlines ‘ for Africa’, which supports good causes, has a strong focus on health care in Africa. Several employees of the airline have also launched their own projects that are backed up by the company. Every two years, Brussels Airlines organizes a ‘Bike for Africa’ mountain bike tour involving 70 participants biking through an African country to raise money for a local organization and to get to know the country and its inhabitants from a different perspective. The next edition takes place in Cameroon in February 2018.

Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi

Brussels Airlines flies five times a week from the European capital city to Entebbe and also serves Kigali six times a week, once in conjunction with Bujumbura. In all three countries is Brussels Airlines the carrier of choice for passengers destined not just to Belgium but also further into the airline’s extensive European network and to its three North American destinations Toronto, New York and Washington and to India’s commercial hub of Mumbai.

Conservationist assassinated in Dar es Salaam


(Posted 18th August 2017)

PAMS Foundation Team Wayne Lotter

More details have become available since the news were broken here about the shooting of conservationist Wayne Lotter of PAMS yesterday afternoon.

It has transpired that while coming from the airport the car he was travelling in was blocked by another vehicle from which two men emerged who opened the car doors and immediately shot him in cold blood before making off with his laptop.
The Guardian too has now picked up the story, accessible through the following link: https: //
None of the local Tanzanian media has as yet filed any story about what clearly looks like an assassination given the Guardian’s assertion that Wayne had received numerous death threats in the past related to his work.

In a twist of irony though did Tanzania’s Daily News only yesterday write about the progress made in anti poaching operations, even quoting the late Wayne Lotter and concluding that ‘there should be no turning back in the fight against poaching!

Several conservationists in regular contact with this correspondent have since the news about the shooting broke expressed their fears and worries that others too could be on a hitlist, should the killers be able to retrieve information from the stolen laptop.

The killing reminds of the attempt on the life of Emmanuel de Merode in April 2014 when he was gunned down in his vehicle as he returned with important documents after making a report to the local prosecutor’s office. De Merode survived but took months to recover at the time.

Once the Tanzania police issues a statement on the progress of their investigations a further update will be provided here.

Corporate Council on Africa News Updates


PwC: Opportunities abound for foreign investment in Africa’s hospitality sector African Business Review
The hospitality sector in Africa’s emerging markets looks set to profit from foreign investment and an influx of foreign travelers, according to PwC’s 7th edition of the ‘Hotels Outlook: 2017-2021’ report. …Read more>>

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A surge in air traffic is keeping Africa’s airports busier than ever, according to new data. In the first seven months of this year, total international arrivals to the continent grew by 14% over the same period in 2016…. Read more>>

Wayne Lotter of PAMS Tanzania – RIP


(Posted 17th August 2017)

PAMS Foundation Team Wayne Lotter

Tragic news are emerging from sources in Arusha that renowned conservationist and a leading voice against poaching in Tanzania, Wayne Lotter, was killed last night in an apparently targeted shooting.
Last year, following the killing of Roger Bower, a helicopter pilot who searched for poachers near the Serengeti National Park, did Wayne say: ‘The more you go after them, the more situations where confrontation between poachers and rangers will take place. There are going to be risks‘.
PAMS and notably Wayne were at the forefront in providing assistance to capture Tanzania’s so called ‘Ivory Queen‘ and later on a notorious poacher named ‘Shetani‘ and his words are now seen as a dark omen of what was to befall him personally last night, though not in a confrontation in one of the parks in hot pursuit of poachers.
PAMS was due to release a statement this afternoon, which, when finally available, will be published as an add on to this article.

PAMS Foundation Tanzania

Who was Wayne?
PAMS on their website had this to say about his professional career:

Wayne Lotter was a founding member and chairman of the PAMS Foundation. He held a Masters Degree in Nature Conservation and he had 23 years of professional experience in wildlife management, conservation and environmental management, and community liaison but had also worked in government, corporate and NGO sectors. Wayne was known for his excellent project management experience, which included his previous employment as the International Team Leader for the Selous-Niassa Wildlife Protection Corridor Project (KfW) in southern Tanzania.

He was formerly the Invasive Alien Species Programme Co-ordinator for Ezemvelo KwaZulu-Natal Wildlife (managing a substantial budget). Wayne’s experience includes protected area management, project management, financial administration, community development, ecotourism, restoration ecology, integrated environmental, quality, safety and health systems management, risk management systems auditing and certification. He was experienced with regard to strategic and operational planning in conservation, with an exceptional track record in terms of results achieved in particular in the fields of wildlife crime law enforcement and invasive alien vegetation control. Wayne also led the development of a Protected Area Management System (PAMS), which is being used as a tool to impel and ensure effective conservation management.
Wayne was co-author of the ‘Ensuring Effective Management Course’ which is a Module presented at the Southern Africa Wildlife College and is leading the development of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas “Managing Wildlife Crime in Protected Areas: Training Guide for Field Rangers” Best Practice Series document, that will in the future be used as a benchmark standard for anti-poaching training internationally.
He had served on various committees, working groups and associations and was the Vice President of the International Ranger Federation and a past Chairman of the Game Rangers Association of Africa and a specialist advisor for the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority, Range Management Section (Tanzania). Wayne’s experience includes government, international corporate and NGO sectors.

It is understood that Tanzanian police and security personnel are searching for clues of the killer/s of Wayne but no official statement has been released by them either at this time, leaving the conservation fraternity bewildered and dismayed over the lack of information and opening the doors to intense speculation.

Heartfelt condolences are expressed to Wayne’s family, colleagues and friends – Rest in Peace and become a guardian angel for Tanzania’s endangered wildlife.


PAMS has now issued the following statement which will as promised be displayed here in full:



Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

We are heartbroken to share the news that PAMS Foundation co-founder, Wayne Lotter was shot and killed last night in the Masa-ki District of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Wayne devoted his life to Africa’s wildlife, from working as a ranger in his native South Africa as a young man to leading the charge against poaching in Tanzania. Wayne cared deeply about the people and animals that populate this world. In 2009, he teamed up with Krissie Clark and Ally Namangaya to form the PAMS Foundation. Together they worked tirelessly with communities in Tanzania to protect the country’s wildlife.

Wayne believed communities were the best protectors of the continent’s animals. Through his work with PAMS he helped train thousands of village game scouts in every corner of the country. His ground-breaking work in developing an intelligence-based approach to anti-poaching helped successfully reverse the rampant rates of poaching facing Tanzania.

Wayne’s charm, brilliance and eccentric sense of humour gave him the unique ability to make those around him constantly laugh and smile. He died bravely fighting for the cause he was most passionate about.

Wayne leaves behind his wife Inge, daughters Cara Jayne and Tamsin, and parents Vera and Charles Lotter. We all grieve with his family, colleagues and friends. His legacy will continue in our work.

Tanzanian police have launched an investigation into his death.

PAMS Foundation Team

Aviation Expert Gbenga Olowo to Speak at 13th Akwaaba Aviation Day

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Swaziland prepares for the 2017 Reed Dance

17th of August 2017

Swaziland prepares for the 2017 Reed Dance


The Kingdom of Swaziland’s largest cultural festival, known as the Umhlanga or Reed Dance, is set to take place from 29 August with the main day (Day 7) set to take place on the 4th of September. Filled with song and dance, and attended by the King, the main day which is also a public holiday in Swaziland, draws crowds from near and far to celebrate and share in all the festivities.

With traditions dating centuries back, the Reed Dance ceremony is an amazing spectacle. It is during this ceremony that the Kingdom’s unmarried and childless females present their newly cut reeds to the Queen Mother to protect her residence. From time to time, the King makes use of the occasion to publicly court a prospective fiancée or Liphovela.

When the main day arrives, young women from all over Swaziland and beyond her borders congregate at the royal residence in Ludzidzini for this momentous occasion. Maidens gather in groups and head out along riverbanks to cut and collect tall reeds, bind them and return to Ludzidzini, the Royal Homestead in Lobamba. Tens of thousands of maidens, led by Swazi princesses, provide a sea of colour as they dance and sing, proudly carrying their cut reeds.

Residents of this mountainous Kingdom are immensely patriotic about their culture and taking part in this festival is a proud and privileged moment for the entire family.

The highlight of the event is the reed-giving ceremony – one of Africa’s largest and most vibrant cultural sights. The maidens gather at Ludzidzini dressed in traditional attire; bright short beaded skirts with colourful sashes dancing, singing and celebrating the unification of the Kingdom’s women. His Majesty King Mswati lll joins these celebrations to pay tribute to the maidens.

At the end of the day, once all the maidens have presented their cut reeds, the rebuilding of the protective Guma (reed fence) around the Queen Mother’s homestead can begin.

The Umhlanga Festival bonds this small yet perfectly formed nation together. Its ever- increasing popularity defies the apparent decline of traditional cultures elsewhere in Africa.

Witnessing this festival is a truly unique experience of Swaziland’s blend of ancient culture, pristine wilderness, year round wildlife and spirit of adventure!

About STA
The Swaziland Tourism Authority (STA) was established by an act of parliament, the Tourism Authority, Act of 2001. It was established as a public enterprise. In terms of the Act the following objectives have been determined for STA

  • Develop the tourism sector as a national priority in an environmentally sustainable and culturally acceptable manner,
  • Coordinate and facilitate the implementation of government policies and strategies on tourism,
  • Market Swaziland as a tourism destination through the provision of a platform for industry stakeholders,
  • Encourage, facilitate and promote local and foreign investment in the tourism industry, and
  • Ensure the contribution of tourism to the socio-economic development and continued improvement of quality of life in the Kingdom of Swaziland


Domestic travel capacity in Kenya expands by 22 percent


(Posted 17th August 2017)

ForwardKeys reports that air travel into and out of Nairobi, on domestic, regional, African and global routes, has recently seen a boom by 22 percent seat growth compared with other African airport cities where growth only reached a much lower average.
Says the report:

Nairobi sees 22% boost in domestic air travel capacity

Nairobi is the only city in Africa whose airports are recording higher growth for domestic capacity than that of international capacity, with a 22% boost. This is according to a new report by ForwardKeys, which compares Nairobi’s trend to most of the other top 10 African Airports ranked by total scheduled capacity for August to December 2017, which are seeing more growth in international than in domestic capacity.


Image by joyfull

The report, whose special focus is on the East African Community (EAC), further indicates that Nairobi’s airports have a total scheduled capacity (August to December 2017) of 18% in domestic seats, 31% in long-haul international seats, and a 51% capacity in intra-Africa international seats. Of these, Jomo Kenyatta International Airport’s scheduled capacity is 13% and 5% long-haul and intra-Africa international seats respectively within the same period under review.

“The trend is encouraging for aviation players; as a travel agent, we anticipate a surge in flight bookings in the last half of 2017. Most inspiring is the contribution of Kenyans and other members of the East African Community to domestic travel. It reflects our confidence in our own tourism products with Kenya’s tourism domestic spending recording 59% against 41% foreign visitor spending,” says Cyrus Onyiego, Jumia Travel Kenya Country Manager.

Generally, the wider analysis of the report on travel to Africa shows EAC destinations received a strong growth of 14.3% for 2017 year to date. According to Travel and Tourism Expert Carmen Nibigira, “The future of tourism in East Africa is embedded in the vision of One Destination with multiple cultures and products. After all, with a population of 160 million and 10% of which is a potential market, it makes sense to invest on inter and intra-regional tourism.”

Collectively, the entire African continent continues to record positive performance, welcoming an increase in international arrivals of 14% in 2017 year to date. In a parallel report by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), global passenger traffic data for June shows that demand (measured in total revenue passenger kilometers) increased by 7.8% compared to 2016, and from May’s record of 7.7% growth. All regions, according to IATA, reported growth.

Credit: Josephine Wawira

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