Tanzanian government demands management changes at Air Tanzania

AIRLINE BOARD GIVEN THREE MONTHS TO MAKE SWEEPING CHANGES

(Posted 25th September 2016)

Overshadowed by the high profile arrival of the first of two Bombardier Q400NG turboprop aircraft – the second one is expected within days now – has President John Magufuli appointed a new Chairman of the Board of Directors for the national airline and also put a new CEO into place.
Engineer Emmanuel Korosso was named as new Board Chairman while Engineer Ladislaus Matindi was named as new Director General on the same day.
Tanzania’s Minister for Transport and Communications, Prof. Makame Mbarawa has since then appointed a further five board members before yesterday then officially introducing the new board to the public.
The Minister used the opportunity to give the new team just three months to clean house and overhaul the entire management of the airline, effectively giving past and some present managers a vote of no confidence. This is in line with the regularly expressed opinion here that former managers were personally responsible for the financial and operational mess the airline was in before the Magufuli government, after a thorough review of the sector, then decided to invest in the carrier, but on tough conditions of fundamental change.
In addition did the Minister demand that members of the top management but also all staff must sign performance contracts to be held accountable if they fail to turn the ailing national airline around within a matter of months.
Apart from the second Bombardier Q400NG did the Minister also intimate, as was speculated about here in earlier articles, that government was procuring two additional aircraft to be delivered in the first half of next year, which would bring the overall fleet to five and set the scene for a full scale revival.
Notably have all three major carriers in Tanzania, including Precision Air and Fastjet, all recorded losses over the past years, which begs questions to be answered if perhaps more structural reforms of the sector are needed with a review on taxation and fees charged.
Tanzania has over the past years made significant progress in rehabilitating and modernizing aviation infrastructure and while beset with challenges of cost overruns and missed deadlines have many secondary airports as a result of such investments managed to attract additional flights.

Kenya’s beach clean up clears 14 tons of plastics and other debris

KENYA’S BEACH CLEAN UP JUDGED A TOTAL SUCCESS

(Posted 25th September 2016)

An estimated 14,000 kilograms of plastic and other non-biodegradable waste was collected last Saturday along the Kenyan coastal strip in an effort to reduce the amount of plastic waste dumped into the ocean and to highlight the impact plastic is having locally and globally. The 3 hour exercise carried out by teams of volunteers was part of a global beach cleaning initiative dubbed “The International Coastal Cleanup”.

The initiative, now in its 30th year, is organised by the Ocean Conservancy in the USA to create awareness about marine conservation and the need to reduce marine pollution. It is estimated that 8 billion tons of plastic is dumped in the world’s oceans every year. Last year, globally, volunteers from more than 100 countries collected more than 8 million Kgs of plastic waste.

The plastic waste, which is broken down into small pieces, is mistaken for food by birds, fish, sea turtles, dolphins, whales and many other animals. This results in ill health and the death of millions of marine animals and birds each year.

Plastic also enters the human food chain through fish, soil and water. Its chemicals are also leaching out into the water and other environments causing pollution and threats to human health. Plastic waste also pollutes our beaches making them unattractive to tourists so also threatening our tourism economy.

All the world’s oceans now have huge amounts of plastic waste circulating in ocean currents known as gyres. Some of these areas such as the North Pacific gyre are as large as Kenya!

The Kenya cleanup exercise, as part of the global initiative, was organized by flip-flop recycling company Ocean-Sole, through its Foundation, the Watamu Marine Association and the Kenya Wildlife Service.

The clean-up took place along the whole Kenyan coast including Kiunga, Lamu, Malindi, Watamu, Kilifi, Takaungu, Vipingo, Kuruwitu, Mombasa, Diani, Wasini, Mkwiro and Msambweni beach towns. Participants included schools, community and environmental groups, hotels and corporates and government offices.

Speaking after the exercise, marine conservationist and Ocean Sole founder Julie Church said:

It is estimated that by 2050, there will be more waste in our oceans than fish globally, this international beach clean-up, though small, is a giant step in addressing the growing problem of plastic waste.” She added: “We have been overwhelmed by all the sponsorship and support for this year’s International Coastal Cleanup and we have nearly doubled the number of volunteers‘. In addition, Ocean Sole has launched the “Plastic siPoa” challenge and will be awarding social innovators a $10,000 award to those that can provide a sustainable solution to Kenya’s ocean and waterways by either 1) reduce waste; 2) repurpose waste; or 3) revamp waste management.

Steve Trott, a marine conservationist speaking for Watamu Marine Association said:

One of the biggest threats facing the world’s oceans today is pollution from plastic waste. As nations, communities and individuals, we all need to join hands and work together to reduce this threat. The International Coastal Cleanup is the world’s biggest annual volunteering event and it is a great demonstration of peoples concern for our oceans and what we can achieve together. The 2016 Kenya event was the most successful yet‘.

For the Kenya Wildlife Service, the Warden of Watamu Marine National Park added:

We really appreciate the community and the stakeholders for making the ICC event very successful.” He also urged the community to partner with KWS to ensure the conservation agenda is taken to the next level‘.

Ezra Onyango, the Kenyan Coordinator for the Ocean Conservancy then added his own voice when he said:

The ICC 2016 drew many volunteers and more than the previous years, a sign that our efforts in ensuring trash free seas are gaining fruits. We would like to thank all the volunteers who came out in large numbers, the sponsors and partners who made the event a success. We shall continue to ensure that all the marine debris and trash collected from such volunteer beach cleanups are put into use‘.

beach-cleanup-2016

This year’s event received great support and sponsorship from the Kenyan business sector with many companies sending their employees out to clean the beaches. Corporate sponsorship paid for refreshments and transport for school children, beach cleaning equipment and much more.

The main sponsor this year was Base Titanium and their General Manager in charge of Environment & Community Affairs Colin Forbes said:

We are proud to be part of this initiative globally and more specifically here in Kwale. We want to leave a more sustainable Kwale community for generations to come‘.

Other main corporate partners taking part in this initiative included Safarilink, Air Kenya, Kenya Commercial Bank, Posta Kenya, Diamond Trust Bank, Dorman’s and Sustainable Tourism and Travel Agenda among others.

The US Embassy was incredibly supportive of the cause, and helped with the Mombasa team. A film – Our Rising Ocean – was presented on Friday 16th September. The film was shown in conjunction with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s third Our Ocean Conference, which was held on September 15 & 16 in Washington, D.C. The four themes of the conference were: (1) decreasing marine pollution, (2) mitigating the effects of climate change, (3) combating illegal fishing, and (4) increasing marine protected areas. You can learn more about the Our Ocean Conference at http://ourocean2016.org/.

Additional information about the key movers and shakers and the concept of the beach cleanup are shown further below for the benefit of readers who may for the first time hear about this initiative:

About International Coastal Cleanup

The International Coastal Cleanup is the world’s largest global volunteer effort for our ocean and waterways. Coastal cleanup initiative highlights ocean trash as a serious pollution problem that affects the health of people, wildlife and local economies. In Kenya, the Watamu Marine Association and Ocean Sole Foundation has organised the national event since 2013 and this year all previous records have been broken for the amount of waste collected and the number of volunteers taking part.

About Watamu Marine Association (WMA)

WMA operates marine conservation projects, community based ecotourism and community based waste management enterprises. WMA started its beach cleaning and waste management activities in 2009 by forming award winning dynamic partnerships between the local tourism industry and the community sector. It has set up a plastic and glass recycling centre and created a plastic recycling value chain for Watamu community group’s members. Local people earn an income as beach cleaners and recyclers supported by many Watamu hotels and residents. The latest construction at the Recycling Centre has walls made from 5,000 waste glass and plastic bottles and the Centre is becoming a growing public and tourist attraction. WMA is demonstrating how communities can benefit from best waste management practices by turning “Trash into Cash” or “Pesa kwa Taka Taka.”

The WMA Waste Management Project is working closely with the Kilifi County Government and coastal communities to develop waste management and recycling capacity at the coast.

WMA advocates for the formation of a dynamic national alliance made up of government agencies, private sector, community organisations and NGO’s to tackle the problem of marine waste in Kenya.

In July this year WMA was invited to present its project and vision at the International Symposium on Capacity Building for Sustainable Oceans in Tokyo, Japan.
About Ocean Sole Foundation

Passionate about the ocean, its ecosystems and marine wildlife, Ocean Sole was founded by Julie Church, to ‘flip the flop’ and use waste to generate change in the ocean, and the way we as humans see waste.

Using discarded flipflops found littered on beaches and in waterways of Kenya, Ocean Sole produces handmade products by a team of skilled artisans in Kenya, and exports the creations to over 25 countries, each carrying the message about the importance of our oceans and the need to reduce plastic waste, whilst also bringing smiles to people all over the world.

Ocean Sole is a Kenyan solution to a global problem of waste, in an effort to raise awareness about plastics, and stop the Ocean becoming the world’s dumpyard.

Ocean Sole Foundation, borne out of Ocean Sole the business, aims to support initiatives that fit with their focus of TRACE – T for trade based solutions; R for research of alternative ways to curb the plight of plastic and ensure better management of the marine environment; A for advocacy for better management of the marine environment, and plastics; C for conservation of the ocean, its species, habitats and ecosystems and E for education for a better world.

The foundation has proposed that the Government of Kenya, like the Government’s in TZ and Rwanda, ban the use of plastic bags. Ocean Sole is so passionate about this problem they have launched a ‘Plastic is NOT cool’ or Plastic si Poa (in Kiswahili) awareness campaign. She also advocated for a USD 10,000 reward for the most sustainable solution to waste in Kenya’s oceans and waterwaysby the next ICC day, Sept 2017. Rules and guidelines to be found on www.ocean-sole.com by October 1, 2016.

The Safari Awards 2017 – Vote for your chance to win a safari for two

The Safari Awards 2017 – Vote for your chance to win a safari for two

2017 Safari Awards sponsored by The Safari Guild 2017 Safari Awards sponsored by SATOA 2017 Safari Awards
The 10th Safari Awards Prize Draw – Vote for your chance to win a safari!
Cheli and Peacock and Elewana

The 10th Safari Awards

It’s that time of year again – voting for your favourite safari camp, lodge or safari operator in The Safari Awards, sponsored by The Safari Guild and SATOA.

It’s our 10th anniversary this year and to celebrate we’ve teamed up with some of the safari industry’s leading safari operators to offer a fabulous safari prize draw for two worth US$16,000. This year’s prize is courtesy of Cheli and Peacock, who are offering a seven night Sky Safari in Kenya, operated by Elewana.

To qualify for entry into The Safari Awards Prize Draw all you have to do is vote for your favourite safari lodge, camp or operator before 30th September 2016. The lucky winner will be selected at random on the 7th November at The World Travel Market. If you would like to know the results as soon as they are announced you can follow The Safari Awards on Twitter (https://twitter.com/safariawards/ – @safariawards) or Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/safariawards/ – #safariawards).

To vote now visit: www.safariawards.com and enter your favourite safari experience into the search box…

The Safari Awards Team
September 2016

Tortilis Camp

Tortilis Camp Amboseli

Amboseli is also known for its magnificent elephants – a population of over 1000 elephants reside in the parks eco-system that features some of the largest in Africa. Game drives, walks, sundowners and bush meals all take place both inside the Amboseli National Park and within a private 30,000 acre game concession, offering fantastic opportunities for wildlife photography.

Tortilis Camp was designed and built by Stefano Cheli in 1993, the first “eco-lodge” in Kenya, it won the coveted Tourism for Tomorrow award. The Cheli’s were invited to build a small tented camp on the site by the Masai community. The site had been earmarked for a 200 bed lodge and Kenya Wildlife Service (under the direction of Dr. Richard Leakey at the time), insisted the project was scaled down to a more eco-friendly size and design.

Find out more >

Elsa's Kopje

Elsa’s Kopje

Elsa’s Kopje is named after Elsa the lioness, made famous by George and Joy Adamson’s biographical book and film “Born Free”. Renowned for being one of the most elegant lodges in Africa, with the most spectacular setting amongst the rocks, it is one of the best places to view rhino in their natural habitat in Kenya.

Set in a beautiful location with spectacular views, elegant design, delicious cuisine and fantastic game viewing (including a 44 km2 wild dog and rhino sanctuary) Elsa’s Kopje has everything one looks for in a safari lodge. The attention to detail and the touch of the Cheli family mark Elsa’s Kopje as a cut above almost all safari lodges in East Africa.

Find out more >

Sand River Masai Mara

Sand River Masai Mara

Located on the banks of a river from which it has taken its name, Sand River Masai Mara is located within the Masai Mara National Reserve, close to the Tanzanian border. Situated on a secluded and picturesque site, Sand River Masai Mara replicates the heyday of exclusive permanent tented camps of the late 1920’s. The interior fixtures and furnishings mirror this period perfectly, reminding all who visit of those countless Hollywood movies that have paid homage to a classic era of African adventure.

Sand River Masai Mara is an ideal destination, at any time of the year, for those wishing to enjoy exceptional game-viewing. The National Reserve is best known for its large concentrations of big cats, such as leopard, cheetah and, of course, lion. Even the dramatic arrival of the Annual Migration merely adds to an already abundant resident wildlife that awaits discovery.

Find out more via the following link:

Fandango Farewell party – Sunday 25 Sep – 2PM

FORTY THIEVES BEACH BAR announces: Fandango Farewell party – Sunday 25 Sep – 2PM

I am sure many regulars, and irregulars like myself, will miss Fandango and their tunes
when next heading to Diani again … Farewell and Gods Speed from me too to the both of
them.

Fandango Duo
Farewell Party
Sunday 25/9

Thank you and all the Best!

Join us Sunday for Fandango’s last gig at Forty Thieves, after all those beautiful years of entertainment and friendship, we bid our dear friends Jax and Peter goodbye and wish them well with their move to Goa.

Sunday 25 September – 2PM at Forty Thieves

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3G Direct Pay rebrands as Direct Pay Online

NEW NAME BUT SAME FACES AND SAME SERVICE

(Posted 24th September 2016)

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The DPO Group (www.directpay.online​), previously known as 3G Direct Pay, is the leading online payments processing solution in East Africa. It serves thousands of online merchants in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania including Zanzibar and Zambia, including leading travel and tourism-related businesses in the region. As a pioneer in this business transaction safety and security was 3G Direct Pay’s initial hallmark and once service providers gained experience and found the service a trusted solution, the sky was the limit.

The Group accepts all major credit cards, mobile money and e-wallets, and is a leader in technology, usability and security across the region. It is currently the only Payment Service Provider in East Africa holding PCI DSS Level 1 Certification, the highest security certification in the payment cards industry, ensuring high levels of safety, security and data privacy. The Group is leading the way in digital payments in the region, and recently introduced a mobile application that enables merchants to process payments through their mobile phones using a mobile Point of Sale device.

In a development just confirmed can it now be revealed that the company attracted a major investment from outside, strengthening capital base and giving Direct Pay Online as the company is now known, a further market advantage.

The Direct Pay Online Group received their investment from Apis Growth Fund I, a private equity fund managed by Apis Partners LLP (“Apis”), a private equity asset manager focused on financial services in the growth markets of Africa and Asia.

The DPO Group launched operations in 2006 starting with Kenya, and has now expanded to much of the Eastern African region, including Zambia. The Group serves over 5,000 clients in the region, including over 40 airlines, hundreds of hotels, and thousands of travel agents and tour operators. This broad client base has established the DPO Group as the largest player in online payments in East Africa. The Group processes payments from all major credit cards, mobile money and e-wallets, and is the only Payment Service Provider in East Africa holding PCI DSS Level 1 Certification, the highest security certification in the payment cards industry.

Seen below are the key players in the transaction, from the left Mr. Offer Gat, DPO Group Group Chairman, Mr. Eran Feinstein, DPO Group CEO, Mr. Matteo Stefanel, Apis Co-Founder and Managing Partner and Mr. Kiprono Terigin, Apis, Investment Associate during the announcement of Apis investment in the newly rebranded Direct Pay Online Group.

COP17 – Dr. Paula Kahumbu, Kenya’s elephant defender, speaks out on the eve of CITES 2016

THE TIME TO PROTECT AFRICA’S ELEPHANTS IS NOW, NOT TOMORROW, NOT NEXT MONTH, NOT NEXT YEAR

(Posted 24th September 2016)

(Dr. Paula Kahumbu on the left seen here last year with President Barack Obama during his visit to Kenya, when conservation and the ban on ivory trade was high on the agenda)

Two groups of African countries have taken opposing viewpoints on the ivory trade ahead of a world wildlife conference scheduled to begin on Sept. 24 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Delegates at the Conference of Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) are expected to deliberate on a global ban on the ivory trade that expires next year. CITES regulates international trade in species of plants and animals, including their products and derivatives, and 182 member states are party to the convention.

But Zimbabwe and Namibia have proposed that their elephants be removed from the CITES listing so those countries can sell ivory without restrictions. Zimbabwe, in its proposal, argues that it needs to sell ivory so it can fund elephant conservation efforts.

On the other hand, the African Elephant Coalition, a consortium of 29 countries, wants to toughen restrictions on the ivory trade. The coalition wants elephants in Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe moved to the highest level of protection, Appendix I, which would ban all ivory trade in those countries. Right now, those countries are on a different CITES list, Appendix II, which does allow some ivory trade.

The coalition argues that these one-off sales trigger a demand for ivory that leads to the killing of elephants in other parts of Africa. About 30,000 elephants are killed for their tusks every year in Africa. That’s one elephant every 15 minutes, according to Tusk, a conservation organization. About 70 percent of the African elephant population has been wiped out in the past 10 years, Tusk research states.

Global Press Journal’s Wairimu Michengi spoke to Dr. Paula Kahumbu, the CEO of WildlifeDirect, a conservation nongovernmental organization running a campaign against elephant poaching in Kenya, on what the proposals by CITES countries could mean. Dr. Paula is a Whitley Award Winner and has globally been recognized as one of the major voices speaking out for the plights of the African elephants.

Why is it difficult for African countries to agree on one position in regards to trade in ivory?

Countries such as South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Swaziland believe that wildlife conservation requires them to consume these animals, otherwise they don’t have a mechanism to generate revenue for conservation. So they do culling, they harvest animals, sell game meat in local stores and allow hunting as a form of revenue generation for wildlife conservation.

Then we have countries like Kenya which have said they don’t want to kill animals. We would rather go for non-consumptive utilization ? for example, photography, film and tourism. That puts us in very different perspectives.

Why do you believe the consumptiven utilization model in countries like South Africa, where the trade of some ivory is legal, is dangerous for elephants in other parts of Africa?

This utilization model might work for South Africa, but it creates a market of wildlife trophies far outside this country. If you are selling an ivory from an elephant that died of old age, for example, you are stimulating a market far much bigger than the country can cater for. And while elephants in South Africa are confined to small protected areas, elephants in other parts of Africa are in the general landscape and are very migratory, hence they are more at risk of being killed by poachers.

Kenya and other African countries under the African Elephant Coalition are pushing for a total ban of ivory trade. Has the ban currently in place failed to work?

What the African Elephant Coalition wants is that all elephants should be moved from Appendix II to Appendix I. Appendix II listing allows countries like South Africa to come up with a proposal at any time to sell ivory. This privilege has been misused in the past. In 2000, the world agreed during a Conference of Parties meeting in Nairobi that there would be no more sales of ivory, but in 2002, South Africa decided to sell a quota of its ivory to Japan. They did another sale to China and Japan in 2008. This triggered the crisis we are seeing today. The Chinese market was much bigger and more excited about ivory than anybody had imagined. The sale of ivory led to huge amounts of trafficking of illegal ivory into the legal market. A proposal to sell ivory alone sends a signal to the markets, and people start speculating. Prices of ivory jump, and people start killing elephants and stocking ivory in anticipation of a future sale.

Additionally, the fact that some elephants are in Appendix I and others Appendix II is confusing to everybody. So we are saying, let’s put all elephants in Appendix I and stop trade in ivory completely.

What do Namibia and Zimbabwe’s proposals to sell ivory mean for elephants in other parts of Africa?

Since other countries are bound by CITES rules, Namibia and Zimbabwe can only sell ivory to each other. However, they also want Japan to [pull out of CITES] so they can sell their ivory to Japan. This will create a problem, because once you have a legal market, any ivory can be laundered into it. When you find an ivory in a shop, you won’t know whether it is legal or illegal. Japan has already emerged as a country that has huge loopholes when it comes to regulating trade in ivory. Tons of illegal ivory are shipped into Japan every year. The only way to stop illegal ivory from entering the market is to actually kill the market.

What message does the proposal from Namibia and Zimbabwe send to the world?

They are sending a message to consumers throughout the world that it is OK to own ivory. In fact, if a country like Japan says it wants to buy ivory, they are not saying they want to engage in illegal activities. They are saying they want to help Zimbabwe because it is a poor country. So when you are in a shop buying ivory, you might think that you are doing a good thing for Africa, which is not the case. They are removing the stigma attached to ivory.

We need to be very clear in our messaging that ivory trade involves killing animals, criminal cartels, guns and shooting. Conflicts have been fueled by the sale of ivory.

There are reports that money from ivory sales is funding terrorists’ activities and civil wars in Africa. Is there any truth to these reports?

Ivory has always been used to fuel conflict and fund terror groups.

We know that ivory trade is funding Joseph Kony and his disgusting adventures in the Central African Republic. We know that children are being abducted to go and kill elephants and carry ivory. We know that ivory is being exchanged with guns which are killing a lot of people not only in [Democratic Republic of] Congo but also in South Sudan.

What is the likely outcome of the upcoming CITES conference? Do you think the African Elephant Coalition will succeed in their push for a total ban on ivory business?

My prediction is that the status quo will be maintained. We will get what we want, that is, the ban will continue to be in place, but moving all elephants to Appendix I might not happen. But I could be wrong; it depends on how emotional things get at the CITES conference.

World Tourism Day – Seychelles style …

SPECIAL TOURISM FORUM BRINGS LEADING EXPERTS TO THE SEYCHELLES

(Posted 24th September 2016)

The Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) has invited eight prominent tourism personalities as panelists on a forum to be held next week as part of activities to mark this year’s Tourism Week.

The forum will be held under the theme ‘Seychelles: The Bridge between Africa and Asia through Tourism and Transport‘, on September 27, which coincides with the globally celebrated World Tourism Day.

Andrew Jones, the executive board’s chairperson of the Pacific Asian Travel Association (PATA) will be the keynote speaker, while the other panellists will be the programme director, regional programme for Africa at the United Nations World Tourism Organisation Elsia Grandcourt; STB’s chief executive Sherin Francis and the CEO of Air Seychelles Roy Kinnear; the chairperson of the Seychelles Chamber of Commerce and Industry Wilson Nancy and that of the Seychelles Hospitality and Tourism Association’s Chairperson Sybille Cordon, and Pierre Delplace, hotelier and restaurant owner.

The moderator of the forum will be author and STB’s senior consultant Glynn Burridge.

The aim of the forum, which will be held at the International Conference Centre of Seychelles, is to discuss on some of the tourism issues of the day between experienced tourism professionals and to enhance the public’s knowledge of the Seychelles’ tourism industry, which is the pillar of the economy.

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