Archive for April 18th, 2017

Corporate Council on Africa News Updates

 

 

CCA MEMBERS IN THE NEWS

Ethiopian Airline plane lands in Abuja as airport reopens The Guardian
Ethiopian Airlines- Ethiopian Airline’s Airbus 350 plane was the first aircraft to land at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja after the airport opened for use 24 hours ahead of schedule…. Read more>>

 

TOURISM

Hilton eyes North African expansion with new Casablanca Office Hospitality Net
Building on an active pipeline in the region, which has grown to 15 hotels across Algeria, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia, Hilton has identified North Africa as a focus area for further growth… Read more>>

Kenya Rushes to Tap Sh234trn Global Halal Gold Mine AllAfrica
A push to have Kenya tap into the Halal economy goldmine is gaining steam on the back of legal and regulatory reforms initiated by the various government agencies…. Read more>>

What’s Happening at CCA
Ethiopia’s Organic Certified Fruit and Vegetable Business
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
2:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m.

Africa Finance Forum
Thursday, April 20, 2017
1:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Learn More >>

11th Biennial U.S.-Africa Business Summit
Washington, DC
June 13-16, 2017
Learn More >>

41st Annual World Tourism Conference
Kigali, Rwanda
August  28-31, 2017
Learn More >>

MEMBER EVENTS:
The State of Education in Africa

Nairobi, Kenya
May 3-4, 2017
Learn More >>

PARTNER EVENTS:
Investment Opportunities and Constraints in Senegal
MCC | Washington, DC
Friday, April 21, 2017
2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Learn More >>

Texas Sub-Sahara Africa Agriculture Trade Mission
Lagos, Nigeria | Accra, Ghana
May 7 – 13, 2017
Learn More >>

Qatar Airways does another global first to comply with IATA Resolution 753

QATAR AIRWAYS – AN AIRLINE WHICH EXCELS IN BREAKING NEW GROUND

 
(Posted 18th April 2017)

 

 

Aviation is a business in which much is predictable and much, sadly, is not.
But when it comes to global firsts, Qatar Airways is a name which immediately comes to my mind, and for a good reason, making this particular airline entirely predictable.
The first airline to attain 5 star ranking by global aviation rating agency Skytrax is perhaps the highest profile such first, but many others followed since, keeping the carpenters at the airline headoffices in Doha busy making new cabinets to house yet more trophies as they make their way to Qatar.
Today did the airline announce that it became the first in the world to fully comply with the IATA resolution 753 at its hub in Hamad International Airport (HIA).

The resolution requires the airline to track every piece of baggage from the start of the journey all the way through to its finish. The certification has been achieved thanks to the airline’s Baggage Management System (“HAQIBA”) developed in-house, as well as its seamless real time integration with the Qatar Airways website and mobile app.

Qatar Airways offers real time updates on checked baggage through the “Track My Bags” feature on its website and mobile app, providing passengers with a truly hassle-free baggage experience. The mobile app provides real time notification to passengers with relevant updates on the bag, as well as the ability to retrieve the details on need basis using “My Trips”.

The information includes various stages of the baggage handling process such as check-in, transfer, arrival, as well as reference to bag tags and baggage belt. This information guides passengers during the journey and provides insight into any instance of delayed or lost baggage. The HAQIBA system enables Qatar Airways’ staff to proactively manage the delayed bags to provide an optimized handling process.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: ‘Our careful attention to our passengers’ baggage, from the beginning of their journey all the way through to its finish, is yet another indication of the importance we place on customer experience. We have proactively taken steps to align our baggage management systems with IATA’s requirements. As a result, we are delighted that the association has declared Qatar Airways the first airline worldwide to become certified for end-to-end tracking for our hub at Hamad International Airport‘.

(Qatar Airways Meets (IATA) Requirements 753 one year ahead of the IATA deadline)

Nick Careen, Senior Vice President, Airport, Passenger, Cargo and Security for IATA, said: ‘Qatar Airways’ efforts over the past year to comply with IATA Resolution 753 on Baggage Tracking have paid off. We congratulate the airline on becoming the first in the world to achieve full compliance of the resolution at their hub in Doha. Qatar Airways’ ability to track baggage at every stage of its journey will allow the airline full visibility to manage its baggage operations and to more easily trace, retrieve and deliver missing or delayed bags, leading to a better experience for passengers‘.
Resolution 753 was developed to reduce mishandling and baggage fraud, increase passenger satisfaction and enhance the overall baggage management landscape at airports around the world. The resolution was issued in 2016 and made mandatory for all IATA airlines, who have until the 01st of June, 2018 to comply.The certificate was presented to Qatar Airways’ Doha hub Hamad International Airport (HIA); once all its stations in the network are compliant with the resolution, IATA will award the airline a platinum certificate.

This year, HIA was ranked the Sixth Best Airport in the World by the 2017 Skytrax World Airport Awards, as well as having been named Best Airport in the Middle East for the third consecutive year. The airport was also named as having the Best Staff Service in the Middle East for the second year in the a row.

The award winning airline serves Eastern Africa with multiple daily flights, operating from Doha once a day to Entebbe and Kigali as it does to Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar using an Airbus A320 on the routes. Nairobi will be Qatar Airways’ first East African destination to see a switch from the single aisle aircraft later in the year to a wide body for both its daily frequencies.

Business Development Opportunities | CCA’s 2017 U.S.- Africa Business Summit

Corporate Council on Africa Business Summit

Corporate Council on Africa’s
11th Biennial U.S.-Africa Business Summit
www.ccausafricasummit.comJune 13-16, 2017
Omni Shoreham Hotel | Washington, DC
#AfricaBizSummit

Exhibitor Opportunities at the 2017 U.S.-Africa Business Summit

Corporate Council on Africa is delighted to invite you to exhibit at our Business Solutions Center. We are looking for organizations that offer innovative solutions, ideas or opportunities for businesses and investors in the agribusiness, capacity building, energy, finance, health, infrastructure, IT, security, trade and tourism sectors.

Fees:
Corporations: US $4,000
Non-profits/Government: US $2,500

Summit Exhibit Booth Includes:
10’ x 10’ booth
One (1) table
Two (2) chairs
Company identification sign
Wastebasket
Two (2) complimentary passes for entire conference

To register as an exhibitor, please contact Carla Battle.


Who Attends CCA’s U.S.-Africa Business Summit?
CCA’s 2016 U.S.-Africa Business Summit attracted more than 1,400 attendees from 675 companies and organizations from across 47 countries.

For additional branding opportunities, please view Summit Sponsorship Packages and Branding Opportunities


Interested in U.S.-Africa business, trade and investment? You are invited to register to attend.

 


 

Atta – African Travel and Tourism Association – News Updates

News from the African Travel and Tourism Association
Think of joining as a member and meet the ATTA team this
week at the World Travel Market Africa in Cape Town …

Weekly members news summary from Atta – The African Travel and Tourism Association
Atta Header Banner
Dear ATC Reader,

Please find below this week’s summary of the Atta members news featuring news from across the African continent and beyond.

Atta Members Weekly News Summary

Zambia: New camp in Liuwa Plain NP
Time + Tide
The newest camp in the Time + Tide portfolio, King Lewanika was designed by award winning architects, Silvio Rech and Lesley Carstens, the same team who created Zambia’s flagship camp, Chinzombo, and our new Madagascan island property, Miavana.. Read More

Ruckomechi Camp Opens for 2017 Season
Wilderness Safaris
Wilderness Safaris Ruckomechi Camp has opened for the 2017 season, with Little Ruckomechi set to re-open on 1 June; both offering the most authentic and sustainable ecotourism experience in Zimbabwe’s Mana Pools National Park. Read More


Namibian Desert Lions
Africa Geographic
Namibian Desert Lions. Read More


Kamili helps simplify Odzala strategy
Kamageo
Following Congo Conservation Company’s appointment of Classic Portfolio in February to manage global marketing of their Odzala Discovery Camps, Kamili has now resigned its UK role, to allow for a simplified strategy. Read More


A safari blog!
New African Territories
Launching our brand new safari blog! Read More


Abu Camp’s Wild Elephant Herd Thrives with Birth of New Calf
Wilderness Safaris
The success of Wilderness Safaris Abu Camp’s elephant reintroduction programme in the Okavango Delta, Botswana continues to thrive with the birth of a new calf to its wild herd.Read More

Kenya’s low season means low tariffs for locals and expats

VISITING NGAI‘ MADE AFFORDABLE AS MOUNTAIN LODGE OFFERS LOW SEASON RATES

(Posted 18th April 2017)

Mount Kenya, the country’s highest peak, is in folklore of the tribespeople living around the mountain seen as a mystical place, the place where their God of old resides and even though the country’s population has today largely subscribed to the modern day religions are the beliefs of yesteryear not quite gone, certainly not discounted among the populations in Central Kenya and perhaps upon closer inspection even to some degree still practiced.
Batian, the highest peak, stands tall at 5.199 metres and its ‘siblings‘ Nelion (5.188 mtrs) and Lenana (4.985 mtrs) are often seen from as far as Nairobi, especially on the first clear morning after several days of rain, but is definitely the dominating sight from across Laikipia and as far as the northern parks and game reserves beyond Isiolo.

(Mt. Kenya’s peaks seen at the crack of dawn from the rooftop terrace of Serena Mt. Lodge)

Ngai‘, a mythical figure perceived as the God of Creation, is at times also called
Mwene Nyaga‘ by the local Gikuyu tribe which thought of the mountain peak to be the earthly home of their God and subsequently built their homesteads facing the mountain.
Hence, when last visiting the Serena Mountain Lodge the thought of ‘Nearer My God To Thee‘ kept crossing my mind, if for nothing else to show respect for local customs and beliefs which even in today’s cyber age must not be dismissed or as often seen belittled – lore and saga after all very much still have a place in society and in this part of Kenya remains an integral part of life.

The drive from Nairobi – just under 200 kilometres – was smooth all the way, along the new super highway to Thika – on my first trip over 40 years ago along this road the signage still read ‘Fort Hall‘ – and then via Karatina, Kiganjo and the turnoff from the Nyeri to Nanyuki road towards the mountain, all tarmac right to the parking of the lodge.

Built by African Tours and Hotels in the late 1970’s was the location chosen to be outside the park boundaries to spare guests the entrance fees but today it seems have the park boundaries been moved further down the mountain from its original 3.400 metres level forcing visitors to pay what can only be described as an exorbitant entrance fee, something Kenya Wildlife Service ought to urgently review in order to attract more visitors both to the lodge and into the park itself.

After all, the area was and continues to be a hotspot for birds and mammals, for tropical hard wood trees, medicinal shrubs and orchids.
Eleven endemic bird species are found in the area around the lodge and further up the mountain:

1. Jackson’s francolin.
2. Abyssinian ground thrush
3. Abbott’s starling
4. Sharpe’s starling
5. Kenrick’s starling
6. Montane Orioles-highland forest.
7. Doherty’s bush shrike
8. Scarlet tufted malachite sunbird
9. Hinde’s Barbbler
10. African green ibis
11. White-tailed crested flycatcher.

It was the lodge’s resident naturalist and field guide Benson Maina who compiled the list and then shared some of his impressions when taking tourists around the trails leading from the lodge into the forest as my own hike fell victim to a massive tropical downpour which made venturing out during the available time literally impossible, unless one had a kayak or was wearing a life vest:

‘It’s a two hour guided walk through the thick forest of Mount Kenya (rain forest). Very informative on flora, fauna, birds and history. Bearing in mind Mount Kenya was the home of the freedom fighters the MAU MAU fight for Kenya’s independence. The best experience was when we met a leopard pulling it’s kill of a young Bush buck up a tree. It was so exciting although the guests felt like the leopard would come for them. The very recent one is when we met a buffalo giving birth in the bushes. When doing birding we met a African crowned eagle feeding on a suni on the ground. this is not common at all at all‘.

However, in the morning there was time to go out for some fishing and though no fish was caught were brown trouts seen happily nibbling on my bait and making off with it without ‘biting‘.
At the same spot where I fished, or tried to, does KWS also maintain a trout hatchery with about a dozen different tanks and ‘fingerlings‘ can be bought in case someone wants to release a bucket or two into the stream to spur population growth.

(Rods are available from Serena Mountain Lodge as are the required fishing licences and the transport to the fish nursery and river)

(No amount of concentration helped to pull even one fish … oh well, that day I remained a giver of life rather than a taker of life)

(The fish in the various tanks are fed every day and Benson Maina is seen here providing detailed information about the various stages and requirements to make fish breeding a success)

The lodge can also serve as a springboard for some more extensive hikes into the moorlands higher up the mountain and even climbs proper can be arranged by Serena Hotels with Mountain Lodge serving as a base.
But the lodge is equally offering the tranquility many people seek when they try to escape the hustle and bustle of the city wanting to read a book or just sit in a lounger and let the day go by, so the intrepid explorer has as much a reason to be here as have those who simply need a bit of peace and quiet and find it when the overnight guests have checked out and the new arrivals are still hours away.

All rooms are self contained after Serena moved from communal bathrooms to individual bathrooms, are well equipped including a tea / coffee making set and to crown it do they all have a small balcony to sit out and watch the game parade by the waterhole.
Of course is a lounge with fireplace available, as is an outdoor terrace and blankets are available for those fearing the chill at nearly 2.200 metres high. From the roof top is the view arguably the best and that is where the lodge now has a small meeting room for corporate retreats in a very different setting.
Tea is served all day in the lounge, making sure the inside stays warm and for those keen on Spa treatment, that too is available at the Serena Mountain Lodge.

Food, needless to say, is Serena quality through and through and Lodge Manager Sylvia Mbugua runs a tight ship up on the mountain.

With just 41 rooms is Mountain Lodge comparably smaller than most Serena properties but for sure is this a place with character which only ever allows so many rooms to have before sheer mass would spoil the ambience and unique cabin experience which only very few places can offer to their guests.

Serena being a ‘green‘ company shows in other areas too as the company has since 2001 been engaged in reforestation and guests have the opportunity to plant a tree of their own, or several, while staying at Mountain Lodge.

(The Serena Mountain Lodge tree nursery from which Esther Kimani of the Serena reservations office selected one and planted it under the guidance of Benson Maina as did yours truly)

A visit to Serena Mountain Lodge, possible any day of the week due to the relatively short distance and good roads, can be done on its own but having come that far is an option on the table to add another exciting Serena destination.

After two nights at Mountain Lodge is it a short drive down to the main road and on to Nanyuki from where Ol Pejeta is – almost – within waving distance.
It is there that Serena owns the Sweetwaters Luxury Safari Camp and manages the Ol Pejeta House, formerly owned by Adnan Khashoggi. This gentleman made a fortune in the 70’s as a global wheeler dealer before going bust in the late 1980’s and losing among many other possessions the Ol Pejeta ranch with all its improvements on it and the Mount Kenya Safari Club to Lonrho’s Tiny Rowland who foreclosed on him and took over the land given as securities for loans advanced to Khashoggi.

The Ol Pejeta Conservancy, often described here as Kenya’s most complete wilderness experience just four hours drive from the capital, today is owned by British NGO Flora and Fauna International and sits at the very heart of Kenya’s ‘conservancy region‘ which has become a major tourism resource for the country.
Whether one stays at Sweetwaters or at the Ol Pejeta House, both offer their guests another unique Serena experience with excellent food, 5 star hospitality – Sweetwaters is one of Kenya’s 5 star ranked safari properties – and a wide range of activities.

Game drives during day or night, game walks escorted by rangers and guides, camel rides, meals in the bush, birding experiences, lion tracking and a visit to Kenya’s only sanctuary for chimpanzees are topped by the only three remaining Northern White Rhinos in the wild anywhere in the world. There are many superlatives to this location including the largest number of Eastern Black Rhinos in the entire East Africa in just one place making for regular sightings of the Big Five at this one location.

Ol Pejeta is also the only place where the range of the two predominant zebra species in Kenya overlap, the very rare Northern Grevy’s Zebra and the much more common Burchell’s or plains zebra. Subsequently is this also the only place where hybrids can be seen, a cross between the two species, uniquely special for lovers of rare wildlife sightings.

Now that the annual low season has arrived and will last till the end of June and in some cases until mid July, are rates for locals and residents in Kenya – and East African residents too for that matter – way down from the tariffs charged during the high season. Such affordability is a key for added domestic and regional travel across the Kenyan safari parks and conservancies and the described option to combine Mountain Lodge and its special appeal with the big five on Ol Pejeta is an experience which can be undertaken with a family saloon car – as long as the game drives on Ol Pejeta are done by lodge 4×4’s to avoid getting stuck after a heavy downpour.

Visit www.serenahotels.com for all the information about their resorts, safari lodges and camps and hotels in the region and the special deals available for citizens and residents of East Africa.

White man thrown off the plane in South Africa for Racial Abuse

More ATQ News from Nigeria and beyond

ATQnews.com a member of Travel Media Group. This is the online platform for African Travel Quarterly (ATQ), the first Travel magazine in West Africa which solely focuses on travel and tourism issues. It started publishing offline about 10 years ago. ATQnews.com features reports that cover a wide range of topics within the travel

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Tax relief for Kenya’s airlines as VAT on spare parts is dropped

KENYA’S AIRLINES BREATH SIGH OF RELIEF AS VAT ON SPARES DROPPED UNDER NEW BUDGET

(Posted 18th April 2017)

Under the recently read budget proposals for Kenya will the country’s aviation sector benefit greatly, as according to information received from Nairobi VAT on aircraft spares has been removed, not just for national airline Kenya Airways but for all airlines.
In 2013 did the current government, against better advice and judgement and leaving international practice behind, introduce VAT on aircraft spares which – as was reported here at the time – saddle the aviation sector with VAT for spare parts which at the time added tens of millions of US Dollars to the cost of doing business in Kenya for airlines which regional competitors were laughing about these follies.
At the time were also tourism services made subject to VAT, a decision which cost the country overall dearly due to rising cost into a softening and then collapsing market before these measures were then shelved two years ago to make tourism more competitive in the region again.
The changes now affected bring Kenya in line with how other countries treat their aviation sectors and gives hope that fares and charter prices will remain stable for some time to come.

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