Category Archives: Tourism

Unlocking Economic Growth and Development through Travel Facilitation

From: Yona Maro

The 21st-century traveller has high expectations when it comes to efficiency and a low tolerance for barriers to global mobility. Unfortunately, travel infrastructure and bureaucracy are decidedly 20th century, something that is particularly noticeable at airports and in the visa application process. Indeed, in 2013, destinations worldwide required on average two-thirds of the world’s population to obtain a visa prior to departure. A “smart travel” model, one that includes smart visas, smart borders, smart security processes and smart infrastructure, could revolutionize the travel and tourism sector the way the smartphone has transformed the telecommunications and media industries. As such, it represents one of the most effective near-term measures available to policy-makers seeking to create jobs and boost growth.

Yona Fares Maro
Institut d’études de sécurité – SA

1st African Tourism Exhibition in Germany; 17th – 20th July 2014

From: msema kweli

1st African Tourism Exhibition in Germany „Soul & Spirit of AFRICA“

17th – 20th July (4days) Tübingen, Germany

Ladies and Gentlemen,Exhibitors,

It’s an honour for me to inform you about the 1st African Tourism tradefair in Germany “Soul and Spirit of Africa ” with focused on AFRICA ONLY! This tradefair is initiated and organized by AfrikAktiv org. in cooperation with chamber of commerce and Industry , International African Festival Tübingen and supported by African Ambassadors in Germany, Lord major and city of Tübingen / Reutlingen

1st African Tourism Exhibition tradefair “Soul and Spirit of Africa ” will take place from Thursday 17th July – Sunday 20th July 2014 at the African Village (Festplatz –Tubingen) near Stuttgart -South Germany (located in Baden-Württemberg and occupied by Swabian locals – Germany´s treasure of SME enterprizes, technocrats, Inventors, Global players in Automobile.. and Business Tycoons)

Please, be informed- Exhibitors dealing in Tourism goods and services to register and participate, so that together we can establish a stable plattform for Tradefair Exhibition with focus only on Africa in Germany. As experts in Intern Business Adm- Marketing, Founder & CEO -Intern. African Festival Tübingen, the biggest and fastest growing in south Germany, there´s no doubt that The 1st AFRICAN TOURISM EXHIBITION will attract thousands of professional and public visitors this year.

Join me, let us make African Tourism accessible for global travelers – this is a golden opportunity and sustainable development for our continent and it´s people. Apart from Exhibitors, I look forward to partner with African trade & investment chambers, Trade fair organizations in and out of Africa.

Any country that wishes to gain more exposure, attract more visibility, to be seen as FOCUS COUNTRY 2014, PARTNER, SPONSOR and SUPPORTER should contact us for more VALUABLE INFORMATION. JOIN ME, lets´s make African Tourism accessible for Eurozone & global travelers


SUSAN TATAH (Chief Executive Officer – AFRIKAKTIV) / Email: Tel: +49 152 -106 -10374



Writes Leo Odera Omolo

Kenya and Tanzania have finally agreed to allow the visiting tourists freely access each to each others tourists sites in border crossings into each other territory.

This follows an agreement signed between the two countries last week during a crucial meeting held in the Northern Tanzanian town of Arusha.

From now onwards tour operator firms in Kenya will be allowed to drop tourists into specific towns inside Tanzania.

Under the new agreement Kenyan registered vehicles will now drop tourists at Namanga border post and then proceeds to other towns further interior parts of Tanzania and also to other towns like Dodoma, Arusha, Musoma ,Moshi and Lungfa Lunga.

In the past, Kenya Tour firms have been voicing vehement opposition against the existing rule for them to be picked up by Tanzanian tour operators companies for onward trip to the interior parts of the country and also to the tourist attraction sites and national game park in Tanzania.

In the new agreement signed between Kenya’ s Cabinet Secretary for Tourism and East African Community affairs Ms Phyllis Kandie and her Tanzanian counterpart Lazaro Nyalandu; tourist vehicles from from the neighboring country will continue dropping tourists in all towns in Kenya except in airports and tourist sites,

Ms Kandie described the new agreement as a win-win for the two countries. “It will allow Tanzaniians involved in tour operator to have business partners in Kenya and vice-versa and thus promote regional integration.” She added.

She explained that the new agreement would also help in marketing the region as a single tourists destination; adding that she hopes the new found relationship with Tanzania would continue to flourish.

ThE TWO COUNTRIES Kenya and Tanzania also urged the three other EAC member states of Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi to develop bilateral agreements to grow regional tourism.

Tour associations tour guides, wildlife agencies, tourist boards from K

The EAC partner states were also asked to consider regional cooperation on conservations of fauna and flora, to review legislation to ensure the region’s endangered wildlife resources are protected by December and that there should be cross-border efforts to fight poaching and illegal trade in wildlife and forest products.



WRITES Leo odera Omolo

Foreigners visiting any of the five member state of the East African Community as tourists midstream now have to wait until next week to get a single visa covering Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda after the three countries missed January 1, 2014 deadline for valid of the travel document.

The East Africa tourist visa was expected to take effect yesterday January 1st 2014. However government officials in Nairobi were quoted by local media services as saying that this launch had been pushed forward to next week due the to unforeseen logistic problems.

The logistics for the role out, says a source, are being worked out right now and are expected to be in place by early next week.

Once in place in place, the visa will give the tourists multiple entry access to the three countries, allowing the government of Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda, to market the region as a single towards destination.

On December 17, 2013, stakeholders from the three countries met in the Rwandan capital, Kigali, to assess the feasibility of rolling out the visa on New Year day.

During the meeting in Kigali, Rwanda, the delegation had noted that it was in the process of distributing 60,000 visa strikers to high commissioners and immigration departments of the three countries. The process was expected by December 23 , 2013.

Kenya and Uganda were also expected to send information technology (IT) experts to Kigali for training which was set the fin on December 22 , 2013.

It is perhaps these logistics that have seen the launch of the visa delayed until next week.

According to report issued during the December 17, Kigali meetings, the East African tourist visa will have validity of 90 days and will be over about Kshs8,650 (USD 100) .



WRITES Leo odera Omolo

Foreigners visiting any of the five member state of the East African Community as tourists midstream now have to wait until next week to get a single visa covering Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda after the three countries missed January 1, 2014 deadline for valid of the travel document.

The East Africa tourist visa was expected to take effect yesterday January 1st 2014. However government officials in Nairobi were quoted by local media services as saying that this launch had been pushed forward to next week due the to unforeseen logistic problems.

The logistics for the role out, says a source, are being worked out right now and are expected to be in place by early next week.

Once in place in place, the visa will give the tourists multiple entry access to the three countries, allowing the government of Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda, to market the region as a single towards destination.

On December 17, 2013, stakeholders from the three countries met in the Rwandan capital, Kigali, to assess the feasibility of rolling out the visa on New Year day.

During the meeting in Kigali, Rwanda, the delegation had noted that it was in the process of distributing 60,000 visa strikers to high commissioners and immigration departments of the three countries. The process was expected by December 23 , 2013.

Kenya and Uganda were also expected to send information technology (IT) experts to Kigali for training which was set the fin on December 22 , 2013.

It is perhaps these logistics that have seen the launch of the visa delayed until next week.

According to report issued during the December 17, Kigali meetings, the East African tourist visa will have validity of 90 days and will be over about Kshs8,650 (USD 100) .


News Analysis By Leo \Odera Omolo

As millions of Kenyans celebrated the 50th Independence aniversarry marking December 12th the date in which the country gained its political independence from Great Britain in 1963, residents of Moyale District located in the far North and bordering Ethiopia and Somalia had nothing to celebrate.

The residents of this region did not celebrate the century’s 50th birthday with the rest of the country. Thousands of the residents were displaced during last week’s six days of gun battle that claimed more than 10 lives and led to loss of property worth millions of shilllings.

It was sad that some residents were not even aware that 12th December was a special day for Kenyans across the country and the world. Women and children were still camping in different refugee camps in Kenya and in Ethiopia. 90% of locals sought refuge in neighbouring Ethiopia following the attack Islamic terrorists.

The insecurity situation is now posing this threat to the country’s thriving tourism industry. This is because the Somali terrorists appeared to have infiltrated their agents deep inside Kenya, and making the country to bleed to death.

In the Coastal Kenyan city of Mombasa two British tourists narrowly escaped death early this week when a hand grenade was hurled at their vehicle. But the grenade failed to explode.

The two tourists who were traveling to the popular tourist destination of Amboseli National Game Park under the attack at 7.30 a.m (local time) in the Likoni area of Mombasa.

According to some words of the eye witness who spoke to the news men on strict condition of anonymity, the lone man who hurled the grenade at the vehicle carrying the British tourists, a land cruiser as the driver slowed down to negotiate a sharp corner near Mtongwe junction had been loitering around by the roadside at about 6 a.m.

The device hit the vehicle side window and rolled off. Luckily for the tourists, the device dropped onto the road without exploding. The attacker then escaped and fled from the scene. He disappeared in the sprawling village. He had earlier been observed loitering in the busy road as early as 6 a.m.

Meanwhile the police in Mombasa are holding a Kenyan woman who they are questioning in connection with the mysterious death of a British tourist.

The tourist whose age was assessed to be around 70 years tied under the most mysterious circumstance inside his one room rented house. The victim who is said to have been a regular visitor to the coastal city was found dead by the caretaker of the apartment. His mouth was sealed with plastic tape.

The local police chief Julius Wanjohi confirmed the incident and said the ralus were pursuing vital leads that could unravel the truth. The suspect who is said to have seen a girl friend of the deceased is now in police custody. The killing has angered the residents of Nyali neighbourhood who complained of the uprising insecurity in the area.

Apollo Memorial 2013

from pwbmspac

Happy Moon Day.

Lets reflect upon this annual memorial to the Apollo astronauts lunar landing, summer 1969.

If their have been any further instances of contemporary Terrestrial human piloted travels spaceward beyond earth orbit (small or large scale), such remained officially unpublished in the open literature – – although rumored to occur.

In the time since the original 1969 Moon Day there have been several private sector initiative toward replicating the summer 1969 event.

One of them was the Artemis Society. Yet another has been investigating means to incorporate the moon into a destination option for the space tourism business.

In an overview, website site states, “Our primary goal is to establish a permanent, self-supporting exploration base on the moon. From this initial base, we will explore the moon to find the best sites for lunar mining operations, and for a permanent lunar community. Along the way, we begin commercial flights to the moon. At first these will be expedition-class flights for rugged explorers, the sort of trip that will appeal to folks who enjoy safaris, climbing mountains, and spelunking hidden caves. Eventually, the lunar tourism industry will grow into luxury-class trips on large spaceliners.”

Another effort aims directly at private space tourism with lunar destination as an objective. Preliminary work focused upon enticing some initial subscriptions from those interested in being future travelers. The concepts consider assembling the transport capabilities starting with hardware ordered from Russian aerospace manufacturers plus use of associated operations centers.

During Summer of May or June of 2013, an article appeared in Aviation Week and Space Technology. It reported a university professor in India is now promoting the idea for a revival in programs aimed toward constructions of in-space platforms to collect solar power for supporting base load electricity needs at Earth surface (SPSS). Others, in this context, point out that employing construction materials mined from lunar surface or asteroids would make any such projects yet more economically productive.

This space economic development product, SSPS, does have merit. USA’s NASA and DOE had such a joint program until it was canceled officially as the 1970’s ended. Lets see if a call for revival of this project catches on.


Kenya / WorldVentures is the No. 7 Fastest Growing Company Among Top 100 Direct-Selling Brands

From: News Release – African Press Organization (APO)

WorldVentures is the No. 7 Fastest Growing Company Among Top 100 Direct-Selling Brands

WorldVentures reached a remarkable 57.1 percent growth

PLANO, TX, June 13, 2013/ — WorldVentures™ (, the leading direct seller of vacation club memberships, with presence in Kenya, South Africa and Botswana, reached an impressive 57.1 percent growth and ranked No. 7 on Direct Selling News’ most recent Global 100 Greatest Growth Percentage Companies of the top direct-selling brands worldwide. Direct Selling News (DSN) is the leading trade publication for the direct-selling industry, and its annual list is considered a major indicator of company strength. WorldVentures’ rank on the elite listing bypassed industry heavyweights that were not included in the exclusive top 10 Greatest Growth Percentage Companies category.


“This ranking is just one more indication that we’re taking the right journey,” WorldVentures ( Chief Visionary Officer and Co-Founder Wayne Nugent said. “It is confirmation that our vision is sound and that our DreamTrips™ vacation club membership helps more people lead rich, fulfilling lives. I believe that our partnership with our Independent Representatives is the key for this continuing success.”

“This is an outstanding accomplishment,” WorldVentures ( CEO and Co-Founder Mike Azcue said. “Seven years ago, when WorldVentures was born, it wasn’t so obvious that a direct seller of travel could be a leader in the direct-selling industry. The travel industry is growing fast, and we’re proud that more and more people realize the uniqueness of DreamTrips’ travel experiences, and choose to be members and Independent Representatives.”

The DSN Global 100 list acknowledges the achievements of direct selling companies and paints a clear picture of the industry’s size and trends.

Distributed by the African Press Organization on behalf of WorldVentures.

About WorldVentures:

WorldVentures ( is a social commerce, peer-to-peer marketing pioneer and one of the direct-selling industry’s largest sellers of vacation club memberships. With a network of more than 100,000 Independent Representatives in 23 countries, the company’s DreamTrips vacation club offers vacationers access to some of the most unique global and local travel and entertainment experiences available anywhere at any price. The privately held company is headquartered in Plano, Texas.

For inquiries, contact:

Hadas Sasson-Zitomer

WorldVentures Holdings


Writes Leo Odera Omolo

REPORTS EMERGING from the Northern Tanzanian town of Arusha say that tourism stakeholders in both Kenya and Tanzania wants the border between the two countries two world famous tourists attraction sites be opened in line with the principles and spirits of the East African Community.

The two world famous tourist sites are the Maasai Mara in Kenya and the Serengeti National game Park in Tanzania.

According to the latest newsletter of the East African Tourism Platform {EATP}, the opening of the Bukologonja border which was closed by Tanzania unilaterally following the collapse of the first East African Community in 1977, would save tourists the five hour drive through the nearest border crossing point and encourage regional tourism.

The border at the Sand River is on the route used by wild bests during their spectacular annual migration that attracts thousands of tourists to both countries. Besides its closure, it was a convenient route for tourist visiting the Serengeti National Game Park-Maasai Mara ecosystem.

Following the collapse of the first EAC in 1977, Tanzania closed all border crossing points with Kenya for nearly seven years.

In the mid 1980, it reopened the main highway border points, but left the Bukologonja one closed.

According to EATP coordinator Wafart Matu, visitor to the Maasai Mara wishing to cross into Serengeti sometimes have to drive to Nairobi for an overnight stopover before proceeding to Arusha via Namanga border post and on to Serengeti.

Some tour operator firms based in the Kenya capital Nairobi have complained of extra distance owing to the closed border ,increased the cost of the Serengeti-Maasai Mara package.

Tanzania National Parks spokesman Pascal Sheleti, was widely quoted last week as having said hat Tanzania would not open the border because the differences between the two countries tourism polices.

“Kenya encourages mass tourism while Tanzania prefers quality tourism for a low volume of tourists, but with higher revenue so we feel that once we open Bukologonja border posts, tourist traffic from Kenya can be extremely high at the expense of the fragile Serengeti ecology.”

On his part Mr. Adrian Akiyo an official of the Natural Resources and Tourism Ministry in Tanzania said his Ministry would not bow to any pressure on the matter.” At the Bukulugonja border notwithstanding the East African Community Common Market Protocol that provides for the free movement of goods, persons, labor, services and capital within the EAC region.

“The EAC arrangement is not everything, Tanzania like other partners states is still a sovereign country. We are only obliged to implement those policies we agree with and not everything. Our orders must be respected,” he said.

In addition to the closed border, the stakeholders have also complained about the requirement for tourists to change vehicles at the border of Namanga, Sirari and Taveta, which they said was not only humiliating for the visitor but veiled bid by Tanzania to keep business competition away from its border crossings.

The stakeholders have called upon the two countries to resolve their differences bilaterally


Eac member states may be losing the lucrative tourism revenue to other African region due to several factors

Writes Leo Odera Omolo In Kisumu City

The position of East African region as the continent’s most attractive tourist destination has come under serious threats from other regional blocs taking advantage of the region’s lengthy business procedures, insecurity and poor infrastructure to boost their competitiveness edge.

The latest publication of the World Economic Forum {WEF] survey on global tourism and travel competitiveness is jointly written by experts and just released.

It shows that Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania and Burundi are badly trailing emerging global tourism giants in sub-Saharan Africa as Seychelles, Mauritius, and South Africa.

In the sub-Saharan region, the three countries were ranked at the top followed by Cape Verde, Namibia, Gambia, and Botswana.

Kenya, the EAC’s top tourism investment destination come eighth. The WEF cited the insufficient property rights, protection, insecurity, lengthy and costly business procedures as well as dilapidated infrastructure as the main drawbacks.

In the sub-Saharan Africa ranking Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda took position nine 112 and 13 respectively while Burundi was ranked at 30.

At the global level, only Kenya made it to the top 100 countries of the 140 surveyed, coming in at position 96, Rwanda was ranked 105, Tanzania 109, Ugfanda 116, Burinbdi was two positions shy at the last position.

The EAC has been pushing to increase its share of the growing global tourism market. Last month, the EAC secretariat in Arusha reported that it had lined up several projects to increase tourism earnings from USD 7 billion to USD 16 billion annually by the year 2020 .

The planned investment is expected to cost the USD 3.95 billion by the year 2020 up from the current USD 1.65 billion.

The coordinator of the East Africa’s Tourism Platform, Wateri Matu was recently quoted as saying tha6 whereas the traditional tourism products based on the region’s natural resources will continue playing a crucial role in the industry, there is the need for innovations and creativity.

The region’s problems, he added, is the over reliance on traditional source markets. Europe and the US with little emphasis on Africa and in particular the EAC,” Matu said.

The WEF ranking came at a time when East Africa’s tourism sector is preparing for a bumpy ride in 2013, caused by a show down over fears of insecurity and Euro zone crisis.

In Kenya, the managing director of the Kenya Tourists Board Murithi Ndegwa was last week quoted widely by the local media as having said that the country’s recently investment in transport infrastructure such as the up-grading of the Kisumu Airport and the on-gong expansion of the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport could boost the county’s competitiveness.

In what may be affecting the market is the Euro zone crisis because the most of the country’s visitors come from Europe. The other effect is the issue f the travel adversaries, adding that that now that the general elections in Kenya are over Kenya are over, the Tourist Board hopes the travel adversaries would be lifted.

The Kenya Tourist Board, Ndegwa disclosed, has been meeting with its counterparts in the EAC to plan joint marketing initiative and strategies. The project line up included the introduction of a single tourists’ visa classification of hotels, increased marketing expenditure and training of industry players in the hospitality industry.

“We also need to harmonize immigration management system and introduce some sophisticated equipment in collaboration with the relevant authorities in the five member countries, mainly for security reasons.


EAC plans is targetimg multibilion dollsrs tourist revenujre in the year 2020

Writes Leo Odera Omolo

The East African community member states have lined up several projects to increase tourism earnings from the current USD 7.billion to USD16 billion annually.

Sources at the Arusha based secretariat of the EAC have quoted top officials as saying that the plan is aimed at doubling the number of tourists visiting the bloc from 5 million to 10 million annually.

The planned investments are expected to cost USD 3.95 billion by the year 2020 up from the present USD 1.65 billion.

THe envisaged projects include the introduction of a single tourist visa, a single passport, classification of hotels, increased marketing spend and training of personnel’s in the hospitality industry.

The EAC ministers responsible for tourism are expected to hold a meeting before the end of June, this year to discuss the establishment of the single tourism visa and hotel classification in the member states.

Frustration is growing among the business people over delays in pushing through key projects like opening up the regional airspace, rolling out a single passport and visa, the elimination of non-tariff barriers {NTBs}

They claim the delay in implementing the EAC Common Protocols are slowing the expansion of tourism, trade and business envisaged by the protocol.

EAC Principal Tourism Officer Shedrack Mashauri said the bloc plans to negotiate with the regional airlines like the Rwandair and the Kenya Airways to increase the connecting of flights across the region.

Nearly 60 per cent of tourists budgets goes into air tickets. This money could remain in the region, if we had well established local airlines with strong connection into local market,”said Mashauri,adding that such arrangements would also be made with the international airlines.

According to the plans, a tourist would apply and pay for a visa fee in any of the five member states of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Brundi and South Sudan, and thus visa would be applicable for travels to all the countries in the region, thus necessitating a proper revenue sharing formula.

It is anticipated that issuance of a single of a single EAC visa and passport will not only ease the movement of people across the region, but significantly boost the regional drive to promote the bloc as a single tourist destination.

Plans are also underway to harmonize policies and have standard training and certification, particularly the tourist guides and hoteliers.

“We want tourists to stay longer in the region, hoteliers and tour guides will be required to be committed to exceeding tourists expectation with great customer service and highest degree of professional ethics,” said Mashauri.

The classification of the hotels is nearly six years overdue said to be due to financial constraints.But the executive secretary oif the Association of Tanzania tour operators ang guide has assured the stakeholders that the matter would be resolved soon.



Reports Leo Odera Omolo

INFORMATION emerging out of the Northern Tanzanian city of Arusha says the battle line is drawn between the environmentalists and conservationists vehemently opposed to the establishment of a multi-million dollar soda ash plant inside Lake Natron.

It says the move is against the background of the report that six foreign firms, which have placed bids to set up a controversial soda ash plant on the shores of Lake Natron.

According to the same source, the National Development Corporation (NDC}, a quasi-government organization, these firms are seeking to set up the USD 500 million factory to exploit a million metric tones of soda ash annually.

Lake Natron a volcanic lake near Engaruka area nearly 220 kilometers from Arusha town have reserves of at least 4.7 billion cubic liters of soda ash.

However, the plan to mine the deposits has been strongly opposed by residents and conservationist who have expressed fears that such a project would adversely affect the lesser flamingos’ population in the area.

The mine is to be set up in the middle of a nesting ground for the one third of the world’s population of lesser flamingos.

A 2010 report compiled by the Wild birds International and Wildlife Conservation Society of Tanzania had revealed widespread opposition among residents to the planned soda ash mine.

But another report seen in Arusha last week by a team of journalists shows the government of Tanzania is determined to kick-start the project on Lake Natron. The Wetland Management plan and environmental assessment study for the proposed project are set to be completed in June this year.

An August 2012 costs benefit analysis report showed that 75 per cent of local residents were vehemently opposed to the construction of the plant.

The report projected a loss on investment of between USD 44 million and USD 492 million over the next 50 years should the plan proceed. It predicted earnings of between USD 1.28 billion and USD 1.57 billion n over the same period if the government were to instead invest in local tourism and environmental protection in the area.

It is anticipated that the environmental assessment studies will also propose that environmental friendly technology be used to extract and process the soda ash for export, as the government f Tanzania seeks to sidestep the growing environmental concerns.

“This time, the director General of the NDC Gideon Nassari was quoted last week as having said this./me, the government will do all it can to ensure the project is realized as planned,”.

He, however,. Decided to divulge the names of the six foreign multinational companies interested in the project. But said the NDC was still scrutinizing them for the purpose of identifying the most suitable one for a joint venture with the government.

Earlier plan for mining Lake Natron involved Indian firm Tata Chemical and the NDC, but the deal flopped and collapsed.

Soda ash, known chemically as sodium carbonate, is key raw materials for glasses, chemicals, soaps and detergents.

The NDCX says the proposed plant could earn the country up to USD 300 million a year and create more than 500 jobs.

The government will hold a 46 per cent take in the project through the NDC, once it reaches a consensus with any of the investors in on-going negotiations.

For the past six years, the project has been facing vehement opposition from environmentalists and conservationists who argued that setting up the factory near Lake Natron would wipe out the breeding grounds of the lesser flamingo, thus putting at risk 75 per cent of the global population of this near threatened birds species.

“Experience elsewhere shows that the excavation can be done without any harm to the ecosystem,’ said President Jakaya Kikwete while dismissing the fears that the plant will wipe out the flamingos population.

“What matters is the application of environmentally friendly technology to avoid disrupting the flamingos breeding sites. Sometime those who are oppose to the project did not know what it entails. Those opposed to the plant are really patriotic because it seems as if they are agents of some people we do not know. He added,


EAC community is working on single tourist passport and visa for people visiting the region

Reports Leo Odera Omolo

The East African Community {EAC} secretariat based in the northern Tanzanian city at Arusha has singled out tourist visa and common passport as its top priority projects to be implemented this year as the bloc battles to reverse credibility crisis over failed projects.

The EAC Secretary General Dr Richard Sozibera was last week quoted as saying that the EAC passport, the single tourist visa and liberalization of the airspace will boost free movement of people across the region, a promise that the bloc has fallen behind in achieving three years after signing the Common Market convention on people movement across the region.

“Frustration is growing among business executives from the member states over delays in pushing through key projects like opening up the region’s airspace, rolling out a single passport and visa and the elimination of the non-tariff tariff barriers {NTBs}, saying this was slowing trade and business envisaged by the protocol.

The implementation of the monetary union is among the 77 articles needed for the creation.

Observers, however, say the EAC technocrats will be judged by how they handle the integration process in 2013 after the delays experienced last year.

“While the five EAC partner states of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi had in principle agreed to remove NtbS BY November 2012 in the absence of a legally binding framework, little action was taken. The latest report from the EAC secretariat shows that while 35 NTBs were reported as unresolved, ten new NTBs emerged in 2012 alone.” said Dr Sozibera.

A source at the Arusha based secretariat of the EAC said the bloc has set a deadline of between March and June 2013 for the commencement of printing the new EAC passport.

On the single tariff visa, the EAC Principal Tourist Officer Shedrqack Mshauri was recently quoted by the local media as saying the delay were being caused by lack of consensus over visa for collection and revenue sharing model among the EAX partner states.


Tanzania under heavy pressure from environmentalists to shelve its plan to construct an international airport inside the Serengeti world heritage site

Writes Leo Odera Omolo

INFORMATION emerging from Dar Es Salaam says the United Republic of Tanzania is facing renewed pressure to shelve the construction of an International Airport next to the world heritage and famous Serengeti National Game Park, creating fears of possible delays in the multibillion dollar project.

THE Deputy Transport Minister Charles Tizeba was last week widely quoted by the local media houses as saying that the construction of the airport outside the Serengeti National Game Park is likely to fail because of an on-going campaign by environmentalists to stop the project.

“The government is facing real pressure from some circles, but it will go ahead despite all these,’ he said.

The construction of the USD 350 million airports was expected to start early this year and the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority had approved the project, he added.

The government move to put up the airport included the construction of a 321 kilometer tarmac road through Serengeti. This element was shelved over the concerns that it would interfere with the wildebeest migration, the only one of its kind in the world and crucial to the existence of the Serengeti ecosystem.

The friends of the Serengeti movement have repeatedly denounced having an airport so close to the world heritage site, saying it would attract human activities near the fragile Serengeti-Mara ecosystem.

Opponents of the project have maintained an argent saying that the landing and takeoff of large planes in Mugumu could damage wildlife migration patterns.

“The new airport”, said the Minister, “would offer tourists the option tour KilimanjaroIntrnational Airport and after visiting Tarangire.LakeManyara, Ngorngoro Crater and SERENGETI International Airport to fly back homer”.

Analyists,however, say the airport would increase the number of visitors from 800,000 annually to 1.6 million by the year 2015 and double tourism revenue from the current USD 1.4 million to USD 2.8 million annually in the next three years.


Kenya & Tanzania: Massai issued a threat to block tourist from accessing Serengerti park and Ngorongoro World Heritage Site

Writes Leo Odera Omolo

The Maasai pastralist community living in the Northern Tanzanian region of Arusha has issued the government with ultimatum to either supply its starving members with free food or else it would block tourists from accessing the famous Serengeti national game park and the adjacent Ngorongoro World Heritage site.

The community has accused the Tanzanian government of reneging on an agreement and pushing its people into starvation.

The community, which is spread across the Tanzania-Kenya borders with half of its people living on the Kenyan side while another half on the Tanzanian side has given the Tanzanian government until December 22 to start issuing its members with free food as stipulated in the Ngorongoro agreement or allow them to cultivate the game park land and conduct farming therein.

The Northern Tourists Circuit comprises the world renowned Ngorongoro Crater, Serengeti National Park, Manyara and Tarangire National Parks, which accounts for 80 per cent of the country’s annual tourism earning estimated at USD 1.3 BILLION.

According to the pastoralist community leaders, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority {GCAA} has failed to provide for the community.This failure has resulted in the deaths of three children from starvation and hunger.

The NCAA is legally bound to take care of the |Maasai patoralist population living within the conservation area in order to protect the wildlife and other natural resources.

He community says it will block tourists from accessing the parks to pressure the government to honor its part of the deal, or allow its people to cultivate the land in the parks and conduct farming activities therein.

The Maasai said the would turn the tourist circuit into a no-go zone for tourists during this Christmas season.

He ultimatum was issued last week by the secretary of the Ngorngoro Pastoralist Committee .Lazaro Saitoti who said that the government must immediately supply the community with 9000 tons of emergency food grains.n addition to the NCAA giving the pastoralist community the sums of USD 9,375 million,which is equivalent to 30 per cent of the NCAAtuoirst collection of USD 5,215 million,up from the current USD 812,200 million.

The committee protect the interests of the 64,000members of the Maasai community living within the Ngorongoro Conservation area.

Other demands by the Maasai contained in the statement is that none members of the community living in the area be forcefully evicted from the protected areas..

Further demands were that hotels and lodges operating within the conservancy areas should give the community the lion’s share in terms of employment opportunities.

The community is also demanding for three representatives on the NCAA board. Currently the board has only one member from the community. They also wanted to be assured of the political goodwill to develop the community along with its neighbors

The Ngorongoro member of parliament Kaika Sabubg’o Telele warned that the community threat to block the access to the famous tourist attraction sceneries was serious and things could get out of hand unless the government take the quickest action to address the problem.

IN the MP’s view, the delay in supplying food May be a calculated move to frustrate the indigenous Maasai to leave the NCAA and find places to stay away from the conservation zones.

A senior govern ment official, however, dismissed the threat as politically motivated and asked the community to channel its case through the right channel to register their complaints.



News Analysis by Leo Odera Omolo

Kenya and Tanzania have agreed to team up together in a joint concerted effort t save Mara River which experts says is on the verge of drying due to wanton destruction of its most important water catchment, which is the Mau Forest.

Human settlement and illegal loggers and squatters have depleted the Mau Forest, which is one of the most important water towers in the region.

The two countries have jointly earmarked colossal amount of money to the tune of Kshs 978 million. The moneys are to be utilized towards the improvement of the Mara River infrastructure.

The environmentally important Mara River originated in the Mau Forest in the Southwester of the expansive Rift Valley Province and traverses through the common bores f the two countries before emptying its waters in Lake Victoria in the Tanzania’s northwestern region of Mara near the lakeside town of Musoma.

This particular river is economically valued by the two African nations because it is also supporting two important tourist attraction centers, and also supports two most valuable National Game Pars on both sides, namely Mara Game Reserve in Kenya and the world famous Serengeti National Game Park on the Tanzanian side of the border.

The two governments and NGO organizations operating in the two countries are to partner with the residents and communities living around the Mara ecosystem to sensitize them on the need to stop polluting the river.

The program wile implemented through the Lake Victoria Basin Commission {LVBC} which will coordinate and manage the entire project of rehabilitating the river. The LVBC is an institution o the East African Community {EAC}.

The comprehensive plan to rehabilitate the Mara River was disclosed recently b Coordinator of the Nile Equatorial Basin Subsidiary Action Program Antoine Sendama during the Mara Day celebrations held at Mulot Trading Center in Narok North district. The function was attended by top government officials from both Kenya and Tanzania. They included cabinet ministers and permanent secretaries,

The depletion the Mau Forest had already started spelling dooms for the reforestation n the to countries

The executive secretary of the Kisumu-based LVBC Consius Kamangire told the gathering that the Mara River was a disaster in waiting which must be averted at all costs.
Kenya and Tanzania have already started wildlife and water conservation, farming with communities around the Maasai Game Reserve and strategy to bring to a halt with time rapidly ruing out.

Sendama said NELSAP was formed 10 years ago and Mara River was identified as area of the trams boundary river basin management project to be prepared and implemented under the program.

In attendance w Kenya’s Minister for the East African Community Affairs Musa Sirma and the Permanent Secretary in the Tanzanian Ministry of East African Community affairs George Luwao .

Sirma told his audience that the Mara River Day celebrations was meant to promote trans boundary management framework for the Mara River.

The two nation which are partners in the EAC through the LVBC plans to improve protection and management of Mau Forest and conserve the Maasai Mara Game Reserve and Serengeti National Game Park ecosystem.

The main objectives of the program ensuring household food security increasing farms income and alleviation of poverty through increase access to water for household consumption and agricultural production. This include achieving river basin conservation and rehabilitation of new projects including multipurpose project like Tanzania irrigation and watershed management projects in Gucha, Migori, Yala and Nzoia Rivers.

The program is also meant to promoting co-operative management of shared water reservoirs in a bid to demonstrate benefit of cooperation and sustainable investment projects.

Mara River was losing chunk of its waters due to climate change and vulnerability. The climate change will affect on the residents way of life and threatened the very foundation on which the region’s economies rest..It will affect impact negatively in food and energy security to high temperature through flood and veritable rainfall.


Sh 15 million needed to boost tourism in western Kenya.

By Dickens Wasonga.

The Western Kenya Tourism Circuit requires 15 million shillings to fully exploit its vast potential, the Chairman, Lake Victoria Tourism Association (LVTA), Daniel Okumu has revealed.

Okumu said during an interview held at Parkview hotel that they plan to hold a cultural dinner next Friday in the lakeside city expected to run from 6pm to midnight and will promote traditional dishes, African attire and music.

Accompanied by Parkview Hotel Manager, Robinson Anyal and LVTA CEO, Anthony Ochieng’, the chairman and Anyal disclosed that the event seeks to promote not only African culture but also food security, research activities on traditional foodstuff as well as cultural tourism which is sustainable.

However, Anyal admitted that although the area has relied on Eco-tourism, it was not one of its strong areas and so the need to focus on the promotion of cultural tourism which will be done every week.

Anyal decried the fact that western culture has been slowly killing the African culture and this has given them a new impetus and zeal to strive to change our eating habits if we stop young people aged as low as five years currently dying from cancer related complications.

The CEO disclosed that the Region’s cultural Event is also set for November 21to 23 at Jomo Kenyatta sports Ground and will culminate in a gala night after a boat racing competition.

“During the much anticipated event we have lined up many activities including cock fights, wrestling and tero buru (traditional event) usually conducted using animals to exorcise demons after burying a prominent person among the Luo community”, he explained.

Anyal pointed out that the Western Kenya Tourism Circuit has for decades been neglected thus making foreign and local visitors prefer going to the coast and so appealed to the media to help showcase and effectively market the region to fully exploit its abundant potential.

Ochieng on his part disclosed that they have projected a budget of 10 million shillings to fund the Western Kenya Cultural Festival and has worked closely with the ministry of tourism, Culture and Heritage among other government agencies who are also expected to come on board.

It emerged at the forum that the organizations and government agencies charged with promoting tourism activities in the area have not effectively tackled the water hyacinth menace as has been done in the neighboring countries of Uganda and Tanzania to open up the lake for sports tourism.

According to LVTA chairman, Okumu the hyacinth weed has been made to spread faster owing to the persistent dumping of waste products from Kisumu Water and Sewerage Company (KIWASCO), Kisumu City Council and effluent from the numerous industries within Kisumu.

Okumu remembered with nostalgia the good old days when a steam boat from Kisumu to Homa Bay could take a very short time as opposed to now when some of the big ships have been marooned in the lake owing to the water hyacinth.

“ We cannot continue allowing the Western Kenya Tourism Circuit to be neglected but must play a proactive role to jump start the abundant potential by encouraging locals to invest in the sector by building modern hotels to provide accommodation before looking up to foreign investors.



Reports Leo Odera Omolo In Ndhiwa Town.

A new hotel complex that is likely to change the ace of the entire Homa-bay County in the greater Southern Nyanza has been established near Ndhiwa district headquarters.

The Ndhiwa Village Resort Complex, which is located about two kilometer outside Ndhiwa Town has the state of the art finishing with extra facilities such as swimming pool, gymnastic wing and a dozen luxury cottages.

The Ndhiwa Resort complex is built right in the middle of the hitherto sleeping health care club and has changed the face of the nearby Ndhiwa Town.

The Resort has started with 40 rooms and can accommodate up to 80 visitors, but plans are a foot to increase the number of the accommodation facilities up to 100 beds.

The hotel has a standby van which is given as supplementary services to the guest and can ferry them to the nearby Ruma National Game Park in Lambwe Valley which is about 20 kilometers away. And also to other pre-historic sites at tourists attraction scenery along the shorelines of Lake Victoria.

Other features of attraction include the large number of tamed and domesticated Guineas Fouls roaming about and at times flying overheads within the hotel compound. Well, fenced and secure for the safety of visitors, their vehicles and other valuable property.

Ndhiwa town is located on the main Rodi-Kopany-Karungu Bay road, which has recently underwent through re-carpeting and. Visitors wishing to travel to through the Game Park back to Homa-Bay town may also follow the forest road that is leading to the KWS head offices and the main gate to the park, which is also equipped with a modern lodge with the accommodation, food and alcohol beverages.

The hotel has other special features such as two conference halls, one for 100 people and the second or 70 people plus the poolside bar, a discotheque hall and a residents bar, several restaurants.

The Ndhiwa Village Resort, which is arguably the largest investment next to the Sukari Sugar Mills a white sugar factory, which is located 15 kilometers away at Wachara near Oria maket. The market is standing right on the border of Ndhiwa and Uriri districts, and can also be accessed via Awendo-Rapogi –Oria on all weather murram road.

The hotel complex is the brainchild of the Assistant minister for internal security Joshua Orwa Ojode who is the MP for Ndhiwa. The MP, however, could not explain as to what would be the cost of the project when completed, saying that would be done by experts from the government when they come to conduct the grading exercise. Experts have moderately estimated the hotel complex to run into thousands of millions shillings when completed. At the moment some final touches of work are still gong on the complex which is built to close to 4 acres of land all fenced with chain-link wires. It is surrounded by native villages making look sitting I the middle of typical African village.

And the next important building is the still under the construction District Commissioners officer which is also close to the multimillion shillings CDF office complex and Ndhiwa Law Court.

These two institutions have changed the faces of Ndhiwa, which was hitherto a sleeping dusty rural market with only an old building housing the colonial tribal court.

The Assistant Minister is the single investors, but other investors and shareholders might join him in the near future. However, for now the hotel is the exclusively property of Ojode family property.

It has created employment opportunities for close to 30 skilled and unskilled workers with several highly qualified chefs to cater for both for foreign and local tourists and will serve as gateway to the interior and wildest parts of he greater Southern Nyanza such as Suba North, Suba South, Nyatike, Uriri, Awendo and Homa-Bay districts. And also to the various fishing islands along the shorelines of Lake Victoria. to the interior parts of Nyatike, Gwassi, Mbita, Homa-Bay and even to far places like Awendo Uriri and Migori



A Special Feature By Leo Odera Omolo In Homa-Bay Town
HOME-BAY County one of the newly created 47 counties under the new constitutional dispensation is promising to offer a lot for the future of the residents along the eastern shoreline of Lake Victoria
The County’s shoreline in Lake Victoria is covering close to a distant of approximately 28o kilometers. It starts at Nyakwera on the Nyakach-North Rachuonyo districts borders and winds up at Lakinyiero in the Southwestern border of Suba South district with Nyatike district in Migori County.

There close to twenty small fishing islands on the Kenyan side of the lake and some of them are potential as tourist’s destinations.

The County is also full of pre-historic sites which could be developed as potential tourist attractions if the next county governance could do its home work and if possible succeed in luring both foreign and local investors to come and developed tourist class hotels, lodges and beach resort facilities.

The region is also potential destination for bird watchers, but above, the Suba region could provide close to 60 per cent of the County annual income accrued from fish, and fish trade, tourism, hotels, lodges and beach resorts, though these could be achieved on self-help development schemes, but it would also require a lot of input from possible foreign sources and massive investments.

Already local inputs are evidence in places like Mbita Town, where several beach resorts of the tourist class have sprung up in the recent past, more efforts is still required to crown it all. The proprietors of the beach resorts also need more capitals to invest in extra curriculum activates such as boat racing, skiing ensure that their facilities are well equipped with speed boats to ferry the tourists around the lake on von voyage trips to the nearby pre-historic sites and birds watching trips.

A local resident who is a candidate vying for the lucrative and powerful position of the county governor Dr. Mark Matunga recently made a moderate estimation that Suba region alone could rake in close to 70 per cent of the County annual revenue.

Dr Matunga cited the recent restocking of the Ruma National Game Park in Lambwe Valley with new species of wild animals such as zebras black and white rhinos, giraffe, improved fishing facilities and fish trades and other facilities.

In the recent past, Homa-Bay County has witnessed the construction of new tarmac roads like the Kendu-Bay-Homa-Bay and Homa-Bay Mbita roads as some of the component of e important development of the infrastructure taking place.

The region, especially the Suba region is well served with the Ndori –Luanda Kotieno ro which winds u at the Mbita Ferries, which is plying the narrow Nyanza Gulf between Luanda Kotieno on the Rarieda side of the lake to Mbita Town.

The private firm that owns and manages the Mbita Ferries has recently introduced new and the largest ferries that can carry up to 30 motor vehicles plus close to 200 passengers at a go in one trip. This is a tremendous improvement and would provide the travelling passengers with quick accesses in crossing the narrow channel. The ferry service is expected to improve economic activities in the Suba region as it will facilitate quick travelling to businessmen and traders visiting major wholesale and distribution shops in Kisumu City.

The private firm that runs and manages he Mbita Ferries is reported to have already initiated a tentative plans it envisaged to launch a new ferry service between Mbita and Mfangano Island in the near future, It will also be ferrying both passengers and vehicles aboard that could be used by visitors on while touring around the important sites and scenarios on Mfangano Island where all weather roads have already been constructed.

The construction of roads on Mfangano Island came about as a personal initiative of Dr.Matunga, who is a native of the Island who also single handed initiated the massive electrification. He single-handed secure a powerful diesel fired engine ,which has now brought the hitherto sleeping and backward Island into limelight of brightest lights through the power supplies to schools and other important institutions as well a to the individuals homes.

There are close to twenty small fishing islands on the Kenyan side of the lake, some which could be developed as the tourist destination, and could make the country compete with other tourist destination regions like Seychelles Islands, Mauritius and even South Africa. Notable islands which are suitable for the establishment of beach resorts and lodges include Takawiri, Ngodhe, Kiwa, Remba,Ringiti.

Another potential Island is the famous “Soklo Kipenji or Soklo Kibanga” which is close to a number of important fish landing beaches around Usawo on the mainland. Next to “Soklo Kipenji” is the Sukri, which is much close to Homa-Bay town on the mainland. Sukri ha fertile an which is arable and has so many inhabitants living on it, though most of the spent their day time doing or tending to their businesses in Homa-Bay Town and only retires to the island at the fall of the night using motor boats and home made canoes.

“Soklo Kipenji” is full of myths in folklore tales of the past. For many years, the locals held firm believes that it was a place where there is a hidden powerful and invisible devilish being from other planet. Fishermen dared not land their fishing boats on “Soklo Kipenji” and travelers plying the nearby lake waters on their r way to Mbita Point from Homa-Bay pier were always forewarned not to ask any question.

It has never been inhabited nor frequented by the locals, and it was said that even the fish eagles never landed their catches on its rocks, and that ever crocodiles, lizards and monitors stayed away fro the tiny island. Unconfirmed reports says that two White European explores who defiantly ignored the advice of the locals not to visit the Island in 1922, shortly immediately after the end of the first World War, and attempted to land – – their boat mysteriously disappeared never to be traced to date. And that is how this Island earned its name.

However, following human settlement pressure in the nearby Lambwe Valley forest, Baboon, Monkeys and even hyena have of late took refuge on this island. It has been deprived of its natural trees by charcoal burners and women in search of fire wood, leaving only sky pointing sharp rocks with no vegetation to protect its soil.

Ake Simbi Nyaima, the volcanic lake, which is situated in Central Karachuoyo Location in Rachuonyo North district as well as birds sanctuary near Oyugis, are some of the potential areas worth development, if at the Central Government is keen in resuscitating its forty five year old Western Kenya Tourist circuit, which has remained in the drawing board ever since it was initiated and launched by the then Minister for Tourism and Wildlife S.O. Ayodo in 1967.

Homa-Bay County is also rich in minerals, especially gold, which are said to be in abundance around Wire Hill near Oyugis, and at the old Awuoro mine about six kilometers south east of Oyugis Town and near Mithui Secondary school Kokal area.

The now closed down gold mine which is only a few meters away from Ruga Market on he right side of the Oyugis-Kisii road thrived in the 1930s and early 1940s, but he foreign investors, mainly South Africa Bower and Australian miners close them own following pressure mounted by the black nationalist during the struggle for political independence. The gold deposits were never exhausted.

Red ochre could also be mined on the slope of the Hill facing Mithui ,which are so good for home floor colors, and next to the scene on the Oyugis Gamba Market {Rioma road] one come direct to the old caves where people used to take cover from their invading enemies during the old days.The caves are now being used as pilgrimage site by religious people.

The crocodile shaped rock on to of a hill in Kauma Kwadhigone area of Karachuonyo could be another potential center of tourist attractions of attraction, especially to those visitors wished to see the wonders of the world.

A tourist class hotel is already in place put up by he Germans near Kowu9or Pier,{formerly Homa-Lime area} which adequate facilities for any class of visitors, VIP included. Another decent hotel facility is the tausi hotel, located within Rodi Kopany Market, which serves as the junction of Homa-Bay Rongo and Ndhiwa Rangwe roads. And a few kilometers way is the latest Ndhiwa Resort, which is established in Ndhiwa Town and the brain child of the area MP Joshua Orwa Ojode. The road from Rodi Kopany to Ndhiwa has been modernized and the work is progressing well via Aora Chuodho, where the Massoulin of the world record breaker polygamist of all time the late Ansentus Akuku Ogwela, commonly known as Akuku Denja is buried. In his life the danger man is believed to have married more than 100 wives, though at his death there were only 39 of them were still living in his three homesteads which are well spread from Central Kanyamwa, Kwabwayi and Karungu Locations. He had more than 209 children.

Branchi off at Mirogi Trading Center, the visitor has only eleven kilometer
drive into the main gate of the Ruma National Game Park in Lambwe Valley. Next to the park is he pre-historic” Kor Lang’o”, the now defunct main road believed to have been used by the Massais people while taking their herds of cattle for water I Lake Victoria centuries ago.

the KWS headquarters for Ruma National Game Reserves one can drive via Kanyamwa escarpment and link up with the main Homa-Bay –Mbita road at Ogongo or drive to Homa-Bay town only 23 kilometers away from the Forest main gate. Inside the Game Park there is a lodge with all facilities which offer social amenities to the visitors wishing to stay overnight.

Branching off at Mirogi Trading Centre is only eleven kilometers drive to the Lambwe Valley is being maintained by the KWS. Homa-Bay Tourist Hotel could be the next destination for the visitors while other could pt up at the Hippo Garden Hotel also located in Homa-Bay town. There are small and medium class hotels offering accommodation in town. But now that Homa-Bay Town has been chosen as the regional administrative headquarters for the
Homa-Bay County more enterprising hotels are expected to sprung up.

The lakeside town which hitherto was a sleeping town is expected to be the hub of business activities in the region due to its proximity to land and water transport system to other destinations in the region. Both foreign and local entrepreneur are welcome to invest in a five star or lesser graded hotels in order to tap the revenue expected to flow in from the tourist and other visitors to the region.

The resuscitation o Homa-Bay town will, however, depends on the good governance and proper planning by the County governance. But given the fact that all major roads leading to the ton have been constructed and the other on modernized.

A large deposits of lime and cement tones were recently discovered around Ruri Hills and the new Homa-Bay County will have to go out flat looking for the potential investors into the a Cement factory.
The town is now looking rejuvenated and no longer the dusty place of the past .This has been done head of the inauguration of the new County Offices, which will be immediately soon after the next general election, perhaps next year.

Moving further west, visitors will be able to see the famous pre-historic site of the famous Nyamgondho Wuod Ombare shrine at the shore of Lake Victoria not far away from Nyandiwa Beach Trading Center.

The government has already signed a new contract with the Chinese road construction firm to have the Mbita-Sindo-Magunga road, which is expected to link up with another highway from Ndhiwa ro Sori .Town in Nyatike district. This give unlimited access to tourists and visitors an easy driver along the lake with the possible branching off to areas like Kisegi and Nyandiwa chi is a fast growing beach town.

Former Gwassi MP Zadock Syong’o whose birthplace is at Kisegi had secured the power supplies to most schools and market places in Gwassi. Next to Nyandwa is the beautiful Kiwa Island which has a population estimated to be slightly over 500 people complete with their domesticated animals. The new road will traverse via Sindo,Nyabera, and pass through the Ruma National game Park to Magunga, pss through the junction of Tonga Secondary School via God Bura to Kokomo and Kiabuya junction and then to Laknyiero from where it will link up with Sori Town.

Plans has already been envisaged to have this road constructed via the vast Kadem up to Muhuru-Bay near the Kenya Tanzania border. This plan was recently disclosed by the Prime Minister Raila Odinga when he addressed a mammoth crowd at Kaswanga in Rusinga West Location, Rusinga Island during the burial of the former Kenya’s Permanent representative to the UN the late Michael Okeyo.

Mfangano Island is another place which is full of pre-historic sites, and yawning or the development of more tourist class hotels. On top of Soklo plateau, there are several sources of mineral waters, which could be bottled

The same could be said of the twin island of Rusinga. Here a few hundred meter of Wanyama fish landing beach there laying deep in the water two oxen looking like stones. The stones according to the local folklore were the remnants of two full grown up bulls which belonged to two cousins called Mnyama and Ware. The stones are called Nyama gi Ware signifying to the two sub-clansof Wanyama and Waware, and the saying goes that the two bull had fought the fiercest battle until they landed in the water where they turned into permanent stones. These are just mythology tales. However, the area is potential for the development of good beach resort hotel of tourist class.

A;ready there in place a tourist lass hotel at Kamasengre next to the airstrip and not far away from the buralk place of one of the uncompromising champion of freedom fighter/architect of Kenya’ independence and charismatic politician the late Tom Mboya, the former Minter for Economic Planning and Development in the post-independence cabinet who was assassinated in a Nairobi street in 1969.

Some, medium class hotels are already in place in Mbita Town, which included Mbita Beach Resort, ICIPE Guest House, Rusinga Holiday Inn, and others currently catering for visitors, but more facilities including speed boats for sporting are still required for the region to be able to reap the fruit of the expected influx of tourists into the region in the near future.


Tanzania plans to establish ten new airports to ease air travels in the country

Reports Leo Odera Omolo

INFORMATION emerging from Dar Es Salaam says Tanzania has envisaged plan of establishing and upgrading ten regional airports countrywide at USD 67.5 million infrastructure project set to kick off before the end of the year 2012.

The project will also feature the completion of the modernization of Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar Es Salaam to enable it to handle more than 30 planes per hour, up from the current 11 planes an hour beginning July 2012.

Transport Minister Omar Nundo was quoted last week as saying the airports will be built in Kigoma and Tabora regions in the western parts of the country. In Rukwa and Mbeya regions in the Southern highlands, Mafia district {Coastal},Msalato {Dodoma},Singida,Mwanza, Arusha and Bukoba [Kagera}.

“Construction of the airports will improve infrastructure helping the aviation industry meet the increased demand,” said the Minister.

Despite the existing tourist attractions such as the world famous Serengeti National Game Park, Mt Kilimanjaro and the sea resort of Zanzibar,Tanzania has not hit tourism target due to poor infrastructure and other failures. For example, 794 tourists visited Tanzania in 2010 against a one million tourist target, although earning increased by 11 per cent during the period to USD 1.28 billion.

This has seen mining industry overtake tourism as the main country’s foreign exchange earner. Officials said the initial plan was completed last year, while the feasibility study has been presented to the World Bank for approval.

Construction of Songea International Airport in Mbeya region is currently going on and is on course to be completed in December this year.

The Tanzania Airport Authority has completed feasibility and design for Msato Airport in Dodoma.The government has kicked off a compensation plan for the residents who will be affected by the project.

Finance Minister Mustafa Mkulo was also quoted in the local media as saying that the government was involved in serious discussion with its development partners as well as the Arab Bank for African Development and African Development Bank for a USD 105 million loan for the construction of Msalato International Airport.

The government has set aside USD 650 in the 2011-2012 budgets for the same project. Terminal 1 and 11 at the Julius Nyerere international Airport are currently 12 million passengers a year, but are now handling up to 1.5 million passengers. This should help ease congestion at the airport. The two terminals were designed to handle 1.2 million passengers a year, but are now handling up to 1.5 million passengers.

Upon completion of terminal 111 within the same area, Julius Nyerere International Airport will have the capacity to handle seven million passengers a year.

According to Airport’s masterplan, it will be he largest hub in the region, partly symbolized by TAA’s plan to launch an ambitious export processing zone project to stimulate manufacturing and production of value – added goods, boost exports, and aid in the financing of airport maintenance and upgrading.


Kenya: Suba region is the richest area within the Homa-Bay County

News Feature By Leo Odera Omolo In Mbita Town.

Sub-region, which is part of the Homa-Bay County, the largest in the greater Southern Nyanza is potentially and versatile in facilities which could rack in millions of shillings in terms of revenue collection if such resources could be properly developed.

Suba region is covering areas like Mbita and the newly created Gwassi administrative districts. This region along with its abundance resources is capable of making he vat Homa-Bay County one of the richest among the 47 counties countrywide.

It potential source of the resources and revenue include tourism, fishing and fish trades, hidden minerals, pre-historic sites and its proximity to the cross border trades across Lake Victoria and the neighboring states of Tanzania and Uganda.

Mbita and Gwassi parliamentary constituencies are parts of the eight parliamentary constituencies, covering Kasipul, Kabongo, Karachuonyo Rangwe, Homa-Bay and Ndhiwa, which forms the larger Homa-Bay County. The region needs only he good governance to be put n place at its administrative headquarters, which is located at Homa-Bay Town. The regional headquarters can now be accessed by good tarmacked roads via Rongo and also via Kendu-Bay in Rachuonyo North district.

The pre-historic sites on the twin islands of Rusinga and Mfangano could also be accessed by roads using the ultra-modern Ndori-Luanda-Kotieno road in Bondo that links Kisumu and Mbita Towns. Here the visitors could be ferried in a von voyage 40 minutes journey of crossing the narrow Nyanza Gulf using well maintained and serviced Mbita Ferries.

The Mbita Ferries, a company which is owned and managed exclusively by he local entrepreneur maintains two ferries with one sailing across while the other one stand by in case the one sailing across the channel is stalled in the middle of the lake.

The yet to be fully developed tourist attraction sceneries include Ruma National Game Park in Lambwe Valley, pre-historic sites on Rusinga and Mfangano Islands, Gwassi and in Rachuonyo. It is also a versatile region for lovers of birds watching and fishing leisure.

Ruma National Game Park is rich in abundance game animals of all species, and it is the home of the rare Roan Antelope, a very special species only found at the Simba Hill Game Reserve in Kwale district at the Coast and also in the famous Kruger National Game Pak in the Republic of South Africa.

The park is also housing other wild animals species like elands, reed-bucks, water-bucks, bush-bucks, Rothschild’s giraffes, tofi, the rare waiter antelopes which is only known in vernacular language as “Nyambaja”which resides on the summit of the nearby Ruri Hills and only occasionally come down to the plains in search of drinking waters during dead hours of the night. But only seen by the locals and visitors during the drought and dry spells of time when grass on the hill tops are burnt down by poachers.

However, the “Big Five” namely elephant, lions, rhinos are missing from the list f the wild animals currently stocked in the park. But the fifth which is evasive leopard is there with a few herds of the fiercest buffaloes, which rarely comes out of Bungu-Ruma forest. There are other predators like Hyena.

Next to Ruma National Game Park is the Gwassi Hills which reputed as being full of tree with medicinal substances and herbs. The beauty and value of the Gwassi Hills have in the recent years been vandalized due to intensive human settlement and farming. However, a Kisumu based NGO, the OSIENALA working in collaboration with foreign based financial agencies has made frantic efforts to save the Gwassi Hills with an intensive reforestation program, which has seen millions of tree seedling being planted on the hills and illegal settlers, sent packing.

Also located near Nyandiwa Trading Centre in Central Gwassi is the famous pre-historical site known as “Nyamgondho Wuod Ombare”. In this place mystery human foot-prints and those f domesticated animals could be seen on the rocks, especially during early morning hours when the lake waters are so clean.

The foot-prints are related with the mythological story of an estranged wealthy woman who rebelled against her foster husband and walked back into the lake where she had earlier on been fished out by Nyamgondho a fisherman after some alleged serious family disagreement. The woman is said to have run back to the lake and disappeared with all her worldly wealth including her domesticated animals.

The newly to be instituted County government must go out full blast and source the funds with which t could support the local entrepreneurs to establish luxury hotels and the beaches on both Rusinga and Mfangano islands, Gwassi, Kaksingiri and Rachuonyo North districts along the shorelines of Lake Victoria a part of tourist attractions.

Another pre-historic site s the two rocks resembling the fighting bull which stands a few kilometers off Wanyama beach in Rusinga Island. The stories go that the bull christened Nyama-Gi-Ware, representing the families of two brothers who are ancestors of the Waware and Wanyama sub-clans. One bull as the stories goes belonged to Mnyama while the other one belonged to his brother Ware. It is being alleged that the bull had fought fiercely until they enter into the lake waters while locked their horns and turned into permanent rocks erected inside the lake.

At a place called Soklo Kipenji, which is an island located off the Mirunda and Malela beaches I Lambwe Location, the story goes that the rock island is inaccessible by any human being. Travelers sailing from Rusinga Island to Homa-Bay town are always getting a forewarning not to ask about this mysterious island as their canoe, boats or dhow passes by the uninhabited island. A common and popular say goes that I the early 1930 two British tourist had made an attempt to land at the rocky island and all disappeared without trace to-date. Even local fishermen keep a safe distance from the rocky island while on their fishing expedition in nearby areas. The place, the local fishermen says even birds such as fish eagles and other kept away from.

Other potential spot for the possible development of tourist attractions includes the volcanic Lake Simbi Nyaima in Central Karachuonyo, which is also the center of attraction to lesser flamingoes and other migratory birds during certain period of the year.

Homa-Bay County is also endowed with abundance mineral resources such as the now disused Awuoro Mines in West Kisipul, Limestone in Lambwe Valley, the suspected uranium deposits in Gwassi and other parts of Suba region, gold, copper and nickels.

The region therefore required men and a woman of the highest caliber to man it is resources to generate revenues and good governance to be in place.