2009: Virgin boss on a mission to sell Kenya
to help the country get back on track
and increase tourist numbers. "Kenya is a fantastic
and safe place to come. We need to get tourism back on track,"
he said. The campaign will appear on Londons underground
mainline railway, as well as the national Press.
has rolled out a Sh30 million advertising campaign
to woo UK tourists back to Kenya. The drive, which
begins today, will be used as an initiative to get
tourists back to Kenya, and focuses on the migration
of the wildebeest. Virgin Atlantic president, Sir
Richard Branson, gave Kenya a clean bill of health
Branson made the announcement at
Sarova Mara Game Camp at the Maasai Mara on Saturday.
Tourism minister, Mr Najib Balala, has said Bransons
tour was a clear indication that Kenya was back on the
recovery path. Branson regretted that post-election violence
was a major setback to tourism, especially the airline
"The violence was disastrous
to the airlines, hotels and to the people of Kenya. Virgin
was also affected, but we decided to be faithful to Kenya
and not switch to other routes," he said. Branson,
however, warned that the airline would pull out of the
Kenyan route should violence erupt again. "If politicians
mess the country again, we will not stick here. We will
move out," he said.
According to Kenya Tourist Board
(KTB), tourism earned Sh8 billion between January and
April, way below the expected Sh21 billion. KTB Chairman,
Mr Jakes Grieves Cook, expressed optimism that the tourist
arrivals would improve.
Virgin Atlantic is one of the worlds
leading long-haul airlines and flies daily to Nairobi.
It flies to 30 destinations worldwide from its headquarters
at London Heathrow and London Gatwick. The aviation industry
will get a boost as Branson re-launches the Nairobi-London
route with the introduction of another aircraft, which
will also mark the airlines first anniversary.
A delighted Kenya Tourist Board
Managing Director, Dr Achieng Ongonga, said
Bransons visit was a blessing. "He came at
a time we really needed someone of his stature to send
a message to the world that Kenya is back to normal,"
On Saturday, Branson opened two
dormitories at Sekenani Primary School, a co-ed institution
at the Maasai Mara, built by the airline at a cost of
Sh8 million. The Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Gold Card
volunteers collectively contributed £30,000 from
sponsorship and donations to the project. More
On Richard Branson>
2009: Kenya is Now Open For Business...
nations. President Kibaki called
for the speedy resettlement of the internally displaced
Kenyans who are living as refugees and indicated that this
will be a priority for the government. The
new Prime Minister, Raila Odinga, pledged to lead a campaign
to ensure that violence is ended and particularly mentioned
the activities of the Mungiki sect which has been involved
in demonstrations and clashes with police in the past week,
urging that violent acts should stop immediately so that
ordinary Kenyans could go about their daily lives in peace.
|While the political
crisis and civil unrest have definitely ended, with
peace and calm restored across the country, the leadership
recognised that the new government has to focus on
some important tasks to re-establish Kenya in its
former position as one of the continents most
stable and economically successful
Former UN Secretary General, Kofi
Annan, who had played such an important role in bringing
both sides of the political divide together to resolve
the crisis, was present to witness the swearing-in ceremony
and expressed his pleasure that a peaceful settlement
had been achieved, urging Kenyan political leaders to
continue working together to achieve the implementation
of all aspects of the National Accord and Reconciliation
Act which is the basis of the power-sharing arrangement
and Grand Coalition. Uganda's President Museveni of Uganda
and other East African leaders were also in attendance
together with international diplomats.
US Ambassador Michael Ranneberger
congratulated the new government and commented, This
was very positive for Kenyans and the agenda that has
been laid out is very challenging. The signs are good
and the United States will be present to give its assistance.
About Kenya >
'08: Zanzibar Is. Could Disappear in 100yrs!
Scientists revealed this startling
information in Arusha during the official launch of the
International Year of Planet Earth for Africa and a conference
that the islands of Zanzibar and Mafia are likely
to disappear under water by 2100 due to a rise in
sea level triggered by global warming. The islands
off the Tanzania Mainland coast could be submerged
in the ocean following a catastrophic rise in the
sea level caused by the melting of polar ice.
They said the scenario was very
possible because there were known cases of islands
in the country which had since disappeared or were in
danger of being submerged. This means that Tanzania could
be among countries that would be hardest hit by climate
change, a phenomenon associated with global warming due
to increased emissions of greenhouse gases.
Islands known to have been submerged
include Maziwi, near Pangani in Tanga Region, and Fungu
la Nyani, on the Rufiji River estuary. Other gravely threatened
sites are Ras Nungwi, at the northern tip of Zanzibar
island, which has lost almost 100 metres of its beach
to sea water, and Bongoyo and Mbudya islands near Dar
Mr Eric Mugurusi, the director
of Environment Division in the Vice-Presidents Office,
says Tanzania has already started to feel the impact of
climate change, and gave the example of the melting of
the snowcap on Mt Kilimanjaro.
The experts were of the opinion
that only bold measures could save Zanzibar
and Mafia islands, which are among the leading tourist
sites in the country.
This period is not a long
time at all especially for people who care much about
the future of their grandchildren. That would depend on
how we address global warming and climate change,
warned one of them.
Our concern is not what would
happen in 2100, but the gradual rise of sea level taking
place now, said a marine scientist who cited tourism,
fisheries and mariculture as the economic sectors that
would suffer most. The impact of sea level rise will be
big because more that 25 per cent of Tanzanias population
is found along the coast.
In addition, Scientists say the
icecap volume on Africas highest mountain has dropped
by 80 per cent in the last 100 years; from 12.1 square
kilometres in 1901 to only 2.2 square kilometres in 2000.
The loss, he said quoting experts,
was most disturbing from 1970. Some scientists have predicted
that the mountain may lose all its ice in 20 years
time given the rate at which it is depreciating.
Mr Carlos Mbuta, a senior environmental
management officer with the National Environment Management
Council has, however, said that there were other factors
behind the sea level rise.
On the Mt Kilimanjaro glaciers,
the official explained that research carried out for 15
years by a German scientist indicated that out of every
1,000 tonnes of water from the mountain, 400 tonnes originated
directly from the ice caps and the rest from the forest
belt ... More
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