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Zanzibar ventures into promotion of unexplored tourist destinations

ARUSHA Tanzania (Xinhua) -- Tanzania’s semi-autonomous archipelago of Zanzibar has embarked on hefty promotion of tourist attractions in efforts to lure more foreign tourists, a senior official said on Wednesday.

Mwinjuma Muharam Saleh, advisor of tourism development in the Zanzibar’s Department of Forestry and Non-renewable Natural Resources, said that Zanzibar has a wide range of tourist destinations which are yet to be explored.

"And this is caused by limited information as many people are unaware of what we have in Zanzibar.

So, we’re currently placing leaflets in these tourism potential areas to attract tourists, as ways of disseminating information and showing destination of the said attractions," the official said.

According to him, the campaign involves a number of stakeholders such as tour operators, Zanzibar Commission for Tourism and Tanzania Tourism Board in mainland Tanzania.

He cited areas which are key for tourism purposes as Kiwengwa-Pongwe in Unguja North Region and Ngezi forest in Pemba.

Saleh said Kiwengwa-Pongwe forest reserve has 47 species of birds which includes Fischer’s turaco, Zanzibar sombre, crowned hornbill and white browed coucal.

"The area is also rich in medicinal plants and Mwanamkasi Mchekani caves are also considered as important for luring tourists," he said.

He also described Ngezi Forest Reserve in Pemba Island as key because it’s a home to Pemba flying fox and unique Pemba Scop owls, nocturnal birds.

Zanzibar archipelago has recorded a 15 percent increase in the number of international tourists to 433,474 in 2017 from 376,242 in 2016.


Anti-poaching efforts save elephants in Tanzania’s largest park

ARUSHA Tanzania (Xinhua) -- Tanzania’s sustained efforts to fight poaching have cut the number of elephants killed in the Ruaha National Park from 52 in 2012 to just three last year, park conservators said on Friday.

Agricola Lihiru, head of security at the park, attributed the sharp fall in poaching incidences within the protected area to such efforts as deployment of more game warders and stern legal action against poachers.

Female African bush elephant in Mikumi National Park, Tanzania | Coastweek

  "We organized a sensitization campaign for communities surrounding the park, which made them more aware of the need to protect the animals and report suspicious activities to authorities," Lihiru said in an interview with Xinhua.

From 2017 to 2018, warders of the park intercepted 360 poaching attempts whereby suspects were arrested and taken to court, he said.

Heightened security, putting a number of poachers behind bars, and wider awareness among communities have collectively made the park safer for elephant, Lihiru said.

Ruaha National Park, the largest in Tanzania, is home to around 15,000 elephants.

Tanzania and Malawi form
Commission for Songwe
River Basin development

DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) -- Tanzania and Malawi on Tuesday launched a joint commission on Songwe River Basin aimed at running irrigation and power generation projects worth 829 million U.S. dollars.

The commission was launched in Kyela district in the southern highland region of Mbeya by Tanzanian Deputy Minister for Water and Irrigation Jumaa Aweso and Malawian Minister for Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Joseph Mwanamvekha.

Female African bush elephant in Mikumi National Park, Tanzania.
"The objective of the commission is to oversee the management of resources in the river basin for the benefit of people in the two neighboring countries," they said in a joint statement.

The commission will oversee implementation of various projects along the river basin, including construction of dams for hydropower generation and irrigation covering over 6,000 hectares on both sides, the statement said.

The two countries will seek financial support from development partners for implementation of projects in the basin.

"We are proud to launch this commission that will manage projects in the Songwe River Basin that will benefit people residing within the basin from both countries," said Aweso of Tanzania.

Aweso said power generated within the river basin will benefit 60 percent of residents in the area and that two irrigation schemes will be able to irrigate 3,150 hectares in Tanzania and 3,050 hectares in Malawi.

Kitila Mkumbo, permanent secretary in the Tanzanian Ministry of Water and Irrigation, said projects to be undertaken in the basin will cost 829 million dollars.

Construction of dams will also control floods caused by the overflow of Songwe River that caused loss of lives and property on both sides of the two countries, he said.

Tanzania gets US 256.2 million dollars loan from AfDB for road project

DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) -- The African Development Bank (AfDB) on Tuesday released a concessional loan of 256.2 million U.S. dollars to Tanzania to support construction of a 260-kilometer Kasulu-Manyovu road project in western region of Kigoma.

An agreement on the loan was signed in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam between Tanzania’s Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Planning, Doto James, and the AfDB Country Manager for Tanzania, Alex Mubiru.

James said the loan will help funding completion of the construction of the road which was estimated to take five years of implementation, facilitating economic activities in the western corridor.

The official added: "This road section forms an integral part of the Central Transport Corridor, which plays an important role in the development and facilitation of national and international trade flows in the region."

He said the successful implementation of the project will link the port of Dar es Salaam with the country’s western regions and open up regional markets in Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

He said the project will also involve development of social infrastructure including rehabilitation of markets and community water supply and sanitation and construction of health centers in project areas.

AfDB Country Manager Mubiru said the signing of the loan agreement increased the transport sector portfolio of the AfDB Group in Tanzania to approximately 880 million U.S. dollars.

"On behalf of the AfDB, I would like to reaffirm our commitment in supporting the people and the government of Tanzania in their efforts to realize the aspiration to become a middle-income country in the near future," said the AfDB official.

Tanzania cracks down on rule-breaking forex shops in commercial capital

DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) -- The Bank of Tanzania (BoT) on Thursday announced that it has launched a crackdown on foreign exchange shops in the east African nation’s commercial capital Dar es Salaam where it found several illegalities.

A statement released by the central bank said the crackdown began on Wednesday and found most of the shops were running the foreign exchange business by breaching procedures, rules and regulations.

The statement said BoT has started revoking licenses of foreign exchange shops that operated without observing rules and regulations.

"This crackdown is continuous," said the statement, adding that foreign exchange services were available in all banks and banking institutions, including foreign exchange shops owned by the Tanzania Postal Corporation.

In November last year, BoT launched a similar crackdown in the country’s northern region of Arusha following suspicions on money laundering and associated illegal transactions.

BoT Governor Florens Luoga said the closure of foreign exchange outlets in Arusha for inspections was part of a countrywide crackdown against masterminds of syndicates behind money laundering and those operating without licences.


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