Archive for March, 2015

Barbara Keating speaks at ATA’s 39th Annual World Congress event in Uganda!

President and Founder of Computer Frontiers, Barbara Keating speaks at the Africa Travel Association’s 39th Annual World Congress in Uganda on November 11-16, 2014. Ms. Keating has 25 years of experience bringing innovative and technological solutions throughout Africa. During this event, Ms. Keating spoke on the ATA panel discussion, “Spotlight on Tourism Facilitation” to share her experiences of doing business in Africa.

This panel discussion highlights the importance of tourism facilitation and the challenges and opportunities in the travel industry. Keating also discussed how travel and tourism coheres with investments, job creation, and the economy in Africa. Furthermore, this ATA signature event provided networking events, informative panels, tourism ministers’ roundtable, an African Bazaar, and much more. This event also showcased the newest products and services between the US and Africa, and offered professional development opportunities in various industries.

President and Founder of Computer Frontiers, Barbara Keating spoke at the Africa Travel Association’s 39th Annual World Congress in Uganda

In 1996, Barbara Keating established Computer Frontiers Inc., a technology company with affiliate companies located in Uganda, Ghana, Senegal, and South Africa. CFI has implemented over 170 technology projects in more than 40 countries. This international consulting firm is dedicated to the applied use of Internet, information communications technology and free market principles to further the business, trade and development goals in all countries. Overall, Barbara Keating has shown the potential growth of business in Africa to thousands of companies, business professionals, and African governments around the globe.

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Uganda, Kenya, and Rwanda Waive Visa Fees for Foreign Residents by Trek East Africa

Published and Written by Trek East Africa

UGANDA, KENYA AND RWANDA WAIVE VISA FEES FOR FOREIGN RESIDENTS

     TREK EAST AFRICA SAFARI    EAC, KENYA TRAVEL, RWANDA SAFARI NEWS, UGANDA

Three Partner States of the East African Community (EAC) namely; Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda, under the Northern Corridor Integration Projects initiative, have waived visa fees for foreign residents living within the 3 countries in order to allow them easier access to the region’s diverse offering.Inline image 1

The visa free was approved last year on 11th December 2014 and is contained in a Ministerial report that Presidents Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of Uganda, Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya and Paul Kagame of Rwanda signed at the 8th Northern Corridor Integration Summit held in Nairobi in Dec 2014.

Foreign residents in the three Partner States with valid work and resident permits will no longer have to pay the US$30-50 visa fee on arrival but will now be issued with an Interstate pass at the airport of departure for admission to the destination. Uganda and Rwanda implemented this reform on 15th Dec 2014 but the impact only became real when Kenya effected the directive on 15th Feb 2015.

Uganda Tourism Board’s Chief Executive Officer, Stephen Asiimwe said; “This move is bound to bring exponential benefits to foreign residents living in the three countries. Our countries have a rich tourist menu on offer. From serene beaches, to pristine wildlife and nature, exquisite reserves, warm hearted and inviting people, our region is the place to visit. Our products are inexhaustible and this waiver offers our region, the best place to live and work. We encourage this expatriate community to be a part of the endless discovery, encounter and adventure of the best tourism episode of Africa at the least affordable price.

We encourage the private sector to take advantage of this opportunity to offer unbeatable packages while maximizing win-win offers,” Asiimwe concluded.

While Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) Managing Director Muriithi Ndegwa said, “the visa free travel  will provide an amazing opportunity for residents staying in the three Partner States to explore the immense diversity of wildlife, landscapes, cultures, and heritage, among other renowned attractions either for weekend gateways, corporate retreats or annual family holidays”.

On her part, the Rwanda Development Board’s Head of Department for Tourism and Conservation Ambassador Yamina Karitanyisaid in a statement that the waiver of the fee was the next step in consolidating and enriching the region’s tourism offering.

“We are approaching the rest of the world as a unified and rich tourist destination with varied experiences for travellers. We are also positioning East Africa’s tourism assets collectively as part of the Northern Corridor Integration Projects,” said Ambassador Karitanyi adding that the joint marketing programmes will be carried out annually and will cover international trade fairssuch as the International Tourism Board (ITB), JATA Tourism EXPO Japan, Akwaaba African Travel market and World Travel Market (WTM) in 2015. She pointed out that going forward; the Partner States will lobby for a single stand during international tourism marketing events.

Outlining the modalities of implementation, Ambassador Karitanyi said the eligible foreign residents shall be issued with interstate pass on exiting the host state and visitor’s pass endorsed in their passports on arrival by presenting valid work/resident permits. Other immigration procedures and regulations will however be maintained.

In preparing for the joint marketing programs, she noted that the three Partner States were already gearing up the teams involved by conducting destination training workshops and disseminating information on the use of National Identity Cards, Student/Voters Cards and the East Africa Tourist Visa.

Waturi Matu, Coordinator of the East Africa Tourism Platform noted that “there was need for continued lobbying on free movement of persons, services and other tourism related issues within the full East African Community (EAC). However, this will only be possible if the Tourism and Wildlife Management Sectoral Council meetings are held frequently and the agenda is reviewed to address current needs and quick wins.

Lobbying needs to intensify at Partner State level for frequent meetings since the EAC Tourism and Wildlife Management Sectoral Council is only on its 6th meeting while other Sectoral Councils are on their 15th meeting, hence the very slow progress on Tourism and Wildlife Management at the EAC.

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