Tanzania tour operators honor conservation and tourism stars

image courtesy of A.Ihucha | eTurboNews | eTN
image courtesy of A.Ihucha

Tanzania tourism champion bestows awards on conservation and tourism stars to commemorate the father of the nation, Mwl. Julius K. Nyerere.

Dr. Allan Kijazi, a former Director General of the state-run conservation and tourism agency of Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA), along with the serving TANAPA Conservation Chief, Mr. William Mwakilema, and the Arusha Region Commissioner, Mr. John Mongella, have been recognized by the Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (TATO) for their outstanding work in conservation and the tourism industry.

Dr. Kijazi who has been in the field for over three decades, is considered as among the few people in history who deserves sole credit for spearheading sustainable conservation, stimulating the tourism industry, and fostering a good relationship between TANAPA and tour operators.

“This certificate is awarded to Dr. Allan Kijazi in recognition of his outstanding service in conservation and the tourism industry in Tanzania and fostering a good rapport with TATO and its members” reads the award signed by TATO Chairman, Mr. Wilbard Chambulo.

It is understood, a humble but firm Dr. Kijazi spearheaded a raft of measures in a conservation drive that saw the creation of a number of the national parks along with tourism industry growth at the benefit of local communities and the national economy at large. For instance, TANAPA witnessed its national parks increasing to 22, covering almost 99,306.5 square kilometers, up from 16, with only 57,024 square kilometers in 2019.

“Dr. Kijazi is a brainchild of strategic policy that deliberately offers local tour operators a priority to have accommodation facilities within the national parks in his patriotic spirit to empower natives to own the tourism economy,” said Mr. Chambulo.

“This certificate is awarded to Mr. William Mwakilema in recognition of his extraordinary support of the Serengeti De-snaring program spearheaded by TATO, Frankfurt Zoological Society and TANAPA” reads the document signed by TATO chief.

Mr. Mwakilema, the incumbent TANAPA Conservation Commissioner, is credited with collaborating with the TATO chairman to initiate an extensive anti-poaching program designed to protect the priceless wildlife heritage of Africa’s wild animals in the richest of national parks of the Serengeti.

A De-snaring Program, the first of its kind bankrolled by TATO members and other well-wishers, was implemented by the FZS – an International renowned conservation organization with over 60 years of experience.

The program was designed to remove the widespread snares set by local bush meat mongers to trap mass wildlife within the Serengeti and beyond.

The once poverty-driven subsistence poaching has slowly but surely graduated into a large-scale and commercial endeavor, putting Tanzania’s flagship national Serengeti park under renewed pressure after a brief stint of a lull.

TATO also acknowledged Arusha Region Commissioner, Mr. John Mongella, for his painstaking efforts to create an enabling environment for tourism to flourish in Arusha, the country designated as a safari capital.

“This certificate is award to Mr. John Mongella in recognition of his great support in creating a conducive environment for tourism business to thrive in Arusha” reads the certificate signed by the TATO boss.

Speaking at the colorful event, Dr. Kijazi expressed his gratitude to TATO for recognizing him and pledged to continue cooperating with tour operators at the individual capacity for his entire life.

“Despite the fact that I’m currently serving as the Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Lands, I can assure you that my passion on conservation and tourism is still intact. Count me as part of the family,” he said amid applause from the floor.

For his part, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, Prof. Eliamani Sedoyeka, commended TATO for organizing such an event in honor of the great statesman, Mwl. Nyerere.

During the day in honor of Nyerere, TATO distributed Mwl. Nyerere books to various players to cultivate a culture of reading his philosophies of leadership and to learn about his life’s work. Sixty-one years ago the first President of the United Republic of Tanzania, the late Mwalimu Julius K. Nyerere, recognized the integral part that wildlife plays in the country.

In September 1961 at a symposium on the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, he gave a speech that laid the foundation for conservation in post-independent Tanzania. The extract of that speech has become known as the Arusha Manifesto.

“The survival of our wildlife is a matter of grave concern to all of us in Africa. These wild creatures amid the wild places they inhabit are not only important as a source of wonder and inspiration but are an integral part of our natural resources and our future livelihood and wellbeing.

“In accepting the trusteeship of our wildlife, we solemnly declare that we will do everything in our power to make sure that our children’s grandchildren will be able to enjoy this rich and precious inheritance.”

About the author

Adam Ihucha - eTN Tanzania

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