This is a roundup of the some of the more interesting travel, vacation and entertainment news from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Zambia!
Kenya: WTO Conference to be Held in Kenya
Nairobi — All eyes will be on Kenya again this week as Nairobi hosts the 10th World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference (MC10) between December 15 and 18.
This is the first time the conference is taking place in Africa.
The Conference is expected to bring about Sh2.6 billion (about US$25,000,000) into the Kenyan economy, Tourism Cabinet Secretary, Najib Balala, has said.
Expected to attract more than 7,000 delegates from all over the world, this gathering will give Kenya a chance to showcase her preparedness for conference tourism.
"We expect each conference delegate to spend an average of Sh375,000 which will translate into approximately Sh2.6 billion for the Kenyan economy through the multiplier effect", he said.
"This is the biggest conference ever to be hosted in Sub-Saharan Africa and we are not taking chances in ensuring we meet the international standards."
The ministerial conference is the highest decision making body of WTO and where the business of WTO is conducted.
The WTO meeting comes a few months after Kenya hosted the Global Entrepreneur Summit led by US President Barack Obama, and this will be a big win for tourism in the country.
Tanzania: AfDB Gives Dar US$348 Million to Upgrade Transport in Tanzania
Tanzania has received a $346 million loan from the African Development Bank (AfDB) for rehabilitation and upgrading of its transport sector, as well to support construction of social infrastructure.
Tanzania's Transport Sector Support Program, to be implemented in five years is expected to cost $384.29 million with the development bank's contribution representing 88 percent, 22 percent ($75 million) of which is a concessional loan, while the government will provide the remaining 12 percent.
The bank said that the development of Tanzania's transport sector will make it possible for the country to tap into its vast natural resources including agriculture and tourism and promote economic growth, helping the country to attain middle-income status.
Uganda: Railway Service is a Noble Idea
This week, the commuter railway service was reintroduced as a joint venture between Kampala City Authority, Uganda Railways Corporation, and Rift Valley Railways.
The service could become a tourist attraction according to tourism experts. The current train route which traverses a 14km stretch from Namanve to Kampala city and back may provide a chance for visitors to the city to explore without having to put up with the traffic jam that afflicts road transport.
Rwanda: Japanese Film Festival Opens At Kwetu
The Japanese film festival opened earlier this month at the Kwetu Film Institute in Gaculiro, Kigali. The five-day event featured one movie every day.
Speaking on behalf of the Japanese embassy in Rwanda, Tomio Sakamoto said that the intention of the occasion is to showcase Japanese culture.
“We have different lifestyles in Japan, so we want to share all these with Rwanda and the rest of the world," he says.
Sakamoto added that much as such films will expose Rwandans to Japanese culture, Japanese are also interested in learning the Rwandan culture.
Market Northern Zambia
PF Pambashe Member of Parliament, Ronald Chitotela, has urged the Tourism Board of Zambia to intensify marketing of tourist attractions in the Northern region.
He said the move will attract the private sector to invest in the region which has a lot of potential. The Kalungwishi River in Kawambwa District, has five water falls which are great tourist attractions.
He told ZNBC news after visiting Kabwelume water falls, that President Edgar Lungu has been spearheading diversification of the economy to Tourism and Agriculture, among others. He explained that President Lungu has since directed the Ministry of Works and Supply to speed up the process of advertising for an upgrade of Kawambwa -Mporokoso road to attract investment in the area.
He added that the Government is eager to see that the project to construct the Kalungwishi Hydro Power station which will generate 440 megawatts of power takes off in March 2016.