Tourism is one of the largest sectors in Africa, contributing approximately 3.3% to the total Sub-Saharan Africa GDP, and forecast to grow, in terms of GDP contribution by 5.2% between 2016-2026 in the same region. Various stakeholders have contributed to this growth, among them Non-governmental organizations. Here are different major roles which NGOs have played in developing tourism in Africa.
Driving Sustainable Tourism Due to the continuous growth and influx of tourists into the continent, the industry has at some point been criticized for various negative impacts on the environment. These include increased pressure on the natural resources, people displacement by investors in search for more land to develop, sex tourism, illegal hunting, and poaching, among others. Some NGOs have come in handy to salvage the situation, by for instance acting as watchdogs and critics of tourism policies by governments and/or companies and other organizations that are detrimental to the environment.
While most tourist destinations are based in rural areas such as HYPERLINK "https://travel.jumia.com/en-gb/hotels/kenya/samburu-county/6143945?q=Samburu%20County&checkin=2016-12-17&checkout=2016-12-18&roomCount=1&adults=1&deals%5B0%5D=1&freeBreakfast%5B0%5D=0&residentRate%5B0%5D=0" Samburu in Kenya, Omo River in Ethiopia, and Kabala in Sierra Leone just to mention a few; it is palpable that most of the host communities hardly benefit from tourism proceeds.
In relation to this, NGOs have played a prominent role in increasing rural development, since they often work at the grassroots level. They are also frequently involved in innumerable community-based development programs such as infrastructural development that not only benefit tourists but the locals as well. By ensuring fair distribution of benefits, NGOs help in safeguarding the long term economic gains for the rural communities.
Voluntourism Voluntourism or volunteer travel has become popular in Africa, as more people seek to do short term volunteer work, while at the same time partaking in tourism and exploring local destinations. Most of these volunteer opportunities are provided by either local or international NGOs, thus attracting more tourists into the continent.
Radisson Blu Hotel & Convention Center, Kigali With most of them organizing major conferences that bring together thousands of participants, NGOs majorly play a role in Africa’s conference tourism. The hospitality sector is especially a major benefactor, due to the massive HYPERLINK "https://travel.jumia.com/en-gb/kenya-vacation-packages" accommodation and catering services required during the conferences.
Foreign Direct Investment A 2016 UNCTAD report (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development), indicates that Africa recorded an increase in flow of foreign direct investment (FDI) of more than 25% compared to the same period last year. NGOs have in their part made numerous investments in the continent, especially by funding various development related projects.
Employment While undertaking the above-mentioned projects, there requires manpower to ensure r success and continuous development. NGOs that are proactive in engaging local communities have thus created employment in various positions both in the managerial and junior levels. This has helped African countries in tackling the ever-challenging high rate of unemployment particularly among the youth.
Cultural Integration NGOs are said to have a common value of integration and diversity. This calls for the inclusion of all regardless of ethnicity, religion, culture, disability, gender, and nationality. The organizations therefore act as a converging ground for different cultures, thus promoting cultural integration.
Non-Governmental Organizations, ranging from research-driven, to aid organizations, and activist groups, have had their cons including being criticized for contributing to the underdevelopment of the continent. However, it is no doubt that their role in Africa and particularly in the tourism industry has gone a long way in bettering the entire continent’s economy.
A job, lucrative or not, is a job after all. Sometimes one has to compromise in order to make a living, few people get a job their dream jobs. But once in a while there is an emergence of people who listen to their inner calling to pursue their passion.
The founder and head designer of Butterfly Couture, Chawa July is one of those few people who left their job to pursue their passion. An inspiring fact about July is that she is a self-taught fashion designer, she used to copy patterns from her old clothes until she learnt how to draw them, and she also searched information from the internet to increase her knowledge and skills.
“It all started as a hobby from my love for beautiful dresses and I started adjusting and making clothes for myself. Gradually people around me started to take interest in my craft and the hobby slowly grew into a profitable business,” July said.
The 41 year fashion designer from Molepolole worked her way up in the Procurement space for over 10 years. She worked at Stanbic Bank, Kromberg & Schubert and Clover Dairy as a Procurement supervisor. Her last job before she entered the fashion industry was a Manager for Contacts & Sourcing at a Facilities Management Company.
She established her fashion house in October 2019 and it has become synonyms with elegant wedding gowns and exquisite evening wear. July said when designing she is inspired by various aspects such as the client’s personality, the mood of the event and the theme. She further mentioned that every opportunity is to show her craft so she always aims to please.
“Every Butterfly Couture piece must represent the elegance and the creativity the brand is about,” she said. Butterfly Couture has adorned beauty queens; Miss Botswana 2021/2022 Ambrociah Samboko at Miss Universe in South Korea and Miss Botswana 2019,Oweditse Fafah Phirinyane during her reign of which is the highlight of her career. They have also marked their presence in a few fashion events locally and in the neighbouring countries.”
They showcased at The Grand Palm Wedding Expo, Masa Fashion Show, Miss Botswana Fashion Show and Sacunda plus Size Fashion Show. The will also be showcasing at Gabs July Fashion Show on the 15th of July alongside the South African designer, popularly known as the King of glamour David Tlale.
July also identified that one of the challenges they face in the couture is that, it’s a seasonal business. “There are times in the year when the business is great and challenging. Winter in particular, is difficult time to stay afloat as there aren’t as many events that people are inspired to dress spectacularly for,” she said. She further said that her aim is to be a prime couturier of choice in Botswana.
“Craft like your life depends on it because every happy client is 10 more referrals” is what she said when asked to serve a word of wisdom to people hoping to make it in the fashion industry.
The Botswana Gospel Music Awards (BOGMA) and the Annual Gospel Awards (AGA) are said to be no longer in existence and a joint venture project has been put up that will carry out the awarding of gospel musicians.
The new entity has been established as Gospel Music Awards, which is a project at this moment is nearer to dishing out the first Gospel Awards under the leadership of the dissolved entities (BOGMA and AGA). “The difference is the same, it is just that the two projects were run by different minds which had differing objectives,” said the project coordinator, Letsweletse Moshabi when asked what the difference was between the two previous awards.
He added that at this junction their focus is on the future of the gospel musicians and they would like to direct their energies to the new project and forgo the past projects. “The Music market especially the gospel genre is too small and that basically means the very small market was experiencing the imbalance in the supply and demand forces. At that stage, supply was more than the demand so the reason for the joint forces is to allow the supply and demand forces to readjust and form equilibrium,” added Moshabi.
The mandate and objectives of the project are to recognize and award gospel music talent, to create awareness of the Botswana gospel music industry and to create a platform where fellow musicians may exchange ideas and network amongst themselves and approach international markets in cohesion.
The first of these joint awards will be held on the 27th August 2022 at Molapo Showcase under the theme ‘Cohesiveness to Build’ where about 18 categories will be up for grabs.
The Kumnandi Ekhaya musik festival will be held on the 30th September 2022 at Thamaga village. The event coincides with the release of famous host, Dj Ngwazi’s first album called ‘spring day’ on the 2nd of September 2022.
The Thamaga born and raised Lefika Lushen Kebatlege is a disc jockey and a music producer signed under WanitwaMos Entertainment in South Africa. Famously known as Dj Ngwazi and formally known as DJ superstar, he has really worked hard to become one of the finest export DJs the country has produced. Internationally, he is described as a DJ from South African because of his works with popular music artist Master KG.
Meanwhile, the music festival will feature South African artists, Makhazi, Master KG, Prince Benza and Mthunzi. They will also be joined by some of the big local artists, Franco, Vee Mampeezy, among others. “The tickets of the concert will be available at Spar stores, webticket and Kings bar. There will be three categories for VIP tickets, the one that goes for P1000, P1500 and P2200,” said the Kumnandi Ekhaya musik fest promoter Sadie Swartz of Saysay Entertainment.
“We have a new system to tackle the cry of promoters about security at the events. We will have a team of 100 security men, 10 horses and 15 dogs. We also agreed with the police to help with traffic control and no tickets will be sold at the gate to avoid circulation of money which can attract thieves,” said Kagiso Gaodumelwe from All Night Security.
“I started deejaying back in the days when I was still schooling at Kagiso Senior School and I never stopped working towards my career since then. I have a career in South Africa, since 2018 when Master KG took me in and his support as a brother has taken me to places,” said DJ Ngwazi describing his career journey.
“Kumnandi Ekhaya is Zulu language which means ‘go monate ko gae’ in Setswana. The name came about as a way of inviting my South African fans and supporters to my home village Thamaga to come experience the joy that comes with celebrating our freedom and independence. I used isiZulu because it’s the dominant language in South Africa,” explained Dj Ngwazi.
“The concert will be held in an open space which was used for agricultural purposes and we would like to call it ‘Ko Legoleng’. With this concert I want to redeem the dignity of our village because we once had the cases of youth who were terrorizing the community, beating up people in the streets and stealing and these was really a concern in our community because they were tarnishing the village name,” said Dj Ngwazi.
The purpose of this concert is to empower the community of Thamaga and local artist, more especially artist from Thamaga village like, Kgabo Sereto traditional group. There will be a litter picking campaign around the village before the launch of the concert .The sponsors which are already on board are Dladleng Entertainment and Kings bar and there are still more sponsors to be revealed.
”As the Kumnandi Ekhaya musik fest management, we are going to buy food combos and take them to Thamaga village Kgotla so they can be donated to the less privileged and orphans. Starting from October we will be donating pads to all Junior Schools in Thamaga,” said Dj Ngwazi. Dj Ngwazi’s motivational words to other artist and everyone else; work hard, be patient and be determined.