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New UN report encourages African countries to exploit growing tourism sector.

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African governments should make it easier and safer for Africans to travel within the continent, the United Nations said in a new report released Thursday, noting that tourism demand there is increasingly driven by Africans themselves.

“Tourism is a dynamic sector with phenomenal potential in Africa. Properly managed it can contribute immensely to diversification and inclusion for vulnerable communities,” said Mukhisa Kituyi, Secretary-General of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

The agency’s “Economic Development in Africa Report 2017 focuses on tourism for transformative and inclusive growth.

Chantal Line Carpentier, Chief of UNCTAD’s New York office, said tourism export revenues tripled since 1998, from $14 billion to nearly $47 billion. Tourism now contributes to about 8.5 per cent of the continent’s gross domestic product (GDP), compared with 6.8 per cent in 1998.

“African tourism is increasingly driven by Africans themselves due to a growing middle-income class,” Ms. Carpentier told a press conference at UN Headquarters, adding that four out of 10 international tourists in Africa are from the continent itself.

“By 2026, tourism’s direct contribution to GDP is forecast to surpass $121 billion,” she noted.

Highlighting some of the findings from the report, Ms. Carpentier said to realize the continent’s economic growth, governments should take steps to liberalise air transport, promote the free movement of persons, ensure currency convertibility and, crucially, recognise the value of African tourism and plan for it.

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She noted the importance of easing red tape in travel between countries, such as limiting the number of visas needed when traveling on the continent, using the European Union’s one visa as an example.

Tourism is a dynamic sector with phenomenal potential in Africa

The UN official also noted the importance of keeping money in the continent – such as by sourcing food from local farmers, many of whom are living in poverty, instead of importing from overseas.

“This will require capacity building for producers to meet international standards and produce in time to meet demands,” Ms. Carpentier noted.

She added that the growing tourism sector offers opportunities for young people, who globally make up about half of the tourism labour force.

The sector is also heavily women-driven, with nearly one-third of jobs taken up by women, and nearly half in the hotel and restaurant sector.

Tourism and perceptions of peace

Another important theme highlighted in the report is the mutually beneficial relationship between peace – or its perceptions – and tourism.

It notes that the economic impacts of political stability can be quite significant and long-lasting. For example, following political instability in Tunisia, total tourism receipts in 2009–2011 declined by 27 per cent on average, from $3.5 billion in 2009 to $2.5 billion in 2011.

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“Addressing safety and security concerns as well as swift responses to crises by African governments and regional institutions are paramount to the growth of tourism in Africa,” UNCTAD said.

“Promoting strategies aimed at improving Africa’s image in the global media are also critical in ensuring the sector’s recovery after conflict or political unrest.”

The mere appearance of instability in a region can deter tourists, leading to devastating, long-lasting economic consequences. However, the perception of danger does not always correspond with reality, according to the UN agency.

The 2014 Ebola outbreak in western Africa, despite being isolated to relatively few countries in that region, resulted in a loss across the entire continent.

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Ori- Oke Mokola, For The Records | By Toye Arulogun

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The city of Ibadan is being saturated with billboards of “Ori Oke Mokola” transformation by Goldberg, one of the lager brands from the stable of Nigerian Breweries Plc. On the A frame boards which can be sighted in some locations is the picture of Governor Seyi Makinde proudly displayed amidst the text announcing the transformation of the “tarmac” on the open space of the car park of the Cultural Centre.

For the records, the Goldberg Village which was the brand name of the proposed reconfigured recreational space called Ori Oke Mokola was a Nigerian Breweries proposal approved by Late Governor Abiola Ajimobi as recommended by the Oyo State Ministry of Information Culture and Tourism at the twilight of the unprecedented second term of the Koseleri Governor.

The transformation of Ori-Oke Mokola was to be at no cost to the Oyo State Governor while Nigerian Breweries bears the full cost of the makeover of the popular joint.

If Nigerian Breweries has completed the project at cost to the company, why the overt celebration with GSM’s picture on a project initiated by the Ajimobi government or is Nigerian Breweries playing to the gallery?

If so, the corporate giant and its Dutch headquarters need a review of its corporate social responsibility policy and steer clear of local politics.

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For the records again, the Akala administration started the dualisation of Queen Elizabeth road while the Ajimobi government completed it, yet you would never find it in any compilation or compendium on the many achievements of the only government with a two term mandate in Oyo State.

Government truly is a continuum but credit should be given to whom it is due, especially when it has not cost the borrowing government of Governor Seyi Makinde a dime, except the signature of the immediate past governor of Oyo State….unless a fresh proposal and approval happened. And even then…..

 

 

Toye Arulogun 

Immediate Past Commissioner for Information, Culture & Tourism,
Oyo State

 

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The untold story of legendary Obadoke Aare Latoosa | By Arowolo-Are Jubril

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Like many other Ibadan war lords and rulers, Mohammad Obadoke Aare Latoosa  was a native of Ilora, near Oyo. His father was Ore Orisa Oyatoosa while the mother bored Oyatooki. Both were river goddess worshippers. 

Being young and adventurous, Obadoke left his parents’ Bantu house of Okutuoje compound at Ilora for Ibadan in search of greener pastures.

Although, an altercation with a prominent Oyo ruler was said to have prompted this move.

On his arrival in Ibadan, Obadoke settled at a place around Oniyanrin-Nalende axis ( in the present Ibadan North Local Government), where he engaged in palm wine selling.

Obadoke was reputed to be versed in the knowledge of palm tree planting that he could tell the harvest period and profits with faultless precision!

Then, his palm wine selling exploits connected him with Beyioku Akere one of the promising warriors in Ibadan land. Akere later introduced him to Ogunmola who held the title of Bada under Iba Oluyole during the period.

During their meeting, Obadoke Oyatoosa’s bravery, confidence and war situation exploits impressed Ogunmola and he drafted Oyatoosa into his private army for which he later became the captain.

In the bid to have Obadoke Oyatoosa closer to him, Ogunmola settled him at a hill top which was then a dreaded forest that harbored a dangerous human eating lion! The choice of the hill top (now Oke Aare) was not particularly the making of Ogunmola who thought Obadoke could not survive the deadly animal. But Oyatoosa opted to settle in, regardless of any kind of threats!

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However, within the next few days, Obadoke caught the lion alive and took it on his shoulder to Ogunmola who was dazed with Oyatoosa’s bravery.

It’s interesting to know that Obadoke cut off the lion’s head and adopted it as one of his symbols of authority!

Having settled well at Oke Aare, he got married to Osubunmi, Ibeji and Moriola in succession but the unions were fruitless until after about 16 years when he had Sanusi as the first child. This happened after reverted to Islam and he believed that the change in religion influenced the birth of his son. There after, Obadoke adopted the name ‘Mohammad’ (Momodu in Yoruba pronunciation), with the aid of the then Emir of Ilorin, Abdul Salam who had earlier conquered Katunga, the capital of Old Oyo Empire with the fall of Afonja.

Since then, Mohammad Obadoke Oyatoosa never looked back. He was fully involved in many territorial conquests as the captain of Ogunmola’s private army from where he rose through the ranks until he got the ultimate title: Aare Onakakanfo of Yoruba land.

He started on the leadership line with the title of Are-Ago Balogun during the reign of Baale Oyesile Olugbode, (1851-1864), Otun Seriki during the time of Bashorun Ogunmola, (1865-1867) and Otun Balogun during the short reigns of Balogun Beyioku Akere (1867-1870), and Baale Orowusi Awarun Ososo (1870-1871). Akere as the Balogun during the reign of Bashorun Ogunmola was to assume the Baale position after Ogunmola’s demise but he, (Akere) deferred it until after he must have won Oke Ogun war. Although, Akere won but he died after his victorious return and few days to his installation.

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To be continued…

 

Arowolo-Are Jubril,  journalist and media consultant, sent this piece from Ibadan, Oyo state.

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Ibadan 125 room-Irefin Palace to rival London’s Buckingham Palace, Oyo govt. boasts

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Oyo State government has disclosed that the historical Irefin Palace in Ibadan has been positioned to rival the Buckingham Palace in the United Kingdom as the State has entered into agreement with private partners to promote notable tourist sites.

The State Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Dr. Wasiu Olatubosun stated this recently while playing host to the Irefin Royal Family of Ibadan at his office.

The family held an historical significance of being the descendants of Oba Onirefin who built the biggest palace of 125 rooms in the history of Yorubaland, during his reign between 1912 to 1914.

Late Oba Onirefin was noted for his philanthropic efforts, especially in promotion of education as he was said to be the highest donor to the establishment of the popular Ibadan Grammar School where he donated 100 pounds and the land upon which the school was built.

Olatubosun boasted that the Seyi Makinde led government has turned away from the old style of neglecting tourism as a means of generating internal revenue and has adopted the public-private-partnership model to develop and promote major tourist sites in the State.

“We want to work with the Irefin Royal Family to bring more attention to the tourism potential of the palace and the significance of it to humanity, the palace is not just a structure, it symbolizes love, it symbolizes philanthropy.

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“The late Oba Onirefin was a giver and lover of educational development, that is why the State government will support the family to promote the palace to be as famous as the Buckingham Palace in the United Kingdom, look at the number of people that troop to the U.K to see the palace among other sites, it will generate goodwill for the government and promote the tourism industry in the State.”

The leader of the family who doubled as the Coordinator of the Irefin Historical Palace Foundation, Prince Omokayode Ayinla Irefin said the family was happy with the stride of Oyo State government towards promoting the tourism sector in the State.

Omokayode said the Irefin Palace Heritage Tourism Development Foundation has entered into agreement with a foreign partner to train youths that are interested in tourism and send them abroad for the practical aspect of the job.

He, however called on other notable families in the State with historical potentials to emulate the Irefin Tourism foundation so as to diversify the State’s economy and gain more from foreign input into tourism.

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