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Tanzanian tourism minister does not make the cut



TANZANIA (eTN) – Tanzania’s president has formed and appointed a new cabinet of ministers to run his five-year term government but skipped appointing the Minister for Tourism and Natural Resources, a key ministry in Tanzania’s economic development.

Announcing his newly-appointed cabinet of 19 ministers at a press conference in the Tanzanian capital city of Dar es Salaam today, Thursday, December 10, 2015, President Dr. John Magufuli told journalists that he is looking for the best, most competent and qualified person to hold the tourism ministerial portfolio.

“The minister is yet to be identified. … I am still searching for a person to fill this post,” said the serious Tanzanian president.

The Tanzanian president has, however, appointed Mr. Ramoi Makani, a lesser-known personality in the tourism industry, as a junior Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism.

Mr. Makani, a new entrant in Tanzania’s politics and government functions, will be in charge of key businesses in the tourism ministry, and is charged with overseeing the daily activities in key areas under the ministry including the tourism sub-sector, wildlife conservation and protection, forestry, and the antiquities sub-sector.

During his presidential campaign in October, Dr. Magufuli promised voters he would develop Tanzania’s tourism and vowed to fight poaching of elephants and other wildlife species, which are the biggest attractions for foreign and local tourists.

He promised to revive Tanzania’s ailing airline, Air Tanzania Company Limited (ATCL), as a strategy to attract more tourists to fly to Tanzania from other corners of the world.

Standing among key government ministries in Tanzania’s economy, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism is responsible for the daily administration of Tanzanian’s natural resources made up of wildlife and forests, tourism, and the travel trade, while monitoring challenges facing Tanzania’s tourist industry at this time when Tanzania’s tourism marketing campaign is facing budgetary constraints.

When appointed, the new tourism minister will also be responsible for overseeing daily activities affecting his ministry’s departments, including wildlife and forest resources, which members of parliament and the Tanzanian people have complained of being looted by foreign companies.

Poaching of elephants and rhinos is a big problem that this new minister will be dealing with, while corruption in key wildlife conservation departments in Tanzania seems to be a block ahead of his daily performance.

The ministry will also be responsible for controlling key tourist sites, including the 16 tourist national parks, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area where the famous Ngorongoro Crater is located, game reserves including the Selous Game Reserve, game-controlled areas, and open wildlife habitat areas.

Tanzania, the largest country in East Africa, is focused on wildlife conservation and sustainable tourism, with approximately 28 percent of the total land area protected by the government for biodiversity heritage.

Mr. Lazaro Nyalandu was the immediate former Tourism Minister before the expiration of his term after the dissolution of the past government under former President Jakaya Kikwete. He held the ministerial post since January of last year at which time he took over from Mr. Khamis Kagasheki who resigned from the post after the parliament accused his juniors over injustice during an anti-poaching drive.

Source : Apolinari Tairo, eTN Tanzania Correspondent

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