Envoy challenges EA media to promote tourist attractions
German Development Agency (GIZ) head of programmes Niels von Keyserlingk has called on media practitioners in East Africa to promote available natural resources and tourist destinations for the development of the sector in the region.
He sounded the call here recently when addressing a group of journalists from five EAC countries, who visited Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA), after undergoing a one-week training on regional integration reporting.
Keyserlingk said that the EAC, particularly Tanzania, had wonderful tourist destinations which need to be promoted to get more foreign tourists from all corners of the world.
“This will also stimulate economic growth of the region and individual countries. It is amazing to see live wild animals in NCAA and more people would like to come and see these resources with their own eyes as we did today,” he said.
He also implored the need for journalists in the region to actively play their role in fostering EAC regional integration. Keyserlingk said that the regional integration would achieve its intended mission if the media actively played it role.
“Media acts as a bridge, that links EAC secretariat and the people of East Africa. So, this noble role shouldn’t be underestimated,” he said, calling on the secretariat closely work with the media.
The German envoy also stated that the people of East Africa depend on the media’s curiosity, persistence and integrity to communicate the message and spirit of integration.
“As such, the media will have to continue to enhance the quality and professionalism in reporting on EAC matters within the region,” he stressed.
He stated that media in the region should ensure that key issues related to the EAC need to be highlighted in their respective countries so that the regional body serves its people effectively.
On behalf of EAC secretariat’s communication unit, Bobi Odiko, said that the secretariat viewed the media as its closest friend, hence more room would be expanded for East Africans to understand key issues related to the regional integration process.
“The media themselves may have to take deliberate interest in the development story and as well as innovative ways and means of presenting it in captivating ways to their audiences,” he said.
For his part, NCAA public relations manager Adam Akyoo, said that the authority get a total of 450,000, tourists accounting for 60 per cent of the average 770,000 tourists visiting Tanzania annually.
“The number of tourists and communities living in the area has been increasing, the move which poses a great challenge to the management of NCAA. But we’re working hard to cope with this challenge,” he said.
The NCCA’s wildlife and land has been a Unesco heritage site since 1979 and now its cultural heritage is to be included and is the only site in the world with a high concentration of wildlife living in harmony with human beings.
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