The Faraja Safaris, Events, Properties and Bookings Community Empowerment Portal, is a Local Content Optimization Project of the Ummah Initiative Group (UIG) supported by Base Titanium and Kenya Ministry of Tourism.
Allows enlisting and marketing of all hotels and other tourism facilities and features across the 47 counties in Kenya creating business relations with clients, and most importantly opening a wide range of direct and indirect agent business plug in opportunities for the economic empowerment of local communities. This makes it possible for local youths and women to engage themselves in meaningful economic activities with minimal business capital.
Delegates attending Faraja events including conferences, exhibitions and excursions can secure discounted rates from surrounding hotels through the Faraja booking platform. Discounted rates can also be secured for a wide range of entertainment activities during and after the events. Booking through the Faraja platform allows our booking officials sourced from the respective communities the opportunity to earn a living.
Delegates attending non Faraja events across the counties could still use the platform for discounted rates on hotels and other tourism facilities and features, allowing our authorised booking officials sourced from the respective communities the opportunity to generate income.
The Faraja Safaris and Events platform creates room for community members to innovatively package unique safari tourism activities and events within their surroundings and enlist for promotion on the platform.
TALKING NOTES BY HON. SAFINA KWEKWE TSUNGU (CBS), PRINCILPAL SECRETARY, STATE DEPARTMENT FOR TOURISM DURING THE LAUNCH OF TIJARA ONLINE COMMUNITY STORE, FARAJA SAFARIS, DESTINATIONS, EVENTS & PROPERTIES DIGITAL PLATFORMS ON SATURDAY 17TH OCTOBER 2020 AT LEOPARD BEACH RESORT, DIANI
It gives me immense pleasure to preside over the official Launch of the Tijara Online Community Store, Faraja Safaris, Destinations, Events & Properties Digital Platforms. I am informed that the launch is a culmination of research and consultations between Qivuli cha Faraja and the community, stakeholders, experts and partners. The findings from the study can be shared with the County leadership and other development partners to guide in decision making. I commend you for diligently working towards this day by putting everything into perspective to get this project on its feet.
During the current pandemic period, there is need for a shift in thought processes and deconstruction of traditional solutions to our everyday challenges. I am glad that as the youth of Kwale County, you have become part of the solution of the many problems we are currently facing in our County.
Faraja Destinations will be a platform that markets the County and also provides an opportunity to profile and showcase the tourism assets and the rich culture and of our people. This will spur interest in preservation of culture and enhance Marketing of Kwale County as the ideal tourism destination.
The Tijara online market is a great idea that integrates different actors into a community of suppliers and buyers. Diversification of tourism and other products and their digitalization is the next frontier. The digital platforms being launched today are testament to this reality.
I wish to retaliate the support of the National Government in making these and other initiatives a success story through different interventions such as;
Once again let me thank you for the good work done so far. This is the first step of a long journey ahead, and together, we shall succeed. We are here for good as your success is the success of the entire tourism industry.
With those remarks, it is now my pleasure to declare the Tijara online community store, Faraja safaris, destinations, events & properties digital platforms officially launched.
God bless you all, ASANTE!
EVENTS, MEETINGS OR CONFERENCES WORLD OVER IS BIG BUSINESS, IT IS A TRILLION-DOLLAR ECONOMY WORLDWIDE – SPEECH BY JACINTA NZIOKA CEO KENYA NATIONAL BUREAU OF CONVENTIONS
Madam PS, dignitaries, VIPs, colleagues from the ministry agencies, UMMAH community, I love when I see women and youth working together, because I know that is where communities gather their strength from. So, congratulations UMMAH. The National Convention Bureau is a relatively new agency parastatal formed under the Ministry of Tourism and Wild Life. I serve as the CEO of the bureau and our mandate is to promote Kenya and develop Kenya for meetings, incentives, conferences, conventions, events and exhibitions. So the launch of the Faraja Safaris and Events Bookings Community Empowerment Portal comes in as a valuable unique addition to the sector, especially because of the unique spaces created to allow optimization of direct and indirect events economic opportunities by local community members.
If you look at countries like South Africa, they have one big annual mining conference. In fact, they call it “The Mining Indaba”. The launch of the Faraja platform and hosting of annual events is a great step forward. Kwale is the home of mining in Kenya, and UIG has set the pace towards having our own mining Baraza, because this is where we can showcase what mining is, what it has done for our communities, what it has done for our environment and what we have learnt as a community. And we can share our stories with the world. So feel encouraged UMMMAH. You are on the right footing and we come in very excited to be able to support you.
As a government agency, our primary obligations include; increasing the number of business events hosted in Kenya, or to deliver events that are impactful. This means that we will be bidding for meetings and events of international status to be hosted in Kenya. We also have a responsibility to ensure that as a country our identity or strength is recognized and appreciated at the global level. We also have a responsibility to capacity build and position the different parts of our country to build their own events taking advantage of their unique environmental and cultural setup.
The other core mandate of the bureau is to support professionalization of the Meetings industry, so that when you have an event like this and you want to grow it to become an International Mining Baraza, there are things that you must put in place. You must do it professionally as a conference organizer. You must have the relevant facilities. Facilities that are unique to this region. We should not always host our events in a closed room, we can do it out there. Somewhere in a nice innovative outdoor feeling, to bring in the ambience and the culture and the nature of this area. It is our mandate to develop the relevant standards and certifications needed in the meetings sector.
So UIG, those are the areas that we are going to be working with you. My colleagues re here, and they will stay till the end so that we can engage further and be able to see and identify areas of corporation.
Events, meetings or conferences world over is big business, it is a trillion-dollar economy worldwide but Africa only takes 3% of the global meetings industry. From the 3% share for Africa, Kenya’s share is only 6.5%. Kenya’s share of that 3% is only 6.5%. Countries such as Egypt, South Africa, Morocco, they do huge events, they do field events that bring the world to their areas. We need to catch up as a country and I feel encouraged to be part of this event today where we are launching the Faraja Safaris and Events Community Empowerment Portal. We can work together to be able to position Kenya to get market share growth in this potential industry.
When you look at a destination that can do well in business tourism or MICE, we call it MICE. MICE standing for Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, Exhibitions and Events. For a destination to do well or to thrive in MICE, there are key factor to consider and invest in:
Accessibility is key, if we look at Kwale as a destination we can say we have an airport and there are plans for its expansion. The road network is definitely improving with all the bypasses that you are aware of.
Safety and security because when you go for a business meeting, like you are here at this conference, you want to be sure that you are in a good place. You will get out after your conference and go to the beach. You want to walk safely, somewhere you will go to a shop or to the market and interact with local people. The effort made by the Faraja Safaris and Events Community Empowerment Portal to ensure mutually fulfilling investor – community relations is a great step towards achieving peaceful coexistence and preventing insecurity incidences such as the Kaya Bombo post-election violence and Pwani Si Kenya campaign by the radical Mombasa Republican Council Group
Quality, number one in terms of facilities and number two in terms of service. We are not short of good service as Kenyans, we are known for hospitality and the Coastal people are extremely friendly people who are able to welcome guests and be able to showcase their uniqueness.
Thriving Economy, of course this industry depends a lot on how market economies are doing. You will not see meetings or conferences where the economy is not doing well. If the economy is not thriving it is difficult to have business meetings, because people go for business meetings to discuss business issues. You are either looking at strategies, testing some policies or sharing trends in a certain area, so there must be things happening. So, our own home-grown economies and the sectors such as mining can support a conference like this because we have that strength.
Of course, for Leisure Diani is Africa’s number one for many years and we know it. We can only grow by focusing on this new soft tourism, the business traveler. People who are coming here, even school children, universities, researchers, to come and see how we rehabilitated this place and what we put in after this mining. Also to learn about technologies. There is going to be a lot of technologies transfer from these companies to locals and local companies. That is something that we can invite the world and be able to showcase.
But for the MICE sector or the events or the meetings sector we cannot be left behind as a bureau even as we talk about what happens post Base Titanium rehabilitation.
Thank you very much.
I want to commend Ummah Initiative Group for this achievement today, the official launch of the Faraja Safaris, Events, Properties and Bookings Community Empowerment Platform. Since 2012, Base Titanium has been supporting UIG in its Community programs. Each year we have helped UIG to organise and deliver tours and events supported by the Mining Sector and Tourism sector in Kwale. I’m happy that you took the COVID 19 challenge positively and it helped you develop solutions to outlast the COVID period and help your organisation to expand and sustain your community empowerment programs. As you delve deeper into the virtual business space, my advice to you is to always guarantee quality and earn trust for each good and service offered. As the largest mining company in Kenya, we have done our very best to introduce world class technology which has given your organisation the opportunity to organise tours for different stakeholders to the mine site and to the Likoni mineral shipment port. We are the first company in Kenya to establish Community Development Agreement Committees as per the Mining Act 2016 and Mining Regulations 2017, again this has given your organisation the opportunity to invite other stakeholders to learn about CDACs and also to participate in policy discussions to appreciate the strengths and opportunities and discuss ways to mitigate weaknesses and threats. Base Titanium is a responsible mining company implementing a wide range of environmental conservation and enrichment programs. There is so much to showcase for the benefit of a wide range of Local and international stakeholders. The launch of the Faraja Safaris and Events Bookings Community Empowerment Platform gives you a more competitive advantage to consolidate your vision and efforts so you can impact the local community in Kwale, support sector growth and community development in Kenya, and as well contribute valuable benefits to the global community.
SPEECH BY FREDRICK WAFULA
REGIONAL MINING OFFICER
MINISTRY OF MINING & PETROLEUM
As a ministry what I can say right now, the extractive sector is playing a very key role in nearly all the development sectors. Whether we talk of industrialisation, housing, Agriculture, or even when we talk of health. The IVOD Conference, Exhibitions and Excursions Focusing on the Extractives (Mining, Oil and Gas), Tourism, Blue Economy and Agribusiness is taking place at the right place and right time, because Kwale County is endowed with all industrial minerals. For instance Base Titanium here in Kwale is extracting industrial minerals contributing to the global industrial needs, housing and health sector. Coast Calcium here in Kwale County produces products that support serious agribusiness activities including fertilizers and livestock feeds. This forum today should help us evaluate how such products create opportunities for the realization of the Kwale community empowerment development agenda.
What I would like to allude to here is that Kwale is a very lucrative destination in terms of resources, and bearing in mind the kind of improvement in infrastructure, many interested partners are coming, showing willingness to invest in our beautiful county. And therefore what does that one mean to Ummah? You have started in advance. As much as people come to do benchmarking at Base Titanium, let other regions now come to do benchmarking with Ummah Initiative in Kwale County.
As the Ministry of Petroleum and Mining, we are there to show you more opportunities and introduce you to more partners.
As we look forward to the Shimoni Port, it also means more investors will be coming to Kwale. The Annual IVOD Conference, Exhibitions and Excursions is a perfect forum to market this opportunities and to attract potential investors.
In Kwale we also have other valuable minerals such as the gemstones in Kuranze, bordering Taita Taveta County. The government established a value addition centre to help the miners maximize the economic benefits. This annual conference will give us the opportunity to review our progress and find solutions to the challenges affecting the sector.
The enactment of the Mining Act 2016 and Mining Regulations led to the gazetment of the Msambweni Community Development Committee, Lungalunga Community Development Committee and Likoni Community Development Committee. I believe Ummah Initiative can work very closely with these CDACs, to contribute to the overall goal of this conference and wider community development agenda. The Mining Act and Regulations have proposed at least 1% of the total revenue, meaning it is possible to increase the percentage to 2% or even 3%. These resource can be used to make significant economic development for our people.
MANAGER UKUNDA MUNICIPALITY
KWALE COUNTY GOVERNMENT
I am impressed by the collaboration between Ummah Initiative and the Ministry of Tourism led by the Principal Secretary Hon Safina Kwekwe. Diani is a famous world tourist destination, and we are offering 100% support to all the initiatives that will diversify and promote this destination to attract more business.
I have worked with Ummah Initiative very closely, and I am happy to see them grow their networks and partnerships as can be seen today in this conference. This means that you are on the right track, and you have the support and good will from very many potential stakeholders. This significantly increases your ability to advocate for the positive community change you desire to achieve.
Lastly I want to thank Base Titanium for cautioning the Kwale residents from COVID -19 economic challenges. Besides Tourism, Kwale County heavily depends on Base Titanium, which ensures money circulation within the community through employment benefits and value chain opportunities. We must ensure this trend continues beyond the lifetime of the mine, otherwise a huge economic gap with severe implications will be created once the company closes shop.
The proposed Mukurumudzi Ecotourism Camp and Adventures at Base Titanium will help diversify our tourism products and also encourage local tourism during these difficult moments of COVID – 19. Gogoni forest is very strategic and can support introduction of wild animals. Sports tourism also pays good returns. Whereas the ocean and the beach have unique sports opportunities, I’m sure the proposals made to diversify sports tourism in Kwale will add value to our competitive advantage as a destination.