Remarks by H.E. Baraka Luvanda – Ambassador of the United Republic of Tanzania to Japan at the Launching of The Royal Tour Documentary on the Margins of 2022 Tourism EXPO, Tokyo, 22 September 2022
Dear Friends! Ladies and Gentlemen!
At the outset, I wish to sincerely thank all of you for accepting our invitation to join us at this brief function. We greatly appreciate your interest in Tanzania and as we say in Kiswahili, Karibuni sana!
The idea of launching this documentary in Japanese language came about when I arrived in Tokyo in December last year and realized how much importance Japanese attach to their Japanese language.
It clearly reminds me of a famous passage by Frantz Fanon’s seminal novel that quote: “To speak a language is to take a world, a culture…end of quote.”
Surely, there could not be a better way of passing on a message contained in this documentary that you will have opportunity to see and hear today than through its translated version from Kiswahili to Japanese. And so, it is so fascinating how fast this idea has taken to materialize.
But Friends, let me also thank all those partners who have helped with the logistics of this event. As we say in Kiswahili, Asanteni sana. I also thank allthose behind the scenes who are always forgotten, for the job well done.
I particularly applaud the courage and the audacity of having it at the time when the fight against COVID-19 pandemic is not yet over. This is particularly, laudable as the world realizes that we must adapt to “the new normal” in dealing with the pandemic.
We see your presence here today as a sign of respect and love you have for Tanzania.
I therefore indulge you to permit me to remain sincere to my intentions of offering you the most skeleton of ideas of what Tanzania is and, what it offers to visitors like you. I say the most skeleton deliberately because the documentary will fill up the gaps in my explanations.
The Untied Republic of Tanzania comprises twoStates namely, Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar with an area of 945,087 square kilometers. It is the biggest country in East Africa - (likened as Germany and France put together).
We have just conducted the National Census last month, but the 2020 population projections were around 59.4 million people.
Tanzania has the longest coastal strip in East Africa – 1,424 kilometers and borders eight countries, namely, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique.
Six of these countries have no direct access to the sea and therefore Tanzania provides the shortest, safest, convenient, and most economical access to the Indian Ocean to those six land-linked countriesout of the eight countries I have just mentioned.
Tanzania has over 120 different ethnic groups which exhibit the greatest linguistic diversity in other whole of Africa. Whereas Kiswahili is the national language, English is the second language of communication and is widely spoken.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Tanzania is a country that is endowed with vast natural resources with the largest tracks of arable land for agriculture, tourism, mining, fishing and many other economic activities.
However, for purposes of this gathering today, I will confine myself to sharing withyoua few relevant facts relating to tourism attractions that Tanzania has in abundance:
- Tanzania is home to Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa and the highest free-standing mountain in the world (its height is 5,895 meters above sea level)
- Tanzania has set aside 32% of its land as protected areas. As a result,
- Tanzania is home to 22 national parks.
- Tanzania is home to 28 Game Reserves.
- Tanzania has 42 Game Controlled Areas.
- Tanzania has (04) Ramsar sites (the Malagarasi Muyovozi, the Kilombero Valley Flood Plain, the Lake Natron Basin and the Rufiji-Mafia-Kilwa Marine sites). Tanzania is a dedicated State Party to the Ramsar Convention which is aglobal framework for conservation and wise use of all wetlands through local and national actions and international cooperation.
- Tanzania has 02 Marine Parks.
- Tanzania has 33 Wildlife Conservation Areas.
- Tanzania has 01 Conservation Area, i.e., the Ngorongoro Crater, covering the Crater itself which is the only ancient living caldera in the world and the famous Olduvai Gorge known to be the place where the first man made his first steps.
- Tanzania has 06 nature reserves.
- Tanzania is home to seven(07)UNESCO World Heritage Sites namely, the Ngorongoro Crater, the Serengeti National Park where you have to visit around this time up until end of September each year to be able to see for yourself the world’s phenomenal greatest animal migration, the Kilimanjaro National Park, the Selous Game Reserve,the Ruins of Kilwa Kiswahili and Songo Mnara which are the remains of two ancient ports located on two islands close to each other just off the Tanzanian coast about 300 kilometers South of Dar es Salaam, the Kondoa Rock Art Site and the Stone Town of Zanzibar.
- Equally important,Tanzania is home to the great lakes – Lake Victoria which is the largest tropical lake in the world and Lake Tanganyika which is the 2nd deepest freshwater lake in the world
I would certainly go on and on. But there is also one more unique feature about Tanzania that attracts many to visit - Tanzania is the most peaceful and safest destination in Africa coined as “The African Haven of Peace.”
And I would add that we are very welcoming, hospitable and charming and friendly people. It is therefore no surprising that for more than thrice, Tanzania has been voted as the best safari destination country in Africa.
On its 2022 release in July this year, the Trip Advisor ranked four Tanzanian travel destinations as the best among the top 25 destinations in the world. The four destinations are the Serengeti National Park, the Kilimanjaro National Park, the Tarangire National Park, and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area).
You may also wish to note that Tanzania has an extensive selection of accommodation, transportation, and food facilities to cater for different budgets and tastes ranging from business to leisure and from one star to five stars.
In other words, Tanzania is a country which you can visit at any budget, anytime of the year and for a variety of touristic activities you may have in mind.
Some of these include the following:
- Mountain climbing
- Wildlife safaris
- Cultural tours
- Diving (You should expect to experience the likes of Fiji, Mauritius and Varadero beaches), etc.
- Beach and water-basedsports
- Historical sites tours
- Wildlife hunting
- Local food traits
- Nature tours
- Shopping of all sorts
- Night life for those of you who are passionate about it, and I could go on and on.
At this juncture, it would be quite appropriate if I advised you on the travel possibilities to Tanzania.
One possible route would be to fly the Emirates from Narita to Dubai then Dar Es Salaam.
Another possibility is to fly Qatar Airways from Narita to Doha then to Dar Es Salaam or Kilimanjaro.
And another possibility would be to fly Ethiopia Airline from Narita to Addis Ababa then to Dar Es Salaam or Kilimanjaro. The local air connections are excellent with variety of airlines, Air Tanzania being one of them.
I would end my brief remarks by confirming to you that Tanzania deployed all the necessary measures against COVID-19 pandemic to have tourism thrive during pandemic circumstances. A s a result, the world Tourism and Travel Council (WTTC) in August 2020 awarded Tanzania a safe travel certificate as a safe destination.
Since then, Tanzania is open to international visitors and continues to maintain the health protocols to the letter. Simply put, and if I were to remain faithful to His Master’s Voice, I would say that all the precautionary health safety measures remain top priority of the Government of Tanzania.
I therefore invite all of you to come and taste the warmth, kindness and hospitality by the people of Tanzania. Please come and enjoy the seamless and unforgettable end-to-end experience in Tanzania.
Arigatou Gozaimashita - Thank you very much,