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Badilisha Lugha KISWAHILI

Kudos to envoys for Karibu en Tanzanie

8th March 2012
Editorial Cartoon

The diplomatic missions of four Francophone countries and over 40 foreign companies are tomorrow expected to launch a 204-page tourist guide aimed at promoting Tanzania’s attractions - in French.

The guide, entitled Karibu en Tanzanie (the French for Welcome to Tanzania), is meant to help French speakers have a smooth and enjoyable stay in the country.

“When you either arrive in Tanzania for the first time or you haven’t stayed long enough, you might find that locating yourself in a new environment isn’t that easy! It takes a lot to organise yourself as information is diversified and, in most cases, there will be nobody to either guide you or provide you with necessary information,” reads the preface to the guide in part.

The preface is signed by Belgian Ambassador Paul Jansen, Canadian High Commissioner Robert Orr, French Ambassador Marcel Escure and Swiss Ambassador Olivier Chave.

The guide takes a typical first-time visitor through a historical perspective of Tanzania as “the cradle of humankind”, the country’s political economy, driving in the chief commercial capital Dar es Salaam, negotiating with landlords and a formula to differentiate time.

According to the guide, time is not counted like in the West as there is a difference of six hours in counting.

Besides, the visitor is also furnished with vital clues on health, security, accommodation, schooling, selected businesses and projects run by investors from the Francophone world, hotels, restaurants and recreational places in some of the Tanzania’s largest cities.

The French Embassy in Dar es Salaam says at least 5,000 free copies of the guide will be distributed by the four diplomatic missions after an official launch in Arusha and Dar es Salaam expected to be attended by representatives of Francophone community, the sponsored the publication project and other stakeholders.

The fact that a revised and much-improved version of such an invaluable publication has seen the light of day is a job well done, and all those who have helped make the sweet dream come deserve kudos.

We say this because it points to a momentous occasion when the embassies and the countries they represent have yet again extended timely support to Tanzania’s development endeavours.

Canada, Belgium and Switzerland have been supporting Tanzania in a wide array of development projects, including industries, mining, agriculture, livestock and fisheries.

For its part, France last year chipped in with support that expedited the construction of the National College of Tourism in Dar es Salaam.

Speaking at the college’s launch in December, President Jakaya Kikwete urged tourist institutions in Tanzania to advertise our national attractions in other major international languages such as French and Japanese. The guide is therefore a clear indication that the embassies have heeded the president’s call.

We believe that efforts to promote our attractions in French will lend significant support to our tourism industry and the national income generally.

Tanzania has vast potential in tourism but it yet to be advertised and developed seriously enough. Having Karibu en Tanzanie is doubtless a superb step forward, but we need to have similar tourist guides in more languages – Japanese, Mandarin, Russian, Hindu, etc. The ball is in our court.

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