Gaborone — Germany has donated P16 328 808.05 million to the Ministry of Environment Natural Resources, Conservation and Tourism specifically for the tourism sector.
Speaking in Gaborone recently, Minister Philda Kereng said the financial assistance would help to cushion the tourism industry which had been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
She said while the pandemic had affected all sectors of the global economy, the tourism sector was the hardest hit.
Quoting a Botswana Tourism Industry (BTO) study, Minister Kereng said the estimated revenue loss in the sector stood at an alarming P3 417 624 625.11.
The support, she said, would cushion communities and the sector as a whole against the adverse effects of the pandemic as well as help with protected area management.
Minister Kereng said through the donation, Botswana would be able to subsidise wages for community based organisations within the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA TFCA)
Part of the funds would go towards alternative livelihoods projects meant to diversify the revenue base of communities from tourism-based to other forms.
The projects include among others expansion of Lake Ngami charcoal production, Nata Community Trust poultry and Gwetsotshaa Community Trust water purification and bottling.
In her presentation, acting German ambassador to Botswana Ms Kalja Nolte said the donation would empower communities in the KAZA TFCA area to improve their lives.
She said the German government would keep on partnering with Botswana to make the country’s tourism sector a profitable business.
For his part, Mr Mbiganyi Potso of KAZA TFCA secretariat expressed gratitude for the donation and applauded the long-standing partnership between Germany and Botswana as well as the German government’s commitment to the development of KAZA TFCA.
Mr Potso said the tourism sector suffered loss of revenue as a result of an international travel ban which had also affected the associated value chains.
Source : BOPA
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