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Russia/Ukraine war: Tourism flow to Egypt expected to decline by 35%

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Egypt’s tourism sector is facing fallout due to the war between Russia and Ukraine.

Since Russia launched a full-scale military invasion into Ukraine on February 24, Egypt’s tourism sector – a major income generator source – has been negatively impacted.

According to Vice Chairman of the Tourism Committee of the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt, Moataz Sedky said Egyptian tourist destinations will likely be negatively impacted with tourism flow predicted to decline 35 percent.

The consequent Western sanctions imposed by European countries on Russia will lead to further deterioration of the Russian currency, Egypt Independent reports.

Sanctions also banned Russian transfers on the Swift system, thereby impacting financial transfers made by Russian tourists in Egypt.

Price hikes in the two countries due to the war will cause Russian and Ukrainian citizens to refrain from traveling abroad, he explained.

However he noted that as Egypt is a receiving market for tourism, it has the ability to adapt to events.

“If we go back a little, we will find that the Eastern European market, especially Russia, tourist flow was suspended for a period of six years to Egypt due to the accident of the Russian plane that crashed in Sinai on October 31, 2015,” said Sedky.

Egypt had succeeded back then in focusing on alternative and atypical markets, and the flow of tourism rose, approaching 13 million tourists, he explained.

The total number of tourism companies operating in the Russian and Ukrainian market does not exceed three or four companies, and only one or two chains of hotels, while the rest have other markets in which they operate – so the damage caused will only be to a limited number of Egyptian hotels, he added.

The decisions taken by the Hotel Establishments Chamber to host stranded tourists in Egypt because of war, whether they are from Ukraine or Russia, will positively impact Egypt’s reputation abroad, especially since the decision has been widely reported across western social media websites.

Culture

First ever African Fashion exhibition debuts in the UK Saturday

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The first ever African Fashion exhibition which has been touted to be UK’s most extensive exhibition of African fashion artistry is set to debut in London on Saturday, July 2, according to the show organisers.

The epoch making African Fashion event which is aimed at showcasing designers from the black continent, as well as exoose Africa’s diverse heritage and cultures, which will open at London’s prestigious Victoria and Albert (V&A) Museum, is also the country’s first exhibition dedicated to the medium.

Apart from the fashion show, there will also be an exhibition are African objects, sketches, photos and film from across the continent, starting from the African liberation years in the 1950s to 1980s to up-and-coming contemporary designers, according to the event organizers.

The project curator, Elisabeth Murray, in a statement, said the scene is set with a section on “African Cultural Renaissance”, highlighting protest posters and literature from independence movements that developed in conjunction with fashion.

“The Vanguard is the central attraction, displaying iconic works by well-known African designers including Niger’s Alphadi, Nigeria’s Shade Thomas-Fahm and Kofi Ansah of Ghana.

“Over 250 objects are on display for the African Fashion exhibition, with approximately half of these drawn from the museum’s collection, including 70 new acquisitions.

“Many of the garments on show are from the personal archives of a selection of iconic mid-twentieth century African designers with one of the highlight being the centre-piece made by Moroccan fashion designer Artsi Ifrach, called “A Dialogue Between Cultures” which was Inspired by the British trench coat and headscarf,” Murray said.

“The conversations and collaborations that have shaped the making of the Africa Fashion exhibition are a testbed for new equitable ways of working together that allow us to imagine and call into being the V&A of the future,” she added.

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Culture

Germany to return prized artefacts stolen from Africa during colonial rule

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The German government has agreed to return prized artefacts stolen from Aftican countries, particularly from Cameroon, Namibia and Tanzania, during the colonial times over 120 years ago, the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, said in a statement on Tuesday.

The priceless artefacts which were looted by the German colonial government officials during the colonial era will be permanently returned to their original countries, the Foundation officials said.

The Berlin-based Heritage Foundation which manages museums based in the German capital said it had entered into negotiations on the returns of artefacts to their countries of origin.

According to the Heritage Foundation, some of the artefacts to be returned are a shell-studded statue of a mother goddess named Ngonnso, which holds “great spiritual significance for the Nso’ people of northwest Cameroon.”

The statue, according to the Foundation, has been part of the collection of Berlin’s Ethnological Museum since 1903, after a German colonial officer who had taken it by force from the Nso tribe ‘donated’ it to the government.

The board also approved the permanent return of 23 artefacts including jewellery, tools and fashion items, to Namibia, the statement noted.

The artefacts which were stolen from Namibia during the colonial period from 1884 to 1919, were sent to the southern African country in May for research purposes and will now remain there.

The statement further said the Foundation’s President, Hermann Parzinger, has also been authorised to sign an agreement on the return of objects Germany looted from Tanzania during the Maji Maji Rebellion and other conflicts during its early 20th-century colonial rule.

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