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Algeria to reform tourism for patronage of cultural, scenic wonders

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To enhance its reputation as a tourist powerhouse, Algeria plans to attract more tourists to its various artistic and scenic wonders as the largest nation in Africa.

With its strategic location just one hour’s flight from Europe, the vast country in North Africa provides beaches, mountains, and Roman and Islamic ruins. Its haunting Saharan landscapes allow travellers to sleep under the stars on dunes and ride camels with Tuareg nomads. Nevertheless, the tourism ministry reports that although tourist-friendly Morocco saw 14.5 million foreign visitors in 2023, larger and wealthier Algeria only saw 3.3 million.

Although security has significantly improved, experts note that for tourism to grow, Algeria must address its rigid visa requirements, and inadequate transportation infrastructure, and offer incentives to both domestic and foreign private businesses.

The National Tourism Office’s General Director, Saliha Nacerbay, presented intentions to bring in 12 million visitors by 2030, an ambitious fourfold increase.

“To achieve this, we, as the tourism and traditional industry sector, are seeking to encourage investments, provide facilities to investors, build tourist and hotel facilities,” she said, speaking at the International Tourism and Travel Fair, hosted in Algiers from May 30 to June 2.

Algeria intends to construct new hotels as well as renovate and update current ones. According to the Ministry of Tourism, over 2,000 projects have been approved thus far, 800 of which are presently being built.

Along with restoring its historical landmarks, the nation has designated 249 sites for increased tourism. About seventy sites have been prepared, according to officials, and restoration plans are in the works for fifty more locations.

Patrick Lebeau, a French traveller, quoted by Reuters emphasized that to fully realize Algeria’s tourism promises, infrastructure improvements are necessary.

“Obviously, there is a lot of tourism potential, but much work still needs to be done to attract us,” Lebeau said.

Algeria had 543,500 employees related to tourism and travel in 2021, according to the Statista website. On the other hand, Moroccan tourism experts estimate that the industry supports 700,000 direct jobs in the kingdom in addition to numerous indirect jobs.

Culture

SA officials launch probe into accident that killed musician Shebeshxt’s daughter

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South African authorities have launched an investigation into the tragic accident that claimed the life of the nine-year-old daughter of musician, Lehlogonolo Katlego Chauke, popularly known as Shebeshxt, on Saturday.

The Limpopo Department of Transport and Community Safety, in a statement on Wednesday, said the accident that occurred along the R37 near the Smelters Mine outside Polokwane, also caused the controversial rapper a foot.

Spokesperson for the Department, Tidimalo Chuene, said the accident occurred at about 22:00 when Shebeshxt’s charcoal Volkswagen Polo collided with a heavy motor vehicle.

According to local media reports, the “Ambulance” hitmaker was en route to perform at an African National Congress Siyanqoba Rally celebration concert scheduled for Sunday in Lebowakgomo when the accident happened.

“A Volkswagen Polo is reported to have overturned after colliding with a heavy motor vehicle, killing the young girl and seriously injuring the driver and another passenger,” Chuene told reporters.

The spokesman stated that the nine-year-old girl was killed in the accident, while two other passengers sustained serious but “salvageable threatening injuries.”

She said the cause of the accident will be investigated, and the names of all individuals involved be disclosed to the public once all necessary police procedures are completed.

“As the department, we are saddened by the incident and send our heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families, and wish for those who sustained injuries a speedy recovery,” she added.

In a related statement, Shebeshxt’s family confirmed the accident and the passing of the rapper’s daughter.

“The accident unfortunately claimed the life of his beloved daughter, Onthatile (Gladys Chuene), which has caused utter grief and shock as she was the angel that warmed up all our hearts,” reads the statement.

The family statement added that the “Twerka” singer is alive and currently hospitalised, receiving medical care.

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Culture

‘Stop competing, learn from Nigeria’s movie industry’, Nollywood actor Michael Uchegbu charges Ghanaian filmmakers

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A top Nollywood actor, Michael Uchegbu, has advised moviemakers and stakeholders in the Ghanaian movie industry to stop competing with the Nigerian film sector but rather learn from Africa’s biggest entertainment industry.

Uchegbu who gave the advice in an interview with Ghanaian entertainment tabloid, Graphic Showbiz, admonished stakeholders in the West African country to stop
expending their energy on contesting Nollywood and rather concentrate on building a unique brand.

The versatile actor noted that Nollywood, which is currently rubbing shoulders with Hollywood and Bollywood, achieved its status through the “relentless efforts and innovations” and that “attempts to compete with the industry would rather impede the development of Ghana’s film industry.”

The “Anomalous” star emphasized that players in the Ghanaian movie industry could learn a lot from their Nigerian counterparts if they stop seeing themselves as competitors.

“The Ghanaian movie sector is not making much progress due to the lack of drive among its players to achieve global success and that is what is hindering its growth,” he stated.

“So the best bet is to learn from Nollywood and not spend precious time trying to compete with them.

“Filmmakers in Ghana could harness the experiences and practices of Nollywood to overcome the sector’s current challenges.

“They also need to strategise to build up the industry by producing exceptional movies that can gain international recognition instead of rivalling Nollywood,” he added.

He also stressed the importance of investment, hard work and collaboration for the growth of Ghana’s movie industry.

“Nigeria’s movie industry is far advanced in my opinion because we are a go-getting nation while Ghanaians are more relaxed and calm.

“So I think the way to go is to learn from each other and build each other up. Ghana and Nigeria should not compete if we are to build Africa and our respective industries,” he noted.

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