Thursday, March 4, 2010

Zambia: One Hundred Days before the FIFA World Cup—What is Zambia Doing?

There is now less than 100 days before the FIFA 2010 World Cup kicks off in South Africa. Here in Zambia there is little or nothing that is being done by authorities to take advantage of this big event in our front yard. What exactly is wrong with our leaders?
A fortnight ago I visited the ministry of tourism to find out what they were planning, here in Zambia, as far as the world cup was concerned. There seemed to have been no one particularly responsible for this.
After running around and bouncing from office to office I was referred to the Zambia Tourism Board Managing Director who was too busy and still waiting for a call from him.
My take is that since Zambia is pretty much a neighbor to South Africa, the government should have taken front seat in attracting tourists as they come to watch the big game.
The region will be expecting a lot of tourists from around the world who will be spending quite a substantial amount of money. Zambia could take advantage of these visitors by promoting some of our best tourism destinations.
In fact, it is perhaps only in Zambia that you can experience Banji jumping, water rafting, canoeing, sky diving, gliding, game hunting, etc all in one destination.
These sports can all be experienced right around the Mosi-o-Tunya Falls in Livingstone. The Mosi-o-Tunya Falls is one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
The Zambian experience does not just end with Livingstone. Zambia is a home to thousands of species of beautiful and colorful birds.
We have some of the best wildlife in our national game parks. There is the spectacular South Luangwa National Park with hundreds of kilometers of wildlife.
Not far from this park there is Mfuwe also with its different specifies of antelopes. Then there is Kafue and Mosi-o-Tunya National Parks in the south with its elephants, giraffes, and zebras.
These are just some of the few things one can experience in Zambia the real Africa. It is a land filled with beauty.
When you arrive in Zambia you are greeted with smiling and friendly people right at your entry point. Zambia’s people are so friendly.
The country has many cultures with many different ethnic groups speaking different languages countrywide. Many of these regional groups have amazing traditional ceremonies that attract hundred of thousands of visitors.
If you are planning on coming to the FIFA World Cup make sure you visit the Lwiindi-Gonde Ceremony of the Tokaleya people in Southern Province around that time.
Can you imagine the support we could drum up if the government was on top of the game? We could have restarted our national airline and really branded ourselves during this period.
I have not seen a single advert or program in our media regarding the 2010 World Cup. Maybe they have placed some in Europe, North America, Asia, or South Africa.
In any case, the Zambian government needs to step up in the remaining three months before the kick off. As a country we are hungry of money and we can use the revenue from the tourists.
While Rupiah is still in China he better should get those Chinese to come to Zambia to spend some bucks. And while he is still in the region he should stop by in Europe so that we can have the Europeans come in numbers as well.
Rupiah and his buddies still have time to redeem themselves. Let us all stand up tall for mother Zambia.


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