Jumia, Amadeus Launch First Flight Marketplace In Africa

In commemoration of World Tourism Day 2018, Jumia is at it again in the expansion of its Flights services, this time in partnership with Amadeus, a leading travel technology company. The partnership is the base for a new flights marketplace on Jumia, that will be a step further towards making travel in Africa simple and affordable.

The platform aims at enabling travel agents, airlines, and travel websites to bring all flight content online, to offer customers the best available prices for their flights. Current statistics indicate that 90% of the flight market is still offline while only 10% exists online. This comes in the wake of increased flight bookings on Jumia’s flights portal, with explosive growth of 400% between July 2017 and July 2018.

“Jumia is continuously investing significantly in developing innovative products for travellers and flight content providers that will enable them to revolutionize their operations and increase revenue,” says Neville Igasira Iguundura, Jumia’s Chief Marketing Officer. 

“We understand the market and address its needs. A competitive platform will harmonize all content providers to offer low rates and fees in a bid to meet an increasing traveler demand for unbeatable services at the lowest price,” he adds.

 

The marketplace will also provide analytical information that flight ticket providers can use to identify new opportunities, routes and help them tailor make packages for their flight target customers.

We are delighted to be working with Jumia to deliver the online choice and marketplace experience that travelers love. Air travel is booming globally, with growth among passengers in Africa projected to outstrip that of every other region by 2035,” commented Francesca Benati, Executive Vice President for Online Travel in Western Europe, Middle East and Africa, Travel Channels, Amadeus.

Mrs Benati added, “To meet this growing demand, Jumia has selected Amadeus ePower delivered via Web Services, which offers a mobile and tablet-friendly online booking experience. It is designed to help consumers find the best deals faster, thanks to our market leading shopping and booking technology. I am excited about this winning partnership which will benefit travelers throughout Africa.”

Jumia benchmarks its competitive prices against the largest competitors daily. Between August and the first half of September, 341 routes have been benchmarked with a clear win over its online competitors. Moreover, 48% of those benchmarks, Jumia has the Best Available Rate (BAR) for the cheapest and direct flight recommendations.

Jumia considers a route benchmark as BAR, only when its price is cheaper than other competitors with more than 60% on the benchmarks hits.

Jumia Flights Marketplace is already the prefered sales channel for many Flight content providers and the prefered buying channel for many travelers on key routes. Currently, Africa’s aviation industry supports 6.8 million jobs and USD72.5 billion in economic activity.

Partners Launch Human-Wildlife Conflict Resilience Fund

The Jane Good All Institute (JGI) in conjunction with Uganda Biodiversity Fund has launched the Human-Wildlife Conflict Resilience Fund to help the people neighbouring Kasongoire forest reserve in Budongo Sub-county, Masindi District to co-exist with chimpanzees.

The organisation has given out Sh10m to the residents under thier umbrella Kasongoire Community Development Association (KACODA)-an organisation that was formed by JGI to help sensitise the public about human-wildlife conflict.

Addressing the gathering at Kasongoire primary school, the chairperson of Uganda Biodiversity Fund, Asher Mugisa said the project is intended to enhance resilience to community losses from wildlife incursion through development and implementation of community led compensation scheme.

The KACODA chairperson, Henry Balemesa, noted that before the intervention of JGI, there was no harmony between the human beings and the chimpanzees because they didn’t know how to go about them.

He said out of the seven chimpanzee attacks residents experienced, two people died and seven survived with injuries. He added that they have now resorted on growing crops which are not palatable to the chimpanzees like red pepper, sun flower, soya bean and onions among others such that they can earn a living.

Justus Tusabire, who represented the Executive director Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA)  noted that human wildlife conflict is on the rise because  the habitants for chimpanzees have been destroyed.

Discover Uganda Through The Different Varieties Of Food

Several million miles away from home and you are wondering what to eat. When you travel to a different continent, you don’t only deal with the change in weather, culture and lifestyle. You also have to adapt to the local food. 

Jumia, Africa’s leading online food delivery service looks at a couple of Uganda’s delicious foods: 

  1. Rolex - To prepare Uganda’s most popular street food, a chapati is made of whole wheat flour salt and water mixed into dough and then flattened. An omelette is then made to your preference and wrapped in the chapati. This snack can be found around almost every street corner and is known for being affordable, delicious and filling. 
  1. Matooke - This a starchy variety of banana that is typically boiled then mashed and is accompanied with a protein of some kind, matooke is popular in the central and western regions. 
  1. Katogo - Katogois a dish of boiled/ fried plantain with either beef, beans, groundnut sauce or offals served with traditional vegetables. It is traditionally a breakfast dish though it can be enjoyed at any time of the day. Though considered unconventional to the rest of the world, a heavy breakfast like this is popular in Uganda and is a great hangover remedy just in case you’ve been exploring the nightlife. 
  1. Groundnut sauce - This is a creamy paste made from sweet red peanuts and is typically served with a carbohydrate like matooke or sweet potatoes. Smoked fish can be added for an elevated experience. When you’re in Uganda, there is no buffet that doesn’t include this delicious sauce and with good reason! 
  1. Luwombo - This dish can be prepared with beef, chicken, groundnuts, smoked fish or goat. This Ugandan special meal is one of great heritage and tradition and cooking it in banana leaf is actually what gives this dish that unique taste. It is served over matooke, rice, sweet potatoes and pumpkin. 

If you are the kind of person who likes to snap your fingers and make things happen or are generally too lazy to cook on weekends for example, then just head to Jumia and with one click, these options will be available for you.

Little Hands Go Green Goes To San Francisco Climate Change March

Climate change is increasingly becoming a hot topic globally and has brought together all nations to find a long lasting solution to the impending catastrophe.

In Uganda, Uganda’s Little Hands Go Green is leading the charge by initiating a number of projects that teach children how to preserve the environment as a measure of mitigating climate change.

This has worked just fine, as the organization has manged to organize a number of environmental events and inspired a multitude of children and parents to embrace the idea of preserving the environment.

And recently the CEO of Uganda’s Little Hands Go Green was in San Francisco, United States of America, joining the reset of the world, participating in this years Rise For Climate March.

While in San Francisco, Joseph Masembe and thousands of activists marched from the Embarcadero to Civic Center to take a stand against climate change.

The march came days before world leaders, researchers and activists arrive in San Francisco for the Global Climate Action Summit, organized by the UN and Governor Jerry Brown.

The Global Climate Action Summit will start on 13th September with a two-day program of invitation-only events, report launches and climate commitment announcements aimed at “Taking Ambition to the Next Level.”

It will end with a Call to Global Climate Action and the Summit outcomes on Sept. 14, asking national governments to raise their ambition by 2020 and looking forward to the UN secretary-general’s leaders’ Summit happening in New York in September 2019.

Throughout its program, the Global Climate Action Summit will bring together state and local governments, businesses, and citizens from around the world to showcase climate action taking place, demonstrating how the tide has turned in the race against climate change and inspiring deeper national commitments in support of the Paris Agreement.

The Summit’s five headline challenge areas are Healthy Energy Systems, Inclusive Economic Growth, Sustainable Communities, Land and Ocean Stewardship, and Transformative Climate Investments.

Kingdom Kampala Ready, Local Retailers To Get Three Months

Kingdom Kampala, a modern shopping centre, located between Nile Avenue and Dewinton Road is ready for renting and the proprietors of the multi million dollar building, Crane Management Services, have a juicy offer for local retailers will get three rent-free months.  

Crane Management Services (CMS), in 2016, entered into a joint venture with Kingdom Hotel and Abland Africa, a South African firm, to build a modern complex at the former Shimoni Primary School land.

And now, two year’s later, CMS, a real estate company owned by businessman Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia has completed the first phase of the complex. CMS says the building even in its first phase is ‘bound to cause seismic changes in the Kampala business stratosphere’.

“The fact that we are strategically located in Kampala business centre; blare, car horns and sirens can get pretty disturbing. For this, we have infused our windows and doors with sound proof double glassing so you can carry on with business in your lavish office space in peace. Brace your selves for Kingdom Kampala,” CMS said in a recent social media post.

In an interview with SpyUganda, Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia said Kingdom Kampala is going to be a one stop centre complex where a customer comes and finds about 98% on their shopping list in one place, with ample parking space, adequate security to people and property and eating places.

Rajiv Ruparelia, the director of CMS in a January interview with ChimpLyf said the buildings valued at $300M. He said it would house a shopping mall accommodating local traders and international firms. He revealed the complex would house a 200 bedroom 4 -star hotel, 40,000 square meter office space and a 16,000 square meter rentable space. 

“As the real estate arm of the Ruparelia Group, CMS recognizes the unique needs of all our clients and aim to provide the highest standard of services. the sole purpose of providing a lasting real estate solution like this new proposed structure aims at making all stakeholders happy through providing quality commercial, official, and residential apartments," Rajiv Ruparelia told the local news site.

Dr Sudhir Ruparelia took over from Saudi Prince Ali Waheed who was supposed to build a hotel to host guests during the Common Wealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in 2007 but the hotel was never built. After year’s of the project stalling, the contacted Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia.

“We were contacted by management of Kingdom Hotel as people who have experience in real estate management to get on board to develop and manage this asset. Another experienced South African firm, Abland was also brought on board but we are in charge. In the next two-and-half years, we will have finished this structure,” Rajiv Ruparelia said in 2016 after cementing the deal.

La Cabana Restaurant Wins Signature Dining Award

La Cabana Restaurant, located at Speke Apartments, Wampewo Avenue, emerged winner at 4th Kampala Restaurant Week Awards Ceremony, taking home the coveted Signature Dining Restaurant Award, fending off competition from 18 other luxurious city restaurants and hotels.

“We would like to express our deepest appreciation to everyone who tried our dishes during #KlaRestaurantWeek as well as those who participated in the voting,” La Cabana Restaurant posted on their social media pages following the Tuesday triumph.

La Cabana Restaurant is Kampala’s premium and ritzy Brazilian churrasco grill restaurant in Uganda. Kampala Restaurant Week is the biggest foods and beverages event where restaurants and hotels showcase their food artistry.

Olives Restaurant won the Top Casual Dining Award and  Best Innovation Award, Karveli Restaurant Kampala win the Outstanding Service Award while Agaba Tumusiime won the cook off competition at the Awards Ceremony.

Four PR Firms To Be Hired To Market Uganda In China, Japan, Gulf States, India

Uganda will hire four companies to market her tourism potential in China, Japan and the Gulf States of Oman, UAE, Qatar, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, Stephen Asiimwe, the chief executive officer of Uganda Tourism Board, recently told a sector meeting in Kampala. He also revealed that they are talking to India to have a marketing firm present in the India subcontinent.  

In 2016, Uganda hired three PR firms to market Uganda’s profile abroad. The hired firms are HG Consulting for the North America market, Kamageo for the United Kingdom (UK) and Ireland and KPRN for the Germany, Austrila and Switzerland.

At the time, Asiimwe said that the agencies were required to raise the profile of Uganda as a preferred tourism destination, increase inbound numbers of travelers and tourists to Uganda and promote investment opportunities in Uganda's tourism sector. The program was  funded under the World Bank’s Competiveness and Enterprises Development Project (CEDP).

This endeavor has paid off, according to Asiimwe, because the country has seen a 25 percent growth. “In last two years our tourism numbers have gone up by 25 percent and this is a result of aggressive marketing promotion that we have started,”

“We hired three marketing companies; one in North America to service the United States and Canada, another to market us in United Kingdom and Ireland and another to market us in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.Overnight, we have seen a 25 percent growth especially in areas that we can measure in wildlife areas,”

“The other good news is that we are going to hire other three companies. One for China, one for Japan and another for the Gulf States (Oman, UAE, Qatar, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia) and the numbers are continuing to grow. We are talking to India to have a presence in that market,”

Asiimwe was speaking at the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Victoria University and hospitality-industry-leader, Speke Group of Hotels on July 17th, 2018 at Speke Apartments.

He praised the MoU and partnership noting that Victoria University and Speke Group of Hotels have understood the philosophy and the future is bright for them. He promised the two organization government and Uganda Tourism Board’s support.

Under the MoU, signed under the theme: ‘strengthening the hospitality industry in east africa', Victoria University will begin offering in-depth research oriented value addition to the hospitality and leisure industry in East Africa while Speke Group of Hotels will provide practical space upon which Victoria University students will easily and seamlessly gain industrial insights that could eventually result into soft skills and employment opportunity as well.

There Is a Need For Engagement Between Industry And Training Institutions - Hoteliers

Professionalism in the hospitality industry will be enhanced if there is engagement between hotels and training institutions, hoteliers agreed during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Victoria University and Speke Group of Hotels. The MoU is intended to add value to the lifestyle & tourism sector in Uganda and East Africa.

The MoU, signed under the theme: ‘strengthening the hospitality industry in east africa', Victoria University will begin offering in-depth research oriented value addition to the hospitality and leisure industry in East Africa while Speke Group of Hotels will provide practical space upon which Victoria University students will easily and seamlessly gain industrial insights that could eventually result into soft skills and employment opportunity as well.

Anthony Chege the General Manager at Kampala Serena Hotel said there is lack of enough proper training and institutions that can focus on the development of skills in the hospitality industry. Plus the curriculum in most of the existing schools may not be well aligned with the needs of the industry.  

“We are not adapting to the new changes that the industry faces. Times have come and changed. There is a need for engagement between the industry and and leaders of training institution.

 The society also has not taken the career in the hotel industry as seriously as they should. Many times we select a career in the hotel industry when we have not got what we selected as first choice. Hotels are seen as not the best places to work. A hotel worker’s profile has not been raised in society.”

Greg Petzer, the General Manager - Speke Resort Munyonyo, one of the hotels which is part of the Speke Group of Hotels noted that as the hospitality develops, 'it is critical that we have students with the appropriate skills set to fill this gap.' "We believe that Victoria University will become a key role player in this regard." Petzer said.

Krishna N. Sharma, the Vice Chancellor of Victoria University, revealed that the University discovered that there is a gap between the hospitality industry and education system which also leads to wastage of resources.  

“There is a couple of challenges facing higher vocational education which includes its positioning, insufficient industrial cooperation and marginalization which need to be squarely addressed.

Victoria University tourism and hospitality qualification is designed to provide highly specialized, competent and international recognized qualifications in a range of different sectors.

We impart knowledge, understanding and skills that our students need to prepare for employment. We expose our learners to effective internship and experiential learning. Our qualifications provide career development opportunities.” the Vice Chancellor said.

Victoria University Tourism Students To Intern At Speke Group Of Hotels

Victoria University will begin offering in-depth research oriented value addition to the hospitality and leisure industry in East Africa with the signing of a memorandum of understanding with the hotel giant- hospitality-industry-leader, Speke Group of Hotels.

The MOU signing under the theme: ‘Strengthening The Hospitality Industry In East Africa’ happened July 17th, 2018 from 9am at Speke Apartments. The Chief Executive Office of Uganda Tourism Board Dr. Stephen Asiimwe was the guest of honor.

Dr. Krishna N. Sharma, the Vice Chancellor of Victoria University, signed on behalf of the University Amit Sach, the Group General Manager signed on behalf of Speke Group of Hotels.

‘This is a major milestone for the University as it positions itself not just as an academic powerhouse in the region but one that will be producing research oriented and soft-skills based professionals capable of adding greater value to the products and services in the Hospitality industry,” said the Vice Chancellor.

The partnership will see Speke Group of Hotels provide practical space upon which Victoria University students will easily and seamlessly gain industrial insights that could eventually result into soft skills and employment opportunity as well.

The students will also be able to develop soft and build their networks, thereby enhancing their soft-skill sets and net-worth, giving them the competitive edge with which to become formidable managers and well-grounded job creators.

On the other hand, Speke group of Hotels will realize continuous flow of specialized labour force given that the students are pursuing Diploma and Bachelor Degrees in Tourism and Hospitality Management.

Uganda’s Tourism Market is poised to gain in terms of high quality products and services that meet local and international demands grounded in well researched local content.

“The products, services and soft skills coming out of this partnership between Victoria University and Speke Group of Hotels are to be of greater quality, competitive and a boost to our hospitality industry within the international and local setting,” added Dr. Asiimwe.

In the matter of Collaboration points, the Speke Group of Hotels is going to be part of each of the crucial training in several ways; 1. Needs Assessment 2. Curriculum Review 3. Teaching, Practicals & Use of Technology (Soft Skills) 4. Internships 5. Research and Evaluation.  

How These Hotels Are Scheming For More Of Oil Money

Much of the activities in the oil and gas industry other than exploration have happened in boardrooms and hotel conference rooms. This will continue to happen especially now that Uganda is putting final touches to oil journey.

This trend puts hotels especially those with five star rating in a good position to tap into the much anticipated oil money. Actually, some hotels have cashed in on the oil money ever since the hydrocarbons where discovered in the country in 2006.

Now that the industry is waking up from unprecedented inactivity, hotels are positioning themselves to embrace these executive meetings, conferences, seminars and offering guests to international visitors or expats working in the country.

Industry players repeatedly have been told that the time to mint oil money is now. Mr. Elly Karuhanga, the former president of Tullow Oil Uganda once told a gathering that Uganda’s central bank will count more money than they have ever counted in their lives because of oil and gas.

With over $20bn expected to be invested in the oil business – the ripple effects will felt, especially in hospitality industry as stakeholder meet to plan for this investment. Hotels will be the new homes for over 10, 000 who will come to work in the industry.

It is only prudent that hotels put in place in the necessitated capacities to do the job right.

In an interview with The Earthfinds Magazine, Mr. Greg Petzer, the General Manager of Speke Resort & Conference Centre and Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort said they are upgrading their facilities to stay up to date with world class standards. The two 5 star hotels are conveniently located 12 km from the capital Kampala, Uganda.

Mr. Petzer added that they are creating reliable facilities which the sector can continue using to ensure that their requirements are met. Uganda’s oil lifespan is esteemed to be 25 years from the year when first oil comes out of the earth. However, renewed exploration if successful will push further this lifespan but a yet to be determined.

“The oil and gas industry will most definitely have an impact on the
economy in general and will therefore automatically provide benefits to the
hotel industry,” Mr. Petzer said in an email interview.

“We have hosted small to medium meetings at Speke Resort for the oil
and gas sector, the feedback was very good and we look forward to continued
business from this sector.” Mr. Pezter testified, adding that the resort offers the finest conference and business meeting location in East Africa

The resort has 10 state-of-the-art conference rooms including a 1,000-seat ballroom and 9 multi-functional meeting rooms that accommodate groups of 10-300 people. The Business Centre offers internet surfing, faxing, photocopying and electronic mail services.

To remain in the loop Speke Resort and the Commonwealth Resort conveniently located on the shores of Lake Victoria is improving its infrastructure and making access to the luxurious resort easier. The resort is ideal for business or leisure travelers who appreciate the luxury of space and modern architecture.

Recently, Speke Resort added to its ultimate and luxury world class accommodation services another category of 45 Superior Rooms to its huge inventory, making it 472 rooms in total now.

Speke Resort offers seven different categories of rooms such as Presidential Suites (59), Executive Suites, Presidential Cottages, One Bedroom Suites, Executive Rooms, Deluxe Rooms and newly constructed Superior Rooms.

The Superior Rooms have four king size beds, LED TV, digital safe, spacious balcony, air conditioning, cubicles and state of the art bathroom with a walk in shower on top of regular facilities. Guests have an option of taking interconnecting Superior Rooms.

With 20 indoor and several outdoor conference and meeting venues, Speke Resort prides itself as the leading conference facility in Uganda, having successfully hosted countless high profile and International conferences.

Together with Government, Mr. Petzer says, all hotels offering conference facilities should work closely together to ensure that more medium to large events are held in Uganda.

Another hotel which is preparing for oil is cash, having tasted it already, is Kabira Country Club which is superbly located in plush Bukoto, a city suburb. Mr. Vismay Maniyar in an interview confirmed that they are up for what the industry demands.

“We have held many oil and gas conference organized by the big companies in the oil and gas business like Total E&P, Tullow Oil and many other companies, Mr. Maniyar confessed during the interview at the hotel.

“Many people from the world over have shown interest in Kabira Country Club especially because they know that this is something which is big and it is well situated and it is safe here. Oil companies have shown interest in us and it has helped us to grow,” he added.

“We get international delegates and clients coming in for all kinds of conferences from different parts of the world. This helps in developing the country because as pioneers in the hotel business in Uganda, people prefer us because for our standards, quality services and good rates.” Mr Maniyar bragged.

The hotel offers a wide range of accommodation options from Single room, double rooms to three bedroom duplex Penthouse. The rooms and Suites offer 24-hour room service, air-conditioning, Satelite TV, bathtub and many other amenities.

Away from conference, meetings and accommodation, Kabira has world class sporting and recreational facilities a fully equipped gym which cater for a wide range of fitness and wellness needs. The hotel has 2 heated swimming pools, 3 squash courts, a sports field, four clay floodlit tennis court and floodlit basketball court and spa.

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