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Leading tourism media and promotion company, and organisers of AKWAABA African Travel Market, among many others have announced partnership agreements with key organisations and companies towards the successful hosting of the 7th edition of the Abuja Jabamah, the foremost domestic tourism event in Nigeria.

The tourism event which is set to take place on the 18th of November 2019 at the Exhibition Hall of the International Conference Centre (ICC) Abuja, has got the support of the National Council for Arts & Culture (NCAC), National Institute for Hospitality & Tourism (NIHOTOUR), Cabo Verde Airlines, and Ethiopian Airlines who have agreed to partner with the organisers, according to report.

Abuja Jabamah 2019, a one-day event will feature: Familiarisation Trip, Sampling of Northern Cuisine With Chef Fatima, and a B2B Session, while the Induction the Tourism 100 Club (Class of 2019) will rounds up the day.

Meanwhile, the organisers have finalised the complete list of inductees for the Tourism 100 Club (Class of 2019). While imploring those who didn’t make the cut this year to look forward to next year, Mr. Ikechi Uko, the organiser pointed out that the accent this year has been on the Emerging Forces in the Tourism Industry in Nigeria.

“We are only trying to build a database for Tourism in Nigeria. We try and recognise those who have strived in this most difficult environment. Tourism is tough in Nigeria and the few players recognised are trying to uplift the Nation the best way they can.” He added.

Tourism 100 Club

  • Lola Adefope
  • Olugbenga Omotayo Sunday
  • Odion Chigbufue
  • Oguntoye Taiwo Oye
  • Oguntoye Kehinde Oladele
  • Anago Osho
  • Omotosho Hakeem Olamilekan
  • Bolaji Seun
  • Debbie Egwuogu
  • Michael Balogun
  • Jennifer Awoh
  • Adun Okupe
  • Justina Ovat
  • Geraldine Itoe
  • Nneka (Nne Tomato Jos) Unachukwu-Okaro
  • Lydia Akpadiaha
  • Johnpaul Ezeani
  • Mofe Runsewe
  • Aminat Akanbi
  • Funmi Oyatogun
  • Diala Chibuikem
  • Bukola Olowude
  • Oludayo Taiwo Gideon
  • Olusola Segbenu
  • Patricia Ozioma
  • Victoria Onyemuwa
  • Derinsola Shotunde Taiyeloolou (Deerin Èlèran)
  • Ubong Ekpe Okon
  • Rita Obidike (SKAL President)
  • Samson Aturu (HATMAN)
  • Precious Okonji (FTAN)
  • Ime Udo (NATOP)
  • Hassan Abdulmalik (NANTA)
  • Shalom Asuquo (Travelab)
  • Patrick Chidi (Joliewaka)
  • Peace Iyare (PeacefulSky)
  • Capt. Oudah Kenneth Anate (Stay Up Aviation School)
  • Capt. Emmanuel (Exodus Academy)
  • Piriye Kiyaramo (Travel Club)
  • Erhahon Uhnamure (Brisks)
  • Ib Uloma Kemabonta (Retz)
  • Aniedi Udofia (EDC)
  • Ifeoma Aneke (Allure)
  • Jibola Oluseye
  • Wole Ayorinde (Travel Beta)
  • Balqees Olubunmi Olaniyi
  • Ajibola Ogunkeye (Ufitfly Makanjuola Ibrahim Sholar (Youth Tourism)
  • Andrew Okungbowa
  • Justina Okpanku
  • Hope Obeten
  • Niyi David
  • Hannah Oni
  • Taiye Baiyerohi Olayemi
  • Dozie Uzo
  • Fisayo Olayinka-Bello
  • Chinyere Nwanma Ogidi
  • Ayo Shadare Shaddie Bobo (Lagos Jazz festival)
  • Abom Ephraim Okon
  • Chinedu Okeke (Oriteme Banigo Gidifest)
  • Ozo Chinedu Idezuna Ezemuo
  • Dr. Iyam Ugot (Carnival Calabar Band Leader)
  • Friday Nwosu (Reporter, ATQ News)
  • Chigozie Chukwuemeka (Project Manager, Jedidah Promotions Ltd)
  • Gbabo Laura Dein Gbabo (Biz Dev Manager, Akwaaba Travel Market)
  • Paul Kosarachi Ukachukwu (Akwaaba African Youth in Tourism Conference)
  • Sunday Onen (Image Developer/Web Admin, ATQ News)
  • Tolulope Ogundipe (CEO, Tulpan Travels and Tours)
  • Hon. Adiele Ekene (Organiser, Ukwa Carnival, Abia)
  • Alhaji Ibrahim Goni (Conservator General, National Park Service)
  • Jovita Inyang (Founder, Jevinik)
  • Abigail Adesina Olagbaye
  • Glory Okon (Splendour TV)
  • Onuaha Maryann Nkiruka (CEO, Maria Bella Travels)
  • Sunmonu Dauud Gbenga (Complete Culinary & Hospitality Academy)
  • Orman Esin (Commissioner for Tourism, Akwa Ibom)
  • Olaide Mesewaku Babatunde (Lagos State Perm. Sec)
  • Oba Adeyemi Obalenlege (Olota of Ota)
  • Alhaji Kabir M. Momoh (Ag. DG, NIHOTOUR)
  • Mrs. Shuli Adebolu (Commissioner for Tourism, Lagos State)
  • Ismaila Olurisimi Ayodeji (Commissioner for Tourism, Ondo State)
  • Hon. Muyiwa Olumilua (Commissioner for Tourism, Ekiti State)
  • Hon. Muyiwa Oladapo (Commissioner for Tourism, Ogun State)
  • Mohammed S. Arewa (Commissioner for Tourism, Sokoto State)
  • Osazee Osemwengie-Ero (Commissioner for Tourism, Edo State)
  • Mrs. Halima Sanni (Director: Domestic Tourism, Fed. Min. of Information & Culture)
  • Chiamaka Ifediora (CEO Merging Borders)
  • After 18 years, Ethiopian Airlines set to resume the service to the city of Athens.
  • Athens marks Ethiopian’s 20th destination in Europe.

Leading international airline and the largest aviation group in Africa, Ethiopian Airlines, a SKYTRAX Certified Four Star Global Airline, has issued a press statement announcing the resumption of its flight to Athens, Greece effective Dec 13, 2019.

Athens, one of the oldest cities in the world and filled with incredible historical sites is where democracy was invented. The thrice weekly flight to Athens will be operated by the ultra-modern B787 Dreamliner.

Regarding the flight service to Athens, Group CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, Mr. Tewolde GebreMariam, stated “We are delighted to return to Athens, Greece with direct services. With our direct flight, Greece will be closer to Africa than ever before and to the rest of our Global network.

“Athens will serve as a key destination on our ever-expanding European network and offers global tourists an opportunity to explore the majestic country. As one of the world’s oldest and historic cities, the city enjoys a high level of tourism from visitors across the world. Hence, the resumption of the service to Athens will help meet the exponential demand from global tourists, as well as provide them with more connectivity options within our extensive global network.”

With the inclusion of Athens, Europe’s historical capital, Ethiopian Airlines’ international network reaches 126.

In June 2017, Ethiopia introduced the e-Visa services and further opened wide her doors to foreign visitors. Since then, the e-visa service has redefined visitors’ travel experience, easing entry into the “Land of Origins” with digitized service accessible from any part of the world. So far, more than 200,000 people from 217 countries have visited Ethiopia using the online visa platform.

Backed by a dedicated round-the-clock customer support via email, the e-Visa service enables travelers secure e-Visa in less than 6 hours with a short turnaround time at the airport.

“The milestone in the number of travelers who visited Ethiopia through the e-visa service comes as a good news to all of us in the tourism and travel industry,” says Mr. Tewolde GebreMariam, Group CEO Ethiopian Airlines.

“The 200,000 milestone is indicative of the fact that the number of visitors who use the digitized service is on the rise. This will bring more benefits to Ethiopia in terms of facilitating travel and promoting tourism, trade and investment to the country.”

With the boom in the global Meetings, Incentives, Conferences & Exhibitions (MICE) industry, the e-visa service gives Ethiopia an edge to reap the benefits the industry offers.

The air connectivity Ethiopia enjoys as the hub of Ethiopian Airlines Group coupled with the mushrooming of hotels and lodgings in the country will further elevate Ethiopia as a preferred MICE hub. In the past few years, Ethiopia has taken significant strides towards making travel simple and seamless. Besides the e-visa service, travelers flying Ethiopian also enjoy seamless and end-to-end service using the innovative mobile application of the airline.

A story is told of a world title fight involving the greatest – the legendary boxer Mohammed Ali. As was customary, Ali, being the challenger was summoned to the ring first but he refused to move. Instead, the Louisville Lip insisted on bringing up the rear – as it were – asking that the champ make his ring entrance first. Reminded that, the champ enters the ring last. Ali retorted, “By the time the night is done, I’ll be champ.”

You must be fully persuaded about yourself and have a certainty about your abilities, because bringing up the rear is a prerogative of a certain cadre or calibre of people.

When you get the final slot on the programme of activities of an event of a certain magnitude, the organisers must have faith in your abilities to sign off with a grand performance and give the event a befitting closure. To take up the final slot at an event that stretches for about seven or eight hours, you must bring your A-game. You could be left with a half-empty hall before you start your presentation – and a substantial part of that audience may be gone by the time you’re done.

You must be fully persuaded about yourself and have a certainty about your abilities, because bringing up the rear is a prerogative of a certain cadre or calibre of people. There’s an old African adage among the Yoruba that says, Éégun nla ni kẹhin igbàlẹ.” A rough translation: “the biggest masquerade exits the sacred grove last.”

During the Égungun festival the masquerades parade the streets in their colourful garbs, wielding canes and speaking in guttural tones. There are different classes of Égungun or Éégun – the latter is a contraction of the former – and the junior masquerades are usually the first to make their appearances before the biggest or most important Éégun brings up the rear.

Coffee brewing…

When the programme of events for the 15th AKWAABA African Travel Market was revealed, and Ethiopian Day was scheduled for 18:00hrs on the third day of the 3-day event, it was ‘clear’ that by that time the hall ‘would’ be half empty. Surely by then everyone was sated and most would have left the hall. In any case, there shouldn’t be much to look forward to with some booths already empty by 15:00hrs. Maybe, that was the strategy – the fewer the people around, the better. Not a bad strategy. After all they say “Cut your coat according to your size.”

Former Mrs. Tourism Ebele Enemchukwu with another beauty queen…
Organiser of AKWAABA, Ikechi Uko as compere…

The Ethiopians were prompt on time. When I entered the conference hall at about 18:05hrs, it had been rearranged for a dinner setting and I barely found a seat. How did the Ethiopians do it? The hall was filled and extra seats had to be added to some tables. There were bottles of wine and water on the tables, while coffee was being brewed as the presentation went on – and it was simple and precise. Right after the presentation, it was time for food and the audience got a taste of injera and doro wat, with lentils along with a variety of Nigerian dishes to complement the Ethiopian cuisine.

Gluten-free Injera
Array of gastronomic delights…
Guests being served…

Business cards had been collected before the presentation began and as we rounded up dinner, the raffle draw took place. Winners emerged – and one of them was our friend, Mr. Didier Bayeye of Sun International who won an Ethiopian Airlines business class ticket and 5-night stay at Kuriftu Resort & Spa, Addis Ababa. The Ethiopian Airlines General Manager, Mrs. Firiehiwot Mekonnen graciously made it two business class tickets to accommodate Mrs. Bayeye. It was befitting. Didier and his wife, Shirley were both singles when they attended AKWAABA 2018. Somehow, they connected and about a month ago, they had their wedding.

Mr. & Mrs. Bayeye…
Presentation to the Bayeyes by Ethiopian Airlines GM…

Speaking of weddings, some 2,000 years ago in Cana, Galilee there was a wedding and a situation arose – they ran out of wine. Lucky for them, Jesus was a guest at the wedding and when the situation was presented to him, he made provisions such that they were astonished. Their source of amazement was simple. In that clime and in those days, you serve the best wine first. By the time you run short, the people are already drunk and you can bring the cheap wine. However, the wine Jesus provided was better than what they had before. In other words, the best was saved for last.

Dancing time…

The night was not done yet as we were treated to some Ethiopian music and dancing and sure enough, many joined in the celebration as Ethiopia brought the 15th AKWAABA African Travel Market to a befitting grand closure.

Image credit: ©Igbo Ogbobine 2019 for More Cream Than Coffee®

Disclaimer:

Now, this article is not an attempt to belittle the efforts of the various participants at the recently concluded 15th AKWAABA African Travel Market. Indeed, everyone held their own as they did there thing which ultimately made the travel trade expo such a resounding success.

The 15th AKWAABA African Travel Market kicked off to a bright start on Sunday Sept 22, 2019 as hundreds of people turned out at the Convention Centre of Eko Hotels & Suites, Victoria Island to witness the expo.

The venue was packed as the various exhibition stands received a throng of Nigerians and other nationals, among whom many took the chance to sample the 21 different Jollof Rice by paying a token of N1,000.

It was Uganda Day and they made the most of it, shining brightly as they took the time to educate the crowd about the beauty and tourism attractions of the country affectionately referred to as the “Pearl of Africa,” with emphasis on the “Ugandan Martyrs.” The Ugandan delegation was led by the State Minister of Tourism, Hon Kiwanda Godfrey Ssuubi with the Ugandan Ambassador to Nigeria also in attendance.

The Uganda delegation crowned their presentation by giving out gifts to a host of selected deserving individuals.

Already present and exhibiting at this year’s event are: Dubai Tourism, Ghana, The Gambia, Asky & Ethiopian Airlines, Africa World Airlines (AWA), Caribbean Tourism Organisation, National Council for Arts & Culture, Lagos State, Arik Air and many more. The expo continues on Monday with Dubai Tourism hosting its “A Glimpse of Dubai” in the morning. Other activities for the day include Gambia Day, African Diaspora Tourism Conference, and Rum Time with the Caribbean. Exhibitions also continues through the day.

…more updates and images of AKWAABA 2019 coming…

Lagos, Nigeria – July 2, 2019

Ethiopian Airlines (ET), the largest Aviation Group in Africa and SKYTRAX certified Four Star Global Airline has issued a press release July 2, 2019 in Lagos, Nigeria.

In the press release, the airlines responded to a certain news report regarding an alleged seizure of foreign currency by personnel of the Ethiopian Customs & Revenue Authority (ECRA) at the Addis Ababa International Airport. The press release states the news report by some media houses in Nigeria is incorrect and misleading, and have asked such media houses to refrain from misinforming the traveling public.

Below is the full text of the statement issued by ET today:

July 2, 2019

Statement

Some media outlets in Nigeria are circulating incorrect information regarding alleged seizure of foreign currency by the Ethiopian Customs and Revenue Authority (ECRA) personnel at Addis Ababa International Airport.

A case in point is a report posted on the website of Channels Television, based in Lagos and other Nigerian cities, under the headline ‘Ethiopia Steps Up Seizure Of Foreign Currency From Passengers’.

The ‘news’ allegedly claims that passengers transiting Ethiopia with foreign currencies in excess of $3 000 (three thousand US Dollars) will have their money seized and face further legal action if they do not inform ECRA in advance.

This is an incorrect and misleading statement that needs correction. Any passenger transiting Addis Ababa without leaving the airport is free to board his/her next flight carrying whatever amount of foreign currencies from the previous flight.

However, if passengers enter Ethiopia carrying money in excess of $3000 (three thousand US Dollars), they are required to declare the money they carry to ECRA personnel as they exit the airport and take declaration form for smooth check-in for their next flight. While this procedure is not unique to Ethiopia and is practiced by many countries, we inform our passengers by making repeated announcements on all of our flights and the Customs authority also displays the procedures on notice boards at Addis Ababa International Airport.

In fact, travelling to Ethiopian has been made easier, more convenient and simple with Visa on arrival and electronic visa.

While we are pleased to inform our dear customers on the correct procedures and practices to transit through Ethiopia or visit the country, we would like to take this opportunity to request some media houses to refrain from misinforming the travelling public.

Addis Ababa:  4 April 2019 

Ethiopian Airlines Aviation Group which is the largest and the most successful Aviation group in Africa, would like to acknowledge the preliminary report of the accident of ET 302/10 March, 2019 and would like to appreciate the hard work of the investigation team.

The preliminary report clearly showed that the Ethiopian Airlines Pilots who were commanding Flight ET 302/10 March have followed the Boeing recommended and FAA approved emergency procedures to handle the most difficult emergency situation created on the airplane. Despite their hard work and full compliance with the emergency procedures, it was very unfortunate that they could not recover the airplane from the persistence of nose diving. As the investigation continues with more detailed analysis, as usual we will continue with our full cooperation with the investigation team. 

Group CEO, Tewolde GebreMariam said that “ All of us at Ethiopian Airlines are still going through deep mourning for the loss of our loved ones and we would like to express our deep sympathy and condolences for the families, relatives and friends of the victims. Meanwhile; we are very proud of our pilots’ compliances to follow the emergency procedures and high level of professional performances in such extremely difficult situations. We are also very proud of our Global standard Pilot Training Center and the Ethiopian Aviation Academy which is one of the largest and most modern in the world equipped with state of the art and latest training technologies . I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our valued customers, the travelling public, the media and Global aviation professionals for the remarkably high level of vote of confidences and strong support that you have been giving us starting from the day of this tragic accident. We will double our efforts every single day to win your confidence and earn your business. Your Safety will remain our top most priority and we will continue to work together with our partners around the world to make air travel safer and more comfortable. My highest appreciation also goes to my 16, 000 colleagues at Ethiopian Airlines for their resilience, high standards of professionalism and their continued commitment for operational excellence and their award winning customer services which enabled us to continue our business with out any operational disruption, flight delays nor flight cancellations.”

Addis Ababa:  29 March 2019 

Ethiopian Airlines, the largest Aviation Group in Africa and SKYTRAX certified Four Star Global Airline, is pleased to announce that it has been chosen as the Official Carrier for the 2019 World Press Freedom Day Global Conference to be held in Addis Ababa from May 1-3, 2019

The conference is jointly organized by UNESCO, the African Union and the Government of Ethiopia under the theme ‘Media for Democracy: Journalism and Elections in Times of Disinformation’.  

As the official carrier, Ethiopian will provide air transport service to the 1000-1500 participants who will be coming to Addis Ababa from around the globe. 

Group CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, Mr. Tewolde GebreMariam, remarked, We are honored to have been chosen to serve as the official carrier for this year’s World Press Freedom Day Global Conference. We are all the more delighted to be part of this noble cause which seeks to advance press freedom around the world. 

As panAfrican airline and the leading aviation group in the continent, Ethiopian has been serving as the Official Carrier for different regional and continental conferences held in African citiesAs always, we will treat conference participants onboard our flights, to the best of our Four Star rated African flavored servicewould like to say to all World Press Freedom Day conference participants, welcome onboard!”  Global, regional and national media stakeholders, high-level government officials, and journalists from across the globe will take part in the conference which will be held at the African Union Commission headquarters. 

Addis Ababa, 26, March 2019 

Ethiopian Airlines, the largest Aviation Group in Africa and SKYTRAX certified Four Star Global Airline, wins the prestigious African Champion of the Year Award on March 26,2019 at the ongoing Africa CEO Forum in Kigali which is being attended by more than 1,800 delegates.  

The AFRICA CEO FORUM is the leading international conference dedicated to the private sector in Africa and hosts the continent’s top CEOs, international investors, experts and high-level policy makers every year.Every year, the AFRICA CEO FORUM AWARDS recognize the companies and investors that have shaped the year in Africa, during the AFRICA CEO FORUM Gala Dinner.

While receiving the awards, Group Chief Executive Officer of Ethiopian Airlines, Mr. Tewolde GebreMariam said, “We are honored to be awarded as African champion. Thank you very much for the strong vote of confidence that Africa has given us even at the most challenging time in our history. We are still mourning for the loss of the lives of our esteemed passengers and colleagues at the tragic accident on ET 302 on 10 March 2019. My sincere sympathy and heartfelt condolences for the families of the victims, the country and the continent of Africa 

But we are very grateful to the traveling public which have stood with us in such difficult time. The vote of confidence is unbelievable. We have never seen such kind of large number of vote of confidence for one of the strongest brands in Africa. Thank you all for all the support you have given us and continue to give us. Together, we will make Africa great and we will put our continent in its right place in the global stage.”    Ethiopian is a multi-award winning airline. On November 8, 2017, SKYTRAX, the most prestigious international air transport standards and quality rating organization, has certified Ethiopian as Four Star Airline. SKYTRAX has also awarded Ethiopian as SKYTRAX World Airline Award for Best Airline Staff in Africa, two times, and earlier in 2017 Ethiopian has received SKYTRAX World Airline Award for Best Airline in Africa.

Addis Ababa:  21 March 2019 

Ethiopian Airlines would like to refute the following wrong reporting of the New York Times titled “Ethiopian Airlines Had a Max 8 Simulator, but Pilot on Doomed Flight Didn’t Receive Training”

Ethiopian Airlines, one of the safest and most dependable airlines in the world, is pleased to confirm that Ethiopian pilots have completed the Boeing recommended and FAA approved differences training from the B-737 NG aircraft to the B-737 MAX aircraft before the phase in of the B-737-800 MAX fleet to the Ethiopian operation and before they start flying the B-737-800 MAX. 

The pilots had also been made aware of, and well briefed on the Emergency Airworthiness Directive issued by the FAA following the Lion Air accident. The content of the airworthiness directive has also been well incorporated in all pilot training manuals, operational procedures and working manuals. 

The B-737 MAX full flight simulators is not designed to simulate the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) problems.

Ethiopia Airlines urges all concerned to refrain from making uninformed, incorrect, irresponsible and misleading statements during the period of the accident investigation. International regulations require all stakeholders to wait patiently for the final result of the investigation.