Okavango tourism project receives US$25 million from US and EU

1 February 2007

Luanda, Angola, 1 Feb – The Okavango tourism project, which includes five southern African countries: Angola, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe, has received US$25 million for basic work in the areas of Kuando-Kubango, in southern Angola, from the United States and the European Union (EU), according to Angola’s Hotel and Tourism minister.

The funding is to be used to carry out a feasibility study, an inventory of natural resources and an air survey of the areas of greatest concentration of land mines, work carried out by US non-governmental organization, “Conservation International.”

Minister Eduardo Chingunji said that part of the funds would also be used to train the resident population, teaching people how to set up small tourism companies and equipping them with hotel and tourism skills.

According to Chingunji, the Okavango project, set up in December 2006 at the Victoria Falls meeting, could become a benchmark for world tourism due to the diversity of its tourism potential.

“It is from the basis of eco-tourism, safari, hunting, fishing amongst other things that we are going to attract thousands of tourists from the four corners of the globe, including those that will travel to the Soccer World Cup in South Africa in 2010,” Chingunji noted.

According to the minister, the potential of Kuando-Kubango, which has already been recognized by Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia, particularly the elephant population, will provide a spectacle for visitors as they can be seen in high numbers in the region. (macauhub)