Ethiopia: Reinforcing the smokeless industry

October 3, 2018 Africa , Opinion , OPINION/NEWS

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Alem Hailu G/Kristos



Ethiopia, which is the cradle of mankind, boasts natural touristic spots that run the gamut from the Dashen mountain, Blue Nile falls, Sof Omer cave to the Denakle depression. It also prides in handmade touristic attractions like Axum and Lalibela.


Owing to these magnetic pulls and its being peculiar in so many ways, Ethiopia is the focus of attention of many.


Apart from these tangible heritages, it also stands out for its wide-ranging intangible heritages. The finding of the true cross Meskel and thanksgiving Irecha are but to mention the celebrations of this week. Various events to mark the ensuing of the new year of Ethiopia like Feche Chembelala are proceeding apace.


Traditional administrative and democratic systems as well as court procedures like Gada are found among the prominent attractions.


The country is generating hard currency from the smokeless industry. But given its potential in the sector, Ethiopia has not yet reaped as much benefits as it should. It suffices to comparatively assess reports from neighboring countries like Kenya.


Here, the tourism day was celebrated for the 31st time in Gambela on September 27 under the theme “Digital technology transfer for the development of the tourism sector!”


This sheds light on the fact that there is a call for capitalizing the utilization of technology to augment the hard currency the country is garnering from the tourism sector.


A cutthroat competition marks this era. To emerge successful in tourism brushing shoulders with those that have proved outstanding in the global arena, when it comes to embracing cutting-edge technology, there is no batting of eyes. As the large segment of tourists that come here are from the developing countries, keeping abreast with modern trends is a must do. It is through making use of the digital technology that tourists get information about their destinations. They want to check the tranquility, infrastructural facilities and services they get in their country of destination.


Also developing an information database using recent technology is exigent. It will be a step forward. Properly collecting data on how many tourists came the previous year, which touristic spots were visited and how much foreign exchange was collected, among others, are decisive to evaluate the past, better handle trends today and prognosis situations down the road.


It also serves as a key toolkit in the backpacks of policymakers, for it helps to single out hurdles in the sector and troubleshoot them. Businesspersons and investors in the tourism sector have to be foresighted enough to build tomorrow on the bedrock of today leaning on technological utilization. They have to be mindful of international competitions.


In this regard, the government must encourage and support business persons that come aboard the industry. Parallel to this, within a framework of law, it has to put the task of reinforcing the sector with technological applications so that all will give attention to the required goal. This will help keep pace with those countries that took the lead in modernizing the sector. It will also open doors for job opportunities.


As many youths are engaged in IT technology they could be incentivized to come up with different applications. Encouraging creative youths to develop mobile applications that lets tourists confirm lodgings, ask rates of foreign exchange, facilitate taxi contracts and know weather forecasts is essential.


Supported by stakeholders, the government must reinforce the sector through training. To translate into action the set plan of rendering the sector vibrant a lot is expected from the Culture and Tourism Ministry. All said, outages of internet and electricity that surface at times must be also be addressed.





Alem Hailu G/Kristos

A published poet, novelist, editor, translator of masterpieces, literary critic, playwright and journalist from Ethiopia. M.A holder in literature, Addis Ababa University.

Looking for a traditional publisher of a collection of poems. My novel: ‘Hope from the debris of hopelessness’.

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