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Monday, May 25, 2009

President Barack Obama's visit - What's in for Africa?

President Barack Obama's visit - What's in for Africa?

Get all the latest on President Obama's first visit to Africa as President. We look behind the headlines to let you know what is in store for Africa. Stay tuned.

The question of why Barack Obama has chosen Ghana rather than Kenya, his father's homeland, or Nigeria, Africa's giant, for his first trip to Africa as President of the United States, is exercising newspapers from Nairobi to New York.

Nairobi's Daily Nation said Monday that "in skipping Kenya, the first African American president is signaling that he puts political values over ancestral allegiances."

Although the Nation quoted Kenyan foreign minister Moses Wetang'ula as denying that Obama had snubbed the country, it also referred to recent U.S. criticism of the country's struggling coalition government.

"Mr Johnnie Carson, President Obama's top Africa official, recently made a stop in Nairobi where he delivered a stern warning to President [Mwai] Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga to get the reform process on track or face unspecified sanctions," the Nation reported.

In Lagos, This Day carried a harshly-worded opinion piece from 'Jibola Asolo, a Nigerian lawyer based in Britain, saying that the failure of the first black U.S. president to stop over in the world's most populous black country "should really serve as a moment of reflection for us as a nation. It should shame us as a people."

But, wrote Asolo, Obama's decision should not be a surprise.

"The reality is: on the world stage Nigeria is not ready to play ball. We, as a nation, are still stuck on stupid while other countries are buckling down and taking the issue of good governance seriously. This considered, the President of America would be hard-pressed to grace our land with his presence in light of the joke that is Project Nigeria."

In the U.S., the New York Times reinforced the African commentary.

In a report based on unnamed White House sources, it said that "A year after Kenya exploded in political violence, it remains a tense and unsettled place. Ghana, by contrast, is an outpost of democracy and civil society in a volatile region."

The Times quoted a senior official as saying that ideally Obama would have preferred a longer trip to Africa. But time constraints meant that such a trip would have to wait until later in his tenure.

"So his advisers agreed to tack the quick Ghana stop onto the end of his Russia-G-8 trip to at least get a marker down before too much time passed," said the paper.

And, in a reflection of how difficult it is to get yourself onto the agenda of an American president, the Times quoted the official as saying Ghana offered an opportunity to promote important values even on a one-night visit: "We have limited time and we tried to figure out where we could get the most out of limited time," the official said.

Credit: John Allen,

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

“New magazine for Africa’s hospitality and tourism industry launches in Nairobi.”

May 11, 2009, Nairobi, Kenya - Mondeas Ltd, in conjunction with All Times Media, today unveils Host Africa magazine—“Africa’s leading hospitality and tourism resource”.

Targeting mid and top-level management, industry decision makers and suppliers, the magazine is designed as a business-to-business tool capturing in-depth analysis and insights into the hospitality and tourism industry regionally and globally.

The magazine presents an editorial mix of feature stories, news briefs and opinion pieces in a sophisticated, clean and professional design. It is structured to inform and inspire industry professionals to grow on the job and to help improve industry practices across the board.

“Through this product, managers will have access to informative and engaging articles of interest in such diverse areas as airlines, hotels, restaurants, telecommunication, travel, construction and industry suppliers,” says Ken Teyie, Editor Host Africa. “It is the perfect platform for industry decision makers to speak to one another about day-to-day business management challenges,” added Teyie.
Host Africa is working closely with the hospitality and tourism industry across Africa to provide key intelligence to those who need it most. Host Africa also highlights emerging global trends that will affect operations across the continent.

“We are proud to be part of a solution that will help grow the hospitality industry in Africa. Through this magazine, we will shed light on developments that have the potential of influencing the industry in both short and long term perspectives,” says Rand Pearson, Creative Director, Mondeas Ltd. “We have a world class tourism industry here, and it deserves a world class media product serving it.”

“This is exactly what we need as an industry,” says Hooman Ehsani, director of new developments Village Market. “No where else will you get such engaging content that targets you as a business manager locally. This publication will play an important role in bringing back confidence [in the industry], despite the reduction in tourist numbers in the region due to the global economic meltdown.”

Mondeas and All-Times Media will publish four editions of Host Africa in 2009, moving to six editions for 2010 and beyond. Currently the publishers are direct mailing 2500 copies to mid and high level managers across the region, and circulating another 1000 copies through local newsstand and promotional outlets. The publishers expect circulation to double by the end of the year.
“This really is the best-positioned advertising tool for those businesses interested in reaching high-level decision makers in the hospitality industry,” says Sapna Chandaria, Operations Director, Mondeas Ltd. “We’re not a mass-interest magazine; we target our market very precisely.”

Opened in 2007 and based in Nairobi, Mondeas Ltd is a custom media agency producing television program, magazines and websites. To learn more, go to
Host Africa is available via subscription and at selected newsstands in Nairobi.