Eritrean city now UNESCO heritage
A lot has marked the world of travel and tourism this year. President Donald trump Travel ban particularly made headlines. Four African countries were affected: Libya, Sudan, Somalia and Chad.
Sudan’s ban was lifted then Chad was added to the list. This move steered mixed reactions on the continent. Well, it’s not all gloom and doom, quite a number of positive things happened in Africa.
One of them is the Eritrean city, the first to be classed as a UNESCO heritage site.
The city in question is Asmara, the capital of Eritrea, the country has long been associated with repression but in July this year it acquired a more positive image by becoming the world’s first modernist city designated in its entirety as a Unesco World Heritage site.
The Eritrean city of 800,000 people became an artistic playground in the 1930s for Italian futurists who were able to play out their architectural fantasies in the Italian colony in the Horn of Africa.
Senegal’s new airport
Senegal opened the new Blaise Diagne International Airport officially on December 7 – the event was presided over by President Macky Sall
Construction of the airport started in 2007. that means it took a decade to complete the project.
The cost of the project is put at $600m. It was started by a Saudi firm but later completed by a Turkish company after a dispute with the Saudis.
It is located in the town of Diass, some 29 miles from the Senegalese capital of Dakar. It has a capacity for three million passengers per year as compared to the current travel traffic of 1.9 million passengers per annum.
The Blaise Diagne International Airport is named after the first African to be elected a lawmaker in France, as far back as 1914.
The ease of travelling around Africa
Within the past one year , there have been some positive changes in travel as one third of African countries loosened their visa policies. 13 countries now offer electronic visas, up from 9 last year.
Ghana made the most progress: In 2016 the government announced that it would provide visas on arrival for citizens of every AU member state, while offering entirely visa-free travel to 17 African countries, including the 14 other members of the Economic Community of West African States ECOWAS.
The top ten of the countries leading in visa openness are Seychelles , Uganda, Togo , Guinea Bissau, Cape Verde, Ghana, Mauritania, Mozambique, Mauritius and Rwanda. According to the AFDB index on visa openness, the least open countries in Africa are Cameroon,South ,Sudan,Gabon,Ethiopia,Eritrea,Sudan,Angola,Libya,Equatorial Guinea, and Western Sahara. With Western Sahara and Equatorial Guinea proving to be the most difficult, requiring visas from all member countries on the continent.
Kenya is king of domestic air travel
Kenya’s capital Nairobi was named king of domestic air travel in Africa. Travel data company Forward Keys revealed that Nairobi’s domestic air travel has recorded some significant growth this year.
It reported that Nairobi is the only major African city where domestic air travel is outpacing international traffic as long-haul international flights to Nairobi grew by 8%.
The growth in Kenya’s domestic air travel has been facilitated by a number of factors, like the improvement of the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
After a fire gutted the international arrivals terminal in 2013, a multimillion dollar expansion plan was set in place expected to boost its capacity threefold from 2.5 million to 7.5 million passengers annually.
Testing ‘fastest train in Africa
Morocco earlier tested Africa’s first high-speed railway with trains reaching 320 kilometres per hour that’s about 200 miles stretch. Morocco’s TGV, which gets its name from the French abbreviation for high-speed trains, is set to enter service in mid 2018.
One train reached 275 kilometers per hour on Monday along a track between the northern cities of Kenitra and Tangiers.