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Explore Africa

South Africa Hotel Group Wins The 2017 Sabre Top Destination Technology Award

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Orion Hotels & Resorts have been awarded the Sabre Top Destination Technology Award, the newest category created to include all establishments that have selected Sabre technology and its SynXis Central Reservation System to power up their activity.

The award was presented by Richard Wiegmann, Managing Director & CCO EMEA, Sabre Hospitality Solutions. Wiegmann traveled from Germany to hand over the award personally, including a unique trophy designed by Rialheim Ceramics for the occasion. Additionally, the hotel group’s CEO, Franz Gmeiner, won a seat at the Sabre Technology Exchange event taking place in the Spring of 2018 in Europe.

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Reaching Out

Seychelles Food Waste Reduction Program Saves 440lbs Of Food

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Don’t Waste, Eat! program on Sunday 12th of May shared 200 kg of food to 35 families in Seychelles’ Roche Caiman in eastern Mahe district. Fruits, vegetables, and pastries are some of the foods shared to the families. However, the items were donations from SPAR supermarket and hotels that are members of the Seychelles Hospitality and Tourism Association. This includes Kempinski Seychelles Resort, H Resort, Bravo Restaurant, Constance Ephelia, and Alphonse Island Lodge. Commenting on the donated items, Rosetta Alcindor, the Seychelles Sustainable Tourism Foundation Project Officer, said

“Though a lot of the products are buffet leftovers or had reached their best before date, they are still good for consumption. There is more to a food donation than what we usually think. We [Don’t Waste, Eat!] are not only providing food for the community and diverting good food from the landfill, but we are also putting smiles on families’ faces.”

Origin of Don’t Waste, Eat! program

Don’t Waste, Eat! is a partnership between the Seychelles Sustainable Tourism Foundation (SSTF) and Betterfly Tourism. Betterfly Tourism is a software publisher for tourism professionals. In 2018, there were over 350,000 tourist visits to Seychelles. However, this also led to a rise in food waste. This annual food wastes from hotels amounting to 2,655 tons end up in the landfill. Consequently, the Don’t Waste, Eat! was launched in July 2018.

The Don’t Waste, Eat! food waste reduction program is an attempt to cut down food waste. This program is particularly important because Seychelles depends heavily on the import of food products. Also, SSTF is using the program to create synergy between the tourism industry and local food production stakeholders as well as other relevant organizations.

How to become part of the program

Hotels can become a part of Don’t Waste, Eat! program through an annual subscription. Consequently, there will be a 2-day audit and staff training. Subsequently, the hotels will have access to Betterfly software, EDGAR, to track their food waste performance. Research by Sustainability for Seychelles (S4S) shows that 48% of waste that goes to landfill in the western Indian Ocean are organic. Hence the need to have policies that would give liability protection for food donation. According to Alcindor,

“As the food is donated, it reduces the demand for importation of food products on the market. Families now consume what they were donated, hence avoiding CO2 emissions along the supply chain.”

In a bid to increase interest in food donations, the SSTF is also seeking policy developments. These policies will include monitoring of food donations, create food safety guidance for food donation as well as create tax incentives for organizations willing to donate. This will encourage donors and organizations to donate for the wellbeing of the planet and the community.

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Business and Development

Sustainable Growers Rwanda Improving The Livelihood Of Female Coffee Farmers

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Sustainable Growers Rwanda (SG-R) is a local non-profit. The organization is offering training to low-income female coffee farmers to improve their livelihood. Majority of the low coffee yields are due to wrong farm practices. Some of the farming techniques SG-R are teaching the female farmers are mulching and timely application of fertilizers and pesticides.

The program SG-R is teaching the female coffee farmers has topics like cooperative management, agricultural practices, governance and leadership, home coffee roasting, and gender mainstreaming. The training happened in the Huye District of Rwanda. The female coffee farmers were also trained in quality control and cupping. These are necessary to increase their access to bigger markets. The Regional Director at Sustainable Growers, Christine Condo, said,

“We have a heavy agenda to enrich women’s potential with skills and means. Their focus and discipline inspire me greatly. These initiatives impact positively on the entire life-cycle of their respective families and Communities. We believe that 60 percent of coffee quality is achieved from the farm. That is why we have been training them to take care of coffee from seedlings to roasting, to cupping and marketing.”

Impact of the training to female coffee farmers

Sustainable Growers Rwanda is training female coffee farmers

A lot of Rwandan female coffee farmers are already reaping the benefits of the training. For example, Prisca Mukamurenzi has been suffering from low yield. The 46-year-old female coffee farmer used to harvest one kilogram of coffee from one tree. However, since attending the training, her fortune has changed for the better.

Mukamurenzi was one of the graduates of the SG-R training program comprising of about 3700 female coffee farmers. In attendance were farmers from the districts of Nyamagabe, Gisagara, Nyaruguru, and Huye. Last year Mukamurenzi was able to generate Rwf460,000 (approx. $510) from 250 kg of coffee. She also increased the coffee trees in her garden from 185 to 250.

To ensure the farmers implemented what they learned, SG-R also developed a reward scheme. The reward scheme called “Wakoze neza Muhinzi”, Premium Sharing Rewards was worth Rwf17 million (approx. $19,000). Depending on their level of performance, the women were rewarded with phones, radios, fabrics (ibitenge), mattresses, solar lights, pruning saws, pruning shears, sprayers, goats, pigs, and cows.

About Sustainable Growers Rwanda

Sustainable Growers Rwanda started its training in Nyaruguru District three years ago. However, the training has spread to other districts in the past years. The aim of their training is to improve the quality and prices of coffee as well as enhance transparency in coffee trading. Female coffee farmers in Nyaruguru are now reaping 100 percent increase in yield.

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Business and Development

Tanzanian Government Takes A Bold Stand To Protect The Environment

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Plastic accumulation is becoming a menace around the globe. Marine life often consumes these plastics which eventually get into humans. Many countries around the world are exploring alternatives to plastic use. However, Tanzania is the latest country to officially place a ban on the use of plastic bags. The ban will take effect from the 1st of June 2019. On Thursday 16th of May 2019, the government released a statement titled “Notice To Travelers Planning To Visit Tanzania” which read in part,

“The Government of Tanzania wishes to make an official note to travelers planning to travel to Tanzania that from 1st June 2019 all plastic bags, regardless of their thickness will be prohibited from being imported, exported, manufactured, sold, stored, supplied and used in mainland Tanzania.”

Consequently, the government is planning to set up a special desk at entry points to ensure total compliance. With the announcement, Tanzania joins about thirteen other African countries that have either introduced levy or banned plastic bags. However, the Prime Minister, Kassim Majaliwa is calling on plastic bag manufacturers to find alternative technologies for bags.

The problem with plastic bags and exceptions to the ban

Tanzania bans plastic waste

The major problem with plastic bags is the length of time it takes to decay. Some researchers are speculating it can take up to 1,000 years. Consequently, their accumulation can lead to flooding when they block drainages. Also, they can prevent rainwater from penetrating the soil leading to low crop yield.

However, the government understands the importance of plastic in packaging and makes exceptions for a few. According to the statement, plastics or plastic packaging for sanitary and waste management, foodstuff, agricultural sector, construction industry, industrial products, and medical services are exceptions to the ban. “Ziplo Bags” used for carrying toiletries are also permitted for travelers since they are unlikely to be disposed of in the country. Another part of the statement reads,

“The government does not intend for visitors to Tanzania to find their stay unpleasant as we enforce the ban. However, the government expects that, in appreciation of the imperative to protect the environment and keep our country clean and beautiful, our visitors will accept minor inconveniences resulting from this plastic bags ban.”

Commendations for the new law

The international community is sending their message of congratulations to the Tanzanian government for the historic move. One of such messages came from Dr. Amani Ngusaru, the WWF Country Director. Ngusaru lauded the move as a boost to environmental and natural resources protection.

“Plastic is a number one polluter of environment and a silent killer of our natural environment and resources than most people understand. This is because it takes more than a hundred years for a single plastic bag to decay. We are happy that Tanzania is among the very few African countries to ban the use of plastic bags and we will work hard toward supporting the government in the fight against plastic pollution”.

Other African countries with a plastic control

In 2007, Uganda placed a ban on lightweight plastic bag. However, the ban was never implemented. In August 2018, Kenya introduced a total ban on the use of plastics. Consequently, those using plastics illegally in Kenya risk 4 years in prison or a fine of $40,000. Also, it is illegal to import, produce, use, or sell plastic bags in Rwanda. Currently, there are over 40 countries around the globe that banned, restrict or tax the use of plastics including Italy, France, and China.

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