Nairobi (Kenya) – June 29, 2015 – Following the departure of Ms. Waturi Wa Matu, who served as Coordinator for the East Africa Tourism Platform (EATP) since the launch of the regional tourism apex body three years ago, the organization has been seeking to fill the position with an equally competent individual from across the member states of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda.
In a breaking news development, it was confirmed that Ms. Carmen Nibigira, former Director General of the Burundi National Tourism Office and presently a Ph.D. Candidate at Clemson University in South Carolina, was selected unanimously and will upon completion of her studies take over the vacant position in Nairobi.
Carmen took Burundi’s national tourism office from a previously hibernating state into the spotlight among the East African tourism boards, winning ITB’s Best African Exhibitor Award among many other accomplishments during her one year term of office, before she had to return to the United States to complete her Ph.D. studies.
Carmen earned the respect and admiration among East Africa’s tourism fraternity, and no doubt her appointment will be warmly welcomed across the region.
Gifted with both academic credentials as well as skills in diplomacy, besides her extensive network in Eastern Africa and beyond, Carmen is thought to be the perfect choice to take over from Waturi and take EATP to the next level, as East Africa’s tourism sector needs to unite to succeed against sharp competition from Southern Africa’s safari destinations.
Said Carmen in a brief statement sent out earlier on to this correspondent: “I am very honored to have been selected as Coordinator for the East Africa Tourism Platform. Waturi Wa Matu did a fantastic job since the launch of EATP and has, together with the representatives of the member countries, driven the regional tourism agenda forward. EATP has recorded significant successes, and I look forward to building on these achievements and help take East Africa’s tourism industry to the next level.
“The region has many opportunities and challenges and the best chance to succeed is to stand together and form a united front when we market the region and engage with the governments, [the] private sector, and all stakeholders to deal with current constraints. I will be taking up the position during the month of July and very much look forward to work[ing] hand in hand with the representatives of the five member countries to ensure tourism is recognized as a leading source of employment, foreign exchange earnings, and both foreign direct investment and local investment. I look forward to shaping sound policies supporting development tourism while bringing solutions to some of the pressing issues like wildlife management and conservation as well as human capital.”
Waturi Wa Matu also wished her successor, with whom she worked hand in hand when Carmen was head of Burundi’s national tourism office, all the best, when discussing the new appointment earlier in the month. Waturi, now at Trade Mark East Africa, will remain linked to the tourism sector and assured this correspondent that the industry can count on her continued support in the future from her new position.
Please visit: http://www.ea-tourism-platform.org/