Motherland beckons beams light on Ethiopia’s Al Nejashi, Lalibela

Atunda Entertainment acts Anu (left), Ara and Olo giving a special rendition of Nigeria and Ethiopia national anthems at the event

Spearheads Amalgamation of East And West Africa Through Tourism

The newly erected stage, just by the longest swimming pool in the world (measuring 240 meters long) at the beachfront of La Campagne Tropicana Beach Resort, Ikegun Village, Lekki, Lagos, provided a perfect atmosphere for the formal unveiling of Motherland Beckons Destination Al Nejashi/Lalibela project.

An amalgamation of East and West Africa through tourism and creative arts, the initiative, which is powered by the Motherland Beckons platform, is part of effort by the organisation to bridge the gap between the different regions of Africa and the rest of the world. And over the years, the platform has remained committed to the promotion of Africa, particularly its culture and tourism offerings.

Already, the initiative has successfully activated Destination Akosombo in Ghana and Tanzania, as well as that of Turkey. Today, attention has shifted back to Africa, as Motherland Beckons looks towards Ethiopia as the next destination.

Performed by the founder and President of Motherland Beckons, Otunba Wanle Akinboboye and the Ethiopian Ambassador to Nigeria, Samia Zekaria Gutu, the formal launch, which signaled the commencement of the project, was witnessed by dignitaries, including the General Manager of Ethiopian Airlines (Nigeria) Solomon Begashaw, who will play a vital role in ensuring a seamless connection for tourists.

The Atunda Entertainment spiced the event with colourful displays. Accompanied by the Orchestra, the trio of Anu The Lady Ekwu, Olo Midan Bata and Ara (Thunder) gave a powerful rendition of both Nigeria and Ethiopia national anthems.

Addressing the gathering, Akinboboye explained the motive behind Destination Al Nejashi/Lalibela concept, enumerating the historical and economic derivatives of the project.

“The essence of our gathering this afternoon is to share from that strength and that conviction and vision that, when we are together, everything is possible. Not just the strength that you derive, but the platforms that you create from it that will enable you create industry and develop your economy.”

Akinboboye noted that both countries have a lot to learn from each to discover great things together as a people. “The continent of Africa will not know progress until we decide to come together. We must create prosperity together and when we create prosperity ultimately, we create unity.”

He continued: “Tourism and the creative arts is where the economic salvation of the continent lies. For over 30 years, I have held the belief that tourism can create prosperity for us and for over 30 years, La Campagne Tropicana Beach Resort has created wealth and prosperity for its community. It took a concerted plan and effort to remove from Africa its soul, which is its culture and it will take also a concerted effort and plan by us, Africans, to get it back,” he said.

Destination Al Nejashi/Lalibela, Akiboboye noted, forms part of that concerted effort and plan to regain the lost soul of Africa and implode its economy. “We are gathered here today to begin the journey of the East and West amalgamation through tourism and creative arts because, when we travel within our continent, we begin to build our economy and our creative forces will come to being,” he said.

Based on the project format, the bridge building process would be in two parts, with the first being the creation and promotion of tour packages to Al Nejashi and Lalibela, two great historical sites in Ethiopia.

The tour packages would involve the long stretch of value chain in the travel business with Ethiopian Holidays serving as the ground handlers, Ethiopian Airlines as the official carrier and Mountain – Ice – Consultancy, Travels and Tours Limited as the tour company. They will all work closely with Motherland Beckons to achieve the aim of the amalgamation. While the second part of the deal is the building of La Campagne Mountain Resort Al Nejashi, a themed resort that will utilise extensively the cultural materials of the people of Ethiopia and the region.

Speaking at the event, Ambassador Gutu amplified Akinboboye’s submission, as she gave credence to the amalgamation project, which according to her, is opening Ethiopia to the world.

“Though we don’t have beaches, but we would use our Gara le Gara to entertain you,” she noted, adding, “we want to build synergy in Africa by working with Africans to build Africa.”

She therefore expressed delight on the proposed resort and her eagerness to see it materialise. “We are going to start with our brother Wanle Akinbobye, as he is going to put up a place like this (La Campagne Tropicana Beach Resort) in Ethiopia. We can’t wait for it to come to life because it is going to serve as a boost to developing our tourist attractions. This is part of economic diplomacy and a fulfillment of my mandate as an envoy charged with the development of trade and business promotion between Ethiopia and Nigeria,” she said.

In his remarks, the General Manager of Ethiopian Airlines (Nigeria), Solomon Begashaw, assured of a seamless travel for tourists under the project, adding, “we are here to partner and ensure that it works to the best interest of our tourists. We would do everything possible to make it work. Tourism without aviation is difficult and we are here to bridge that gap,” he said.

Al Nejashi is a dedicated Muslim enclave in Wukro, which is located in the Tigray region or state, while Lalibela is a town in Amhara region in northern Ethiopia and famous for its monolithic rock – hewn churches.



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