In efforts to smoothen tourism services, particularly the system for payment of various fees, Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority has come up with an improved payment system, which will make use of a special card named as: TANZANITE CARD, payable through National Microfinance Bank (NMB) in lieu of the former SMART CARD.
In essence, instead of using the “Ngorongoro Smart Card, this time around tourists and tour operators entering Ngorongoro Conservation Area, will use TANZANITE CARDS, which will be issued and managed by NMB through a special account named as WALLET Account to be opened with any NMB bank branch. By this NOTICE, each Tour Operator is urged to visit any NMB Bank Branch to open WALLET Account, ready for use with effect from the 1st February 2017. The account will enable every customer to access his/her account through NMB, get statement of account from the Bank or online, transact with the bank any time as bank is on line 24hrs, deposit and withdraw funds or re-allocate funds as well as the ability to control its use (own management of account).
Thus, in view of the foregoing, the NCAA expects that from 1st February, 2017 all payment transactions will be done through your WALLET Account with NMB.
Nevertheless, with the improved payment system anybody with VISA/Master card can use the same to pay for NCA entry and all other fees payable to the NCAA subject to additional service charge of 1.5% of the respective NCAA fees.
The NCAA requests all of our customers to take all necessary initiative in acquiring a Tanzanite Card from the NMB Bank to avoid unnecessary inconveniences effective from 1st February 2017.
Tanzania which holds the deputy chair at the World Heritage Committee of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, held a special meeting in Arusha to set the continental agenda for the WHC meet which had been held in France this October. Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, Major General Gaudence Milanzi said Tanzania, being a member of the World Heritage Committee convened the special meeting in Arusha, to lay grounds for the Paris meet which took place in Paris on the 24th and 25th of October 2016.
“We have set one position and delegated a single agenda for the Paris Conference. From now henceforth the continent will be presenting a single agenda as African Members, unlike in the past when each country used to go about it its own," he said. According to the Permanent Secretary, one of the issues that have been tabled is how countries in Africa can make use of advanced, modern technology in tapping gas, oils and mineral resources from protected areas such as National Parks, Game Reserves and World Heritage Sites without interfering with nature or destroying the original conservation environment up.
The World Heritage Committee meets once a year, and consists of representatives from 21 of the States Parties to the Convention elected by their General Assembly, initially this year’s meeting was supposed to be held in Turkey but some political unrest in the country compelled the event to be postponed and moved to France. The Committee is responsible for the implementation of the World Heritage Convention, defines the use of the World Heritage Fund and allocates financial assistance upon requests from States Parties.
It has the final say on whether a property is inscribed on the World Heritage List. It examines reports on the state of conservation of inscribed properties and asks States Parties to take action when properties are not being properly managed. It also decides on the inscription or deletion of properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Together with journalists from other media houses from Tanzania and abroad, we arrived at Laetoli site in Ngorongoro Conservation Area, north of Tanzania on Friday morning last week. We were here to witness the official announcement to the world about the second important discovery of human evolution evidence at Laetoli.
By all accounts, Laetoli holds the record of the world-famous archaeological site where the first hominid footprints excavations were discovered by a team of scientists led by Dr Mary Leakey in 1978. This geological site has over the years inspired scientists, researchers and geologists including tourists to witness human evolution evidence in Africa. Prof Jumanne Maghembe, minister of natural resources and tourism, the guest of honour arrived shortly after with the Ngorongoro CEO, Dr. Freddy Manongi to grace the event.
Other officials present included Tanzania National Environment Management Council DG, Eng Bonaventure Baya, who is also the Chair of the national technical advisory committee on the development of museum for Laetoli project, and the Director from the Antiquities’ division in the ministry of natural resources and tourism, Mr Donatius Kamamba.
We were walked by Prof Fidelis Masao, a researcher and senior lecturer at the University of Dar es Salaam, Prof Charles Musiba, a Tanzanian archaeologist based in the US in the company of other International geologists who have been working at the site. Unhindered view of the expansive landscape stretching far, its sheer size in a rolling, open setting and relatively dry land took us through the stretched valley floor surrounded by scrubby habitat, sheer cliffs on either side, to find the three different sites. The walk through sites within a trackway aroused intertwined feelings of wonder and mystery as Prof Masao and Prof Musiba, poured detailed briefs of the excavation findings. Prof Fidelis Masao and Dr Elgidius Ichumbaki from the University of Dar es salaam were contracted to perform the cultural heritage impact assessment by the site contractors, Peter Rich Architects from South Africa in partnership with GMP Consulting Engineers of Arusha.
During their assessment work they were joined by other locals Mr Josephat Gurtu, Mr Augustine Sungito, Mr. Eliya Bura and Mzee Simoni Mataro, where they discovered the hnofossil record that reputedly consisted of hominin footprints. The footprints were impressed on a fine-grained volcanic ash and constitute some of the world’s strongest evidence regarding the origin of human ability to walk upright bipedaly. And animal trackways and raindrop imprints are also wellpreserved in the same location. All these are important landmarks of palaeanthropology.
The second major discovery is in several trails of footprints, located in one trackway, dated 3.7 million years’ old of hominin footprints, about 60 metres from the first discovery of Dr Leakey in 1978. The latest discovery, according to Engineer Joshua Mwankunda from the NCAA, is a result of a scientific research work in which the NCA gathered a team of scientists from all over the world at Laetoli. The team of geologists led by Tanzania researchers verified the validity of the print as homin footprints in their ten-day research work at Laetoli.
Engineer Mwankunda is the national project manager at the site, who has seen consistent research work at the site. He has been a man ager for eight years at NCAA in charge of the heritage and cultural department. He has since spent the recent three years at the site to coordinate activities. It took nearly two hours to fathom the discovery as most of the people in the entourage keenly watched as experts showed the minister the varied footprints in different shaded areas whose importance is insurmountable.
In his speech to announce the new discovery to the world, Prof Maghembe applauded the good work that was done by scientists, consultants, geologists led by Tanzanian researchers. He said the ongoing work in the several trails should continue at a good speed. He said the new discovery, places Tanzania at the fore front in human origin research particularly in understanding the origin of upright posture and bipedal gait by providing the only concrete evidence that our ancestors were fully bipedal 3.7 million years ago. And by this new discovery the NCA profile is raised once again, and the prints provide a unique opportunity as a tourist attraction for local and International visitors. We drove out of the Laetoli passing through wildlife roaming in the savannah landscape.
Information to all tourism Operators
Improvements to the NCAA Payment System
Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA) is currently conducting project on revamping its payment systems with the aim of improving its operations efficiency, accountability and streamlines permit issuance process to make it more easy and convenient to our customers.
This project has been divided into two phase as follows;
Phase One: Introduction of Wallet, Quote and Permit Printing (July – December 2016)
Phase Two: Introduction of Online Booking and Billing System (January 2017)
Instruction and information about phase II will be provided later.
Phase One: Introduction of Wallet, Quote and Permit Printing (July – December 2016):
This is a temporary improvement, whereby NCAA has introduced the use of Quote, Printed Permits and Wallet. The use of Quote and Printed Permits has been in use parallel with the card system since July 15, 2016. The Wallet feature is going to replace the card system (Top-up, VTT Transfer, and Swap). The complete features of the Phase I are expected to start officially from 1st September 2016.
How it Works:
From the Customers point of view, in this new system, there are no much changes to the business process as compared to the previous system. The system will facilitate permit processing in two ways;
i. Direct Sale
ii. Deposit through Wallet.
Direct sale is design for non-frequent customers or Tour Operators with small volume of tourist. In this channel the process will be as follows;
i. Customer will take safari itinerary information to the NCAA office (Arusha or Karatu).
ii. Based on the safari itinerary information the customer will be given a quote/s. (one quote per each permit).
iii. The customer will bank the required amount in respective currency (TZS and USD) as shown in the quote/s to designated NCAA Bank Accounts.
iv. After banking, the Customer will have an option either to proceed to the NCAA entry gate with the Quote/s and Bank pay-in slip. OR go back to the Arusha office/Karatu office to obtain an Entry permit.
v. NCAA staff will verify submitted bank slip and quote/s, and once they have confirmed the payment, will produce an entry permit.
vi. The Customer will be given the Entry Permit and proceed to check-in at the gate.
vii. A check-in slip will be produced and attached to a permit. The customer will be ready to enter NCAA.
Note: Verification of Payment through internet banking may take time and therefore cause delays and queue. To avoid this, we recommend Tour Operators to complete the permit processing at Arusha or Karatu to minimize the queue at the gate.
Deposit through Wallet:
Deposit through Wallet is design for frequent customers and Tour Operators with large volume of tourist. This system works similar to the WMA system, with minor difference, that it is not online and Operators will have no direct access to the system. Every tour operator will have a Wallet account in the NCAA System. A wallet will be loaded when a bank deposit is done and offload when a permit is printed. A tour operator will be given a statement of wallet as and when required. In this channel the process will be as follows:-
i. Deposit any amount of money as per your wish in NCAA designated Bank accounts (TZS and USD).
ii. Visit NCAA office (Arusha or Karatu ) with the bank pay-in slips
iii. NCAA staff will load the wallet with the respective amount as per bank pay-in slips after verification of payment and produce a receipt for the transaction.
If your wallet has sufficient funds in both currencies.
What to do:
When using Wallet, operators will be required to appoint a Authorized Personals (Not exceeding three), who will be introduced to NCAA through a Personal Authorization Form. Only Authorized Personally will be allowed to process quotes and permits on behalf of the Company.
Therefore Companies are required to fill and submit the Personal Authorization form to NCAA Arusha and Karatu Office before September 1, 2016.
It is important to note that, all the permit processing procedures should be carried out in our Arusha or Karatu office. The gates will be used for check-in and check-out procedures only.
Tanzania participated at the 40th World Heritage Committee meeting in Istanbul, Turkey from 10th to 20th July 2016. In the meeting, Tanzania was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry for Natural Resources and Tourism Major General Gaudence Milanzi. In the side event to commemorate 10 years of the African World Heritage Fund, Major General Milanzi reminded members of the World Heritage Committee meeting that the Ngorongoro Declaration on Safeguarding African World Heritage as a Driver of Sustainable Development, adopted in Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania on 4 June 2016. Owing to its outstanding universal natural and cultural heritage value, Major General Milanzi informed the delegates that Ngorongoro was the first Tanzanian site to be inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1979 and as mixed property in 2010. He informed the delegates that, internationally, the Ngorongoro is also recognised as a part of the Serengeti-Ngorongoro Biosphere Reserve under UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Program since 1981 and it is an aspiring Geo-park.
Major General Milanzi reminded the delegates that the Ngorongoro Declaration, different from other common Declarations, is characterised by the following key features: it attempts to describe the concept of sustainable development in the contents and contexts of development challenges facing Africa states; it draws its mandates from the vast experiences of Africa in conservation and management of natural resources of Africa; it understands, in broader terms, the issues of capacity in the management of the heritage sites; it promotes social cohesion within and outside their borders using heritage values and promotes gender equity; it recognizes that social capital (partnership and networking) important for conservation and management of the sites; it reiterates the role of the local communities in the conservation and management and their dependence on WHC; and it recognizes the massive direct and opportunity costs affecting the rural population for the protection of the sites, and a need to effectively and efficiently mitigate these costs.
He emphasized that in order to ensure that the Ngorongoro Declaration is implemented and African states accrue tangible benefits from the sites and in order to ensure the balanced approach in heritage conservation and sustainable development in Africa three things are necessary: development of action plans, consistent with the Declaration; undertaking of strategic environmental appraisal of the plans; and monitoring and evaluation of the development plans.
Major Generally Milanzi emphasized that Tanzania understands that every development action has an impact and that there is no impact free development. He reiterate that every decision about the heritage sites, including ‘no go decision’ or ‘no action decision’ promoted by developed nations, had impacts on the our natural and cultural heritages. Major General Milanzi informed the delegates that science and technology have advanced so much over the decade, and therefore, with appropriate science and technology, African states can optimize conservation and use of the world heritage sites with minimum possible adverse effects and without compromising the values of these sites, and in essence this is sustainable development.
On behalf of my Government, we would wish to sincerely thank UNESCO for accepting a request from Tanzania to host the meeting on Safeguarding African World Heritage as a Driver of Sustainable Development in Tanzania. We would also wish to extend our sincere gratitude to the Government of the People’s Republic of China and other donors for generous support granted to UNESCO and make it possible to hold the meeting in Tanzania. We thank you all for continued support. Tanzania was participating in this meeting for the first time as the member of the World Heritage Committee, representing Africa together with Angola, Zimbabwe and Bukina Faso. Tanzania is boosting of having 7 world heritage sites, which includes Selous Game Reserve, Serengeti National Park, Kilimanjaro National Park and Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Tanzania was also represented by Amb. Taj Begum of Embassy of Tanzania in France, Director of Antiquities Mr. Donatius Kamamba and Conservator of Ngorongoro, Dr. Freddy Manongi and Prof. Elizabeth Kiondo of Tanzania UNESCO office in Paris.