Ver Angola


PR 'accelerates' in the Namib desert to boost tourism in Iona Park

The President of the Republic inaugurated the new headquarters of the Iona National Park, in a moment that was also marked by the fact that he traveled through the park's dunes sitting behind the wheel of a four-wheeled motorbike, whose gesture aimed to encourage citizens to practice domestic tourism.


On the occasion, according to a note from CIPRA to which VerAngola had access, João Lourenço considered that the inauguration of the aforementioned headquarters "marks the beginning of a new era for tourism in Angola".

The head of state – who was speaking to the press on Saturday, after the inauguration – said that, after Iona, the next step is to place "the national parks of Luengué-Luiana, Mavinga and Cameia, in the province of Moxico, at the service of tourism , in addition to those in Cangandala and Luando", adding that, next "it is to organize the public tender for the concession of these large conservation parks and natural reserves".

The moment was also marked by the 'ride' that João Lourenço took at the wheel of a four-wheel motorbike in the park's dunes.

"I was willing to come and ride a four-wheel motorbike here in the dunes to see if I could encourage, firstly, our youth, but, in general, Angolan citizens to do tourism", said the head of state.

"Tourism is not just for foreigners. We have to get into the habit of doing tourism in our own land. Therefore, Angolans are invited to come to Iona Park", he added.

Regarding the experience of riding the motorcycle, João Lourenço said that it was a "pleasant feeling" and that it was not the first time he had driven four-wheeled motorcycles. "The feeling is pleasant, it's not the first time I've ridden on dunes on a four-wheeled motorbike, I've already done it in Bazaruto, in Mozambique. This is the second time, so I was perfectly at ease. The only inconvenience is the time we chose; it's a scorching sun, the air is very hot. Other than that, it's very pleasant," he said.

The governor of Namibe, Archer Mangueira, in statements on the occasion of the inauguration of the new headquarters of the Iona park, said that the time has come, "with the impulse" of the head of state, to transform the aforementioned park "into an anchor for the development of tourism in Namibe".

According to the provincial governor, cited in another CIPRA note to which VerAngola had access, the "park occupies, in Angola, the center of the desert with an area of 15,150 square kilometers, where the largest sand dune in the world, the Duna 7, measuring around 383 meters and Welwitschia Mirabilis, which only exists in Angola and Namibia".

Archer Mangueira also considered that the park, in full operation, will contribute to the "sustainable management of all environmental wealth, biodiversity, fauna and flora, as is beginning to happen, as a result of the partnership with African Parks".

Cited in the note, among other aspects, he also highlighted that "an important focus of development is established here, capable of taking advantage of this unique place (where the sea and the desert meet) and the full potential of Foz do Cunene", adding that with the operation of this park, "conditions are created for the emergence of new quality tourist products that make a difference".

The Minister of the Environment, Ana Paula de Carvalho, also spoke, highlighting that the country "is home to one of the largest and most important biodiversity in Africa, being considered one of the countries with megafauna in the world".

However, she added that "this great biological wealth came under great pressure for many years, which led to the degradation of some ecosystems and consequently a drastic decrease in the populations of some species, both flora and fauna, mainly, which were characteristic of the country ", the note reads.

Thus, she said that the aforementioned situation "led, in certain cases, to the extinction of some emblematic species, citing the rhinoceros in the Luengué-Luiana and Mavinga parks, the disappearance of giraffes in Mupa Park and the disappearance of buffaloes in the buffalo reserve ", having recalled that faced with this scenario, the Government was adopting "appropriate measures to reverse the negative situation observed".

"The results obtained can be easily observed in the parks of Luengué-Luiana, Bicuar, Cangandala, Mayombe and here in Iona, which have made our country a success story and recognized internationally", pointed out the minister.

According to the head of the Environment department, at the moment there are "visible improvements in Parque da Quiçama, in the Chimalavera Regional Reserve and, mainly, in Iona Park, where the new headquarters facilities were inaugurated, which were previously in the Espinheira area".

"Here I will highlight the ongoing process of new protected conservation areas, such as Morro do Moco, in Huambo, the Cumbira Forest, in Cuanza Sul, and Serra do Pingano, in Uíge, thus increasing the current coverage in land areas from 13 to 16 percent", the minister also said.

The representative of African Parks, Pedro Monteroso, said that the Iona park is expected to attract 34 thousand tourists per year. "Thirty-four thousand tourists is the number that the company that manages the Iona National Park, African Parks, hopes to attract per year, through robust promotion campaigns at national and international level", reads a note from CIPRA.

In this sense, to achieve the objective, the company intends to create 12 campsites within the site, as well as create conditions "to offer high quality tourist products, through specialized activities, with a comprehensive development strategy for local communities, aiming integration, cooperation and mutual development".

"We believe that, with effective management, we can achieve a harmonious balance between environmental conservation, sustainable development and reach a total of 700 thousand dollars per year, exclusively in direct revenue", said the company representative.

PR wants dams, hospital and race track in Namibe

During his working day in Namibe, the President of the Republic also held a meeting with the local government. At the meeting, which took place in Moçâmedes, it was decided that it is necessary to "resolve as quickly as possible the problem of supplying electricity to the province of Namibe".

According to a statement from CIPRA, to which VerAngola had access, the province must be connected to the national electricity grid, in order to "boost its development in the most diverse areas".

On the occasion, it was also mentioned that the water supply to Namibe must be improved, with the need to create conditions to build the "dams designed for the territory (six)".

"Taking into account the great potential that the province has in promoting tourist activity, urgent efforts must be made so that Welwitchia Mirabillis airport, located in the city of Moçâmedes, is certified as an international airport", the note reads.

Furthermore, the need to build a new provincial hospital "that includes a hemodialysis unit" was also recommended, as well as the "construction of a race track for speed sports (cars and motorcycles)" as something to be developed", in a way of "valuing the region's sporting potential and promoting tourism".

It should be noted that the President of the Republic has already finished his working day in Namibe, having returned to Luanda this Sunday.


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