TANZANIA (eTN) - In a cabinet reshuffle announced Friday evening, Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete has appointed Mr.
Khamis Kagasheki the new Tourism Minister, taking over the portfolio from Mr. Ezekiel Maige who was accused of irresponsibility and embezzlement in his ministry.
Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete has promoted Mr. Kagasheki from Junior Minister for Homeland Affairs to a full Minister for Tourism and Natural Resources. Under his new ministerial portfolio, Mr. Kagasheki will be responsible for daily administration of Tanzanian's natural resources made up of wildlife and forests, tourism and travel trade.
The former Minister, Mr. Maige, lost his post after fiery parliamentary discussions, which implicated him with abuse of office and irresponsibility, which gave chances to illegal business in wildlife through hunting blocs allocation and export of live animals without regulated permits.
Mr. Maige was appointed a full Minister for Tourism in November 2010 after his promotion from Junior Minister in the same ministry, the portfolio he held since 2005 prior to his appointment to the cabinet.
Mr. Kagasheki will oversee challenges in Tanzania's fast-growing tourist industry at the time that tourism marketing campaigns to attract more tourists are taking place across the world and there is a need for a big budget to undertake tourism development projects in Tanzania.
He will be responsible for overseeing daily activities affecting his ministry's departments, including wildlife and forest resources, which members of parliament and the Tanzanian people have complained of being looted by foreign companies.
His ministry is also responsible for controlling key tourist sites, including the 15 tourist wildlife parks, Ngorongoro Conservation Area where the famous Ngorongoro Crater is located, and Selous Game Reserve â the biggest and most natural wildlife reserve in Africa.
Tanzania, the largest country in East Africa, is focused on wildlife conservation and sustainable tourism, with approximately 28 percent of the land protected by the government. It boasts 15 national parks and 31 game reserves, all falling under the administration of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism.