A touch of Nigeria in Ethiopia’s Destination Al Nejashi
Having successfully launched Destination Al Najeshi, a Motherland Beckons’ activation (West – East Africa Amalgamation), at the La Campagne Tropicana Beach Resort, Lagos, in June, the second leg of the project was recently held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital city, with a large number of guests in attendance.
Held at the prestigious Azzeman Hotel in the heart of Addis Ababa, the launch had in attendance Ato Dawit, the Head of Tigray Region, Ato Dawit, Nigeria Acting Ambassador to Ethiopia, Godfrey Odudigbo, the business community, tourism stakeholders and the travelling public.
The session commenced with a commanding rendition of Ethiopia and Nigeria national anthems by the quartet of Atunda Entertainment artistes – Adigun Olohun Iyo, Ara (Thunder), Olo Omidan Bata and Anu Lady Ekwe. The artistes also thrilled the audience with scintillating performances that got many cheering.
Highpoint of the was the official signing of a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) by Motherland Beckons, the Head of Tigray Region (where Al Nejashi is located), Ato Dawit and the Chief Executive Officer of O’ Clock Conglomerate of Ethiopia. The document has details of the tour initiative, which is geared at promotion of tours – domestic and international – to the region. O’ Clock Conglomerate is a major player in Ethiopia’s hotel, hospitality and transportation sectors and will play a major role in the deal.
For the Founder and President of Motherland Beckons, Otunba Wanle Akinboboye, this new initiative, which comprises of building of the La Campagne Resort brand in Al Nejashi, is a major leap and authentication of the over 30 years thrive by in building the La Campagne brand, which has been welcomed across other climes. It first started in Cote Di’voire, where the resort is being replicated in as many locations, infusing both the cultural heritage and motif of the people into the architectural façade. There’s also a similar project at the Koton Karfi in Kogi State, where the brand has firmly taken root. Now, it’s the turn of Ethiopia to have a feel of the brand made in Nigeria.
The interesting thing about the La Campagne brand is that it’s an African authentic theme resort based solely on the utilisation of Africa’s cultural heritage and art expression, with an infusion of contemporary feel thereby making it a fascinating brand to a wide section of people and tourists of different backgrounds. It believes in the development of the local economy through empowerment of the locals, who are fully employed and engaged in the different production and service outlets of the facility.
With similar concept now being replicated in Al Nejashi, the people of Ethiopia are expected to benefit tremendously from the presence of the brand, as it would ignite a boom in the economic and socio – cultural lives of the people and community. Particularly, it would attract the interest of investors in the hospitality sector, as the franchise is opened to investors across Nigeria and the continent of Africa.
As against populating Nigeria and Africa hospitality landscape with foreign brands, time has come for Africans to look the way of La Campagne brand, which is home grown and has over the years shown its potential to build local economy and empower the people as it has done in Lagos and other locations it operates.
As part of the launch, the team was treated to a foretaste of what Destination Al Najeshi holds, with a tour of the Tigray Region of Ethiopia. Tigray Region is the northernmost of the nine regions of Ethiopia, and it is the homeland of the Tigray, Irob and Kumama people.
Tigray is also known as Region 1 according to the Federal constitution of Ethiopia. Its capital is Mekele and it is the sixth largest region by land area, the fourth most populous, and the 10th most densely populated of the nine regional states of Ethiopia. The region’s major cities include Hawzen, Abby Addi, Alamata, Mekoni, Adigrat, Adwa, Axum, Humera, and Zalambessa.
The region is blessed with enchanting and unique cultural, religious and historical tourism features. But perhaps, the most fascinating of all and which has continue to be a draw to many tourists, is the natural landscape, which consists of high plateaus, with an elevation ranging from 500 metres above sea level in the western end (Humera) to 3935 meters above sea level at the Tsibet Mountains in the southern zone of the region.
A tourist is welcomed by the amazing undulating valleys and plains, vast escarpments, midland plateaus, hilly and rolling mountains, which should be a delight to mountaineers and those seeking natural and adrenaline pumping adventures.
Mesmerised by its alluring natural platitudes, Otunba Akinboboye said, “God is indeed partial to Ethiopia for the gift of the Tigray Region.”
Meanwhile, Tigray Region commend high religious attention, given its history and the fact that it is predominantly a Christian city, but also home to the Islam’s second holiest city, Al Nageshi, after Mecca in Saudi Arabia.
So, for tourists, expect a mix of religious activities, as the city is actually regarded as a Mecca of some sorts.