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Written By Bashir Nkoromo on Saturday, October 5, 2013 | 2:42 AM

Botswana’s Minister for Environment and Tourism Hon. Tshekedi Khama (seeing in the attached photo with the IBF/Africa President Onesmo Ngowi) pledged his government’s support to the success of "IBF Sports Tourism Program" for African countries. 

Hon. Tshekedi Khama assured the IBF/Africa President, Onesmo Ngowi of his government's support towards the development of "Sports Tourism" to Africa as one of sustainable by-products of tourism sector.

The IBF/Africa President paid a courtesy visit to the Minister for Environment and Tourism Hon. Tsekedi Khama in the minister’s office as part of his marketing drive for the “IBF International Jr. Featherweight Title” which Botswana’s pro-boxer Lesley Sekotswe will meet a boxer from Britain to be announced soon.

This epic event will be televised live by Super Sports 9 and streamlined by VoxAfrica by to over 100 million homes in Europe, Asia, Africa and the USA.

The event will present great opportunity to Botswana to showcase its tourism attractions to millions of inbound tourists. Such a befitting event will also attract direct investments which Botswana needs for its economic diversification from its mineral based economy.

Over the decades, tourism has experienced continued growth and deepening diversification to become one of the fastest growing economic sectors in the world. Today, the business volume of tourism equals or even surpasses that of oil exports, food products or automobiles

Tourism has become one of the major players in international commerce, and represents at the same time one of the main income sources for many developing countries. This growth goes hand in hand with an increasing diversification and competition among destinations.

"Sports Tourism" globally provides a forum where stakeholders leans how to properly utilize it to effect profound positive change for destination positioning.

Through the much needed awareness and interactions provided over by the "Sports Tourism", stakeholders  are able to learn new trends in the industry, provide much needed information on their respective destinations and also the various tourism by-products in place which are effective promotional tools within the various destinations.

According to the UNWTO, tourism sector generates over US$ 4.5 trillion per annual and out of this figure "Sports Tourism" generated over US$ 100 billion.

BOTSWANA has made gigantic strides to pro-boxing as a result of the President of IBF/AFRICA Onesmo Ngowi's historic visit, in April 1-6 2013 this year. The visit excited a lot of boxing stakeholders in this country. Also, the visit has also helped to encourage the number of experienced amateur boxers to join professional boxing ranks hence the October 5, tournament.

Upon arrival in Botswana in October 02, the IBF/Africa President met several high ranking government officials as well as corporate leaders to encourage them to support the "IBF Sports Tourism" initiative to Africa of which Botswana is one of the six pilot countries. Other countries are Namibia, Tanzania, Ghana, UAE, South Africa and Tunisia respectively.

Botswana is endowed with great wealth in terms of mineral resources (diamond, gold and uranium) and exports of meat to Europe, Asia and USA. It has great amateur boxing foundation as most of her boxers perform well in various international meets hence the great potential fueling pro-boxing. 

Under its pet project of "IBF Sports Tourism", the IBF/AFRICA has projected Botswana as the strong foundation for future boxing tournaments given its strong amateur boxing foundation, vibrant economy and good governance.

"These are the three pillars and ingredients of boxing development so we can see positive signs ahead” echoed the IBF/AFRICA President, Onesmo Ngowi who was a professional boxer on how he sees Botswana's direction in pro-boxing.

Ngowi illustrated that Botswana’s "economy and good governance" are key towards sustainable boxing development. "You need to build up a strong foundation for "Sports Tourism" and many developing countries fail to succeed due to their poor economies and governance. When you have GDP Per Capita Income in the region of  US$ 3000 then you can afford to pay $ 200 - $ 500 to see boxing events". he emphasized.

Also, the IBF/AFRICA's President alluded that lack of "TV and Corporate Sponsorship" may be another contributing factor for poor showing of Africa in the boxing industry. "Our TV Networks want promoters to pay them when showing their boxing tournaments instead of them TV paying for the boxing broadcasting" continued Ngowi.

The Botswana's October 5, 2013 tournament is coming at a time when the world’s diamond merchants De Beers are moving its international auction headquarter from London to Gaborone Botswana. The move herald Botswana’s robust economic development and the country’s keen interests to diversify its economy hence  development of tourism sector.

Given these rather positive trends, Sports Tourism as one of by-products of tourism is coming at the right moment.

Watch this space for more news….!

Congratulations Botswana. AFRICA is proud of YOU! 

Nothing else like IBF/AFRICA as it advances the African interests to the Global professional boxing fraternity" 

They Call it AFRICA.....! We Call it HOME. 

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