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Kenya targets 300 trillion shillings Africa-American tourism market

A plan that seeks to tap into the about 300 trillion shillings African-American tourism market has been launched.

The initiative dubbed “call to action” is an ingenious plan by Traverze Culture founder and chief executive officer Kea Wakesho Simmons from Charleston South Carolina, United States.

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The plan seeks to reconnect African Americans with their African cultural heritage through various immersion like naming ceremonies and cultural adoption.

It targets to bring 3000 to 5000 visitors in 2024 to tour Kenya, invest and settle in a new city dubbed the Gitu Freedom estate in Thika, Kiambu County, under the auspices of The Journey Back to Eden.

The estate located 60 Kilometres north of Nairobi will offer a modern African living experience for the African American returnees and Kenyans.

The group that seeks to entice the African-American population back in the US over the ancestry link dating about 700 years ago plans to complete the Thika city project in the next five years.

Investors will have access to various modern amenities like schools, hospitals and shopping malls.

Speaking during a tour of the Mombasa Old town by a group of African Americans, Simmons said the trip has acted as an eye opener for many visitors who plan to invest in various sectors of the Kenyan economy like real estate and the hospitality industries.

“The call to action is going to revolutionize the Kenya tourism and travel market. We shall work with both the public and private sectors to realize the dream of bringing to Kenya 3000 visitors in 2024,” said Simmons.

Simmons was accompanied by other American tourists and investors Michael Wright, Troy Batiste and Tecia Liocola among others who expressed their interest in investing in the country.

Wright said he was interested in extending his manufacturing and export and import business into Kenya citing a good investment climate and hospitable people.

“I am visiting Kenya for the second time and I am planning to extend my business to this country because of the ease of doing business,” he said.

During their 12-day visit to Kenya, the group toured various tourism and cultural spots like Diani Beach, Old town in Mombasa, Nairobi National Park, the Nubian community in Kibra and the upcoming Gitu Freedom Estate in Kiambu County.

Traverze Culture also organized a call to action conference and the Noir Fashion week at the Holiday Inn Hotel at Two Rivers in Nairobi where various African themed designs were on display from Kenya and the US Diaspora.

The call to action plan is part of a major plan to reach out to the middle class African-American market by the Kenyan government.

According to US official statistics, the black community in the US has a population of more than 40 million people representing about 13 percent of the total US population of 333 million people.

According to a research conducted by Wells Fargo, the average net worth of black households jumped more than $340,000 (about Sh53 million) in 2023 marking an increase of more than 32 percent compared to the 2022.

The Kenyan government through the North American Trade and Tourism plan is targeting to increase the number of Americans visiting Kenya to more than one million by the year 2027.

In 2022, more than 200,000 Americans visited Kenya, out of the 1.4 million tourists who toured the nation. This represented 16 percent of all visitors to Kenya in 2022.

Simmons, who has been in Kenya for the last 12 years, called  for more state incentives to help drive the plan of tripling the number of African-Americans visiting Kenya by 2027.

“We need the government to partner with us in deepening the Journey back to Eden which seeks to market Kenya as a ripe trade and tourism market for the black community in the United.” She observed. Traverze Culture is the premier tours, cultural and travel company in the US, helping the black community to visit and settle in Africa, with more focus on East Africa.





Haniel Mengistu
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