Present during the signing of the agreement for tourguide training, are from left to right: Jean Averia (NATH CEO), Axaro Thaniseb (NHC Vice Chairperson), Tuli Nghiyoonanye (MCA-N Education Director), Rev. Salomon April (NHC Director), Larry Laursen (NATH Board Secretary) and Martin Wilkinson (MCA-N Skills Development Manager).
MCA Namibia announced it has signed a grant agreement with the Namibian Academy for Tourism and Hospitality (NATH) in Windhoek to train 20 tourguides of the National Heritage Council to obtain their Level 3 National Guide qualification.
The announcement was made earlier this week. A similar agreement from April 2013 provided for the training of a first set of 20 tourguides, so the overall number of trainees has now risen to forty. Director of the National Heritage Council, Reverend Salomon April called Millenium Challenge Account Namibia a “true friend” and thanked the US Government funded organisation for its continued support in elevating tourguides’ skills and knowledge in this crucial field, bearing in mind that many of them come from a poor background. Larry Laursen from the Namibian Academy for Tourism and Hospitality stressed the importance of timing, as Namibia is soon hosting the 2013 Adventure Travel World Summit, which will see more than 600 international tour operators traveling through the Land of the Brave: “Our tour guides will not only inform them about animals and plants but also tell them stories of our rich Namibian cultures and traditions, because there is no national heritage without cultural heritage.” The training programme consists of 61 days, after which the participants are assessed by the Namibia Training Authority before receiving their certificates. Sixty percent of the training costs to the value of N$1.8 million is funded by MCA Namibia, while the other 40% is covered by Heritage Council. The tourguides will mainly work at the north western heritage sites at Twyfelfontein, Brandberg and the Petrified Forests.MCA Namibia is implementing development activities in the country’s education, agriculture and tourism sectors financed by the United States Government through the Millennium Challenge Corporation to the value of US$304.5 million (N$3 billion) with the aim of reducing poverty through economic growth.