Dec 13, 2011, 1:07 PM
The initiative is called “Africa is Not Ebola,” which could be followed on www. africaisnotebola.com.
Speaking at the ceremony held at the Ministry of Health conference room in Banjul, Kevin Constant, country manager of the airline, stated that although the Ebola virus is by now present in only three out of 56 African countries, tourists, investors, and consumers still avoid regions that were never actually affected by it.
“The Gambia being a perfect example of this, as we have all seen and felt this current touristic season. Given the importance of tourism to the Gambian economy, it is time to convince tourist and investors all over the world to give The Gambia another chance and for The Gambia to flourish again. It’s time to remind the world of the beauty and economic potential Africa has to offer,” he said.
This, he continued, is exactly what the Brussels Airlines initiative “Africa is not Ebola” tries to do, and people from all over the world could help by posting their most beautiful Africa pictures on the website, highlighting that to travel to The Gambia or other regions in Africa involves no risk.
“One of the reasons why we remain committed to helping the African continent is because, as bad as the epidemic was, the event’s more dangerous threat to Africa is the international hysteria that followed, and people were and still scared. The Ebola crisis has to be solved by Africans supported by Americans and Europeans,” he said.
He further stated that the hysteria has to be solved by Americans and Europeans supported by Africans, adding that Africans both at home and in the Diaspora, and people passionate about Africa could show the world that Africa is still a safe place to visit, with a melting pot of cultures unknown to any other continent.
He explained that Brussels Airlines would continue to operate four flights a week on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, as well as connecting The Gambia to over 50 European destinations.
Dr. Omar Sey, Minister for Health and Social Welfare, commended the airline for the launching, adding that it is a step in the right direction and Tthe Gambia government is ready to cooperate.
Modou Njai, director health promotion and education, chaired the ceremony.