Towards the end of last week, the UK and Australia issues travel advisories to the citizens warning them to avoid the Kenyan coast and the capital Nairobi. They cited the likelihood of imminent Al-Shabaab attacks on the East African country.
Kenyan officials were rather shocked and infuriated by the advisory seeing as security condition in the country had greatly improved with attacks from the militia outfit thwarted before they could materialize.
“We are particularly concerned that the countries that have issued the advisories are considered friends,” Joseph Nkaissery, cabinet secretary for Interior and Coordination, told journalist on Saturday. The ongoing crackdown and operations aimed at the terror group have greatly improved the security.
The most hurt sector being the tourism sector which has been crawling from the slump it had hit in last year. This is a very valuable and key sector to the fast growing economy and the advisory only serves as a crippling factor especially seeing as neither the UK nor Australia gave any specifics of the attacks.
This is shortly preceded by the recent visit by UK Foreign Minister Phillip Hammond who had talks with the Kenyan official over lifting an already existing warning.
Kenya, being the tourism hub of East Africa and also being the fastest growing economy investors are not shying away despite the warnings. Kenyans have also started initiatives that are promoting domestic tourism which is portraying the East African the country positively and attracting tourists amidst terror threats.
These travel advisories have however not stopped investors like Virgin Group’s founder Sir Richard Branson and Former F1 boss and Italian billionaire Flavio Briatore from investing in Kenya among other investors. Sir Richard has built a safari camp (Mahali Mzuri) in the Maasai Mara while Briatore has a million dollar club at the Kenyan coast.