Through the support of the tourist industry and the renovation of cultural sites and nature reserves, we aim to equip the population with the necessary tools to develop economic activities that complement those that have been traditionally carried out in the area.
At the moment, the situation is not particularly encouraging: most of the staff employed by hotels are immigrant workers from outside the Ibo district who have more industry experience as managers, consultants, chefs, and serving staff. Local groups dedicated to craftsmanship, domestic service, guided tours and other activities find it difficult to compete with hotel craft centres and tour guides from outside the district who provide services to which Westerners are more accustomed.
Local women try extremely hard to find a job in the catering and cleaning sectors of the hotel industry. However, a lack of skills, low language ability (in Portuguese and English), and little knowledge of protocols, along with the poor hygiene levels in the district, makes it very difficult for them to respond to the current demand for workers.
As the strategic development plan indicates, there is great potential for a thriving tourism scene in the Cabo Delgado province, thanks to its climate and scenery, the richness of its history and cultural atmosphere, as well as its potential to offer a large range of water sports.
The IBO Foundation’s work in this area has contributed to improving the economic situation of a significant number of families, thanks to its forging of new links across the tourism sector, whether it through fixed contracts, or business initiatives that have sprung up in the local area. We do not carry out a series of disconnected actions, nor simply support small groups of businesspeople, but implement a tourism and conservation programme that is comprehensively planned, and keeps in mind a concrete geographical and social context, working towards the development of the region in the long term.
The IBO Foundation is working to encourage a change in people’s attitudes in the sector. We are promoting an updated conception of the tourist market, one that is implicitly linked to respect for local culture and the elements that make up the region’s identity.
It is based on an innovative approach that has several components:
– Outlining the interplay of community rural tourism and the development of the region’s rural areas, with both being underpinned by a comprehensive long-term development plan for the region.
– Prioritising training schemes to help women find jobs and increase their involvement in cultural activities, conservation work, and the social fabric of the community.
The IBO Foundation helps to preserve the region’s cultural heritage through restoring buildings of great national historical worth and planning their subsequent reuse in the present day for the benefit of the community.
The importance of such cultural heritage is written into Mozambique law:
“Cultural heritage is how people are remembered; its protection ensures the continuity and transmission to future generations not only of the history, culture, and art of our ancestors, but also of their achievements and value systems. (…) The deterioration, disappearance or destruction of our cultural heritage in any aspect is an irreparable loss”
(Law N ° 10 / 88 1988: 13)
The Ibo district has many areas that would benefit from conservation efforts: its cultural traditions, colonial era buildings, and its biodiversity, for example.
The Foundation has renovated various buildings, such as the site of our carpentry workshop, and the Fortaleza de São João Baptista (Fortress of St John the Baptist), which we have converted into a Maritime Museum.