Kenyan tourism faces negative impact due to domestic terrorism

by Elayne Wangalwa 0

On Monday evening, Kenya’s judiciary and members of the National Security Council (NSC) held talks to discuss security issues in a move to combat terrorism.

Since 2012, Kenya has seen an increase in terror attacks in various cities. The main threat is from extremists linked to Al-Shabaab, a militant group in Somalia.

“The attacks have been there for a while. It is the dynamics that have changed. In 1998 there was an attack on the US embassy [in Kenya]. There have been various attacks targeting foreigners in the past. There is now a change with the dynamics since Kenya’s intervention in Somalia. More of the attacks are now focused on Kenyans,” Emmanuel Kisiangani, senior researcher in the African Conflict Prevention Programme at the Institute for Security Studies told CNBC Africa.

According to Kisiangani, Kenya should improve on its information seeking in order for the attacks to be preempted. “Kenya need to invest more on intelligence gathering to overcome this issue [terrorism].”

Tourism remains one of the largest foreign exchange earners in Kenya. In 2013, the sector posted a two per cent drop in earnings and is expected to post much lower this year as a result of the advisories by the United Kingdom, United States, France and Australia which are key source markets for tourism. This led to the evacuation of hundreds of tourists from Kenya’s coastal region.

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Speaking to CNBC Africa, Gary van Staden, senior political analyst, NKC Independent Economists said that dealing with international terrorism is not a new task. “The United States and Nigeria are struggling with it. I do not think the [Kenyan] government can do more than it has done in beefing up security and intelligence,” Staden explained.

(WATCH VIDEO: Kenya still mum on domestic terrorism)