Area Report - Aladdin Khalifa

Aladdin Khalifa - Area Representative for Africa and the Middle East

This report is an update for the state of tourist guides in some of the countries in my region, Africa and middle east: 

It was very difficult to get full information about tourist guides in different countries in my since after while communication fails in many cases.

However, I have selected some countries that I have been in contact with in the last two years. These countries are Egypt, Oman, Tunisia, Iraq, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Uganda and Senegal.

Egypt has the largest tourist guides association in Africa; the General Egyptian tourist guides syndicate referred here as the EGTGS, has today 9124 members! Considered to be the biggest in the Africa and the Middle East, As well, they are the oldest one ever established as they were formed since 1966! 
The EGTGS was established by law, part of the Egyptian constitution and has strong voice for tourist guides. They fight illegal guiding and l any tour operator who would ill-treat their member guides.
They have established a very sophisticated Data base and filling system for recoding information about their members. The EGTGS Managed in the last 3 years to triple the guide’s salary fees.
They also have doubled their funds in the last three years to reach almost 10,000,000.Egyptian pound (1.500.000 USD), and they have a separate fund account for pension which takes up to 80 percent of this amount! Such pension will be given to those who have served for 20 more than years in the business! They have established their own training centre to provide additional courses for the newly graduated and licensed guides.
The EGTGS is a Founding member of the Arab Tourist Guides Federation. It has invited all 22 members'' country to attend a Foundation Meetings in Cairo under the Auspices of H.E Dr Mamdouh EL Beltagy the Minister of tourism. The Arab Tourist Guides Federation is supported and fully recognized by the Arab league organization.

Tourist Guides in Oman :
Oman has around 150 guides and the Omani ministry of Tourism is the responsible authority for granting them the license. They were looking desperately for training apporotinites and looking forward to built their own association. 

Thier fees vary according to the site! In most cases Omani tour guides get paid direct the ministry. 

Tourist Guides in Tunisia:
The Tunisian guides suffer from absence of an organized status. There are no definite fees for their daily guiding. They can get 30 to 40 dollars per day (for more than 18 hours work) they have a very small congregation of guides and not a proper association. But unfortunately they have been refusing for years to join the WFTGA. 

The association, is not a really one; In other words, it is just a congregation of guides! They don’t have a voice within the communities of guides. They don’t have an office or contact numbers. They are not yet recognized! Therefore there is no legal body to protect tourist guides rights. Therefore the country of Tunisia is full of illegal guides, mostly of who are teachers who work in summer vacation during the summer holiday as guides for tourists. Travel agencies don’t really care whom to employ and won’t differentiate between professional guides and illegal ones. Like most of the countries in the world professional guides of Tunisia suffer from unemployment. 

Tourist Guides in Ethiopia
Guides in Ethiopia are not yet fully recognized by the country. Setting professional guiding standards and proper training is what they are looking 

Guides have a training institute called Amhara training centre, which is a part of the Southern Region Tourism, Trade and Transport Bureau.

Tour guides in Ethiopia are around 120 Guides and they get their permit from the same Amhara Region Tourism Commission. Their free are less than 10 USD per day. 

Tourist Guides in Mozambique:
In Mozambique, there is no licensing authority for guides. Tourism is young in this country. They have no guides association and there is no training either. 

The only official guides are the ones who work for the official tourism board. They desperately need training since most of the guides in the city are amateurs. 

They suffer from illegal guiding from South Africans guides (tour directors) who are working illegally in Mozambique 

They need education institute to train guides and to get full recognition from the state. 

Tourist Guides in Uganda:
In Uganda tourism is very Young, it has only been for only 10 years. The Ugandian Tourist guides have formed an association which have been established almost 2 years ago.

They have an office in Kampala city. At first it they started as Uganda Tourist Driver Guides Association but they were rejected by most of the tour operators. Then they had to change it to Uganda Safari Guides Association! Now some of the tour operators together with the Ministry of Tourism are beginning to realize the role of a tourist guide association to exist in Uganda.

Total number of the assoicaiton members is around 37 . Most of whom are working in bird watching and wild Safari.

Their membership fees are so small (just US $10 annually) and can’t do much for the association. Most of the tour operators don’t want to accept tourist guides association to exist in Uganda. Tourist Guides in Iraq

Guides in Iraq were divided under the former regime into two sections:
1- Security Guards (special security guides) who were appointed by the regime as tourist guides, they were not professional. In other words they were agents to the Ex regime.
2- Regular Professionals Guide, they had to report to the security department, those guides are the real ones (they are private sector). The Iraqi professional guides were aggravated from the people because they were though as security agents!
In the last 4 years I sent them many letters, which have been kept away by the Ex regime, the secret security department made sure their guides never get any contact from aboard. At the moment they have no work due to the current situation.

They have association and soon they will be members of WFTGA.

Tourist Guides in Senegal:
All the guides in the country possess temporary licenses. The number of guides in Senegal is very limited. There is so much of illegal guiding in Senegal, as South African guides operate extensively into the country. Senegal like most of the African countries is a great training opportunity and a fertile area for our training centre, the guides there need proper training most of the tour operator conditioned that tour guides get proper training before always to work with their groups. There are already signs that they will only accept the trained and members of the association. They have a very small association that was established recently.