Projects - Economy - Tourism
Tourism can provide livelihoods for local people through jobs in accommodation and catering, acting as guides and sales of crafts. Dedza has considerable potential for tourism development. It has beautiful scenery and pleasant climate and is only 50 miles from the capital city, Lilongwe. Within the district there are established visitor centres such as the Dedza Pottery and the Kungoni Centre of Culture and Art at Mua. Other sites of interest include the Chongoni historic rock art and four forest reserves.
We are assisting development in a number of ways, with the involvement of Norwich City College. Between 2008 and 2011, groups of staff and students visited Dedza. They collected information for a website to promote tourism in the area. They also ran a training session for local businesses to explain the type of service that tourists would expect.
The tourism website was built by the computer services supplier for Norwich City Council and launched in March 2009. It includes information on places of interest, accommodation, restaurants and facilities such as banks, shops, petrol stations, etc that a tourist might need – www.visitdedza.com.
The Chongoni Forest Reserve contains a UNESCO Listed World Heritage Site of rock paintings. The Malawi Dept of Antiquities has build an information centre to explain this important cultural asset to visitors. We have assisted with the display panels in the centre. MA students at the UEA School of World Art and Museology researched the information and prepared text and pictures. Funds for this were provided by the Cambridge based ACE Foundation.
A workshop and saleroom have been built alongside the information centre. Local women will make crafts and sell them to visitors. In 2012, Anthea Eames, a Norwich artist trained the women in block printing the rock art images to make greetings cards.