AFRICA NEWS | Issue. 14

AFRICA NEWS | Issue. 14

Dear readers,

Our sincerest appreciation to all who joined another celebration of INVESTOUR held in January during FITUR, Spain’s largest tourism and trade fair. The 10th anniversary marked a milestone for this business and investment forum which has become the touchstone for exploring sustainable investment opportunities in the African region.

The Forum provided the backdrop to launch the first ‘Tourism Tech Adventure: Promoting African Tourism Innovation’, in collaboration with the development agency of the African Union (NEPAD). This project awarded five young African entrepreneurs an opportunity to experience a three-day training programme in Madrid and pitch their ideas at INVESTOUR. It is precisely these types of opportunities that we would like to continue generating for young African startups as part of our mandate of promoting sustainable tourism throughout the continent. Over 60% of the region’s population is below the age of 25, making it the youngest continent in the world. It is for this reason that we must concentrate our efforts and calls for action to invest in the youth, which is to invest in the future. ‘Education, skills and jobs’, this year’s overarching theme to which to connect all UNWTO actions, could not be more pertinent.

The UNWTO Secretary-General, Zurab Pololikashvili, within the first year of his mandate has strongly emphasized the Agenda for Africa by focusing on core development priorities of its tourism sector. In this context, several activities during 2018 responded to the demands of member states and the need to advance the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). During the last quarter of 2018, the topic of Fostering Resilience (safety and security), was discussed in a regional workshop on Tourism and Security, jointly organized with the West African Monetary and Economic Union (WAEMU – UEMOA) and the government of Senegal. In Algeria, issues related to statistical data were explored through the second Statistics Capacity Building workshop.

During the first quarter of this year, our focus will be on addressing air connectivity and visa facilitation at the first UNWTO/ICAO Ministerial Conference on Tourism and Air transport in Africa, in collaboration with the government of Cabo Verde. Additionally, after the recent appointment of the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture of Ghana to chair the Leadership Taskforce of the Women Empowerment Programme, the preparation of the first ‘Regional Congress on Women Empowerment in the Tourism Sector – Focus on Africa’ is well under way (Accra, Ghana).

We invite you to continue sharing with us your initiatives and activities through the tourism for SDGs platform, a dedicated space for UNWTO members and various stakeholders along the tourism value chain:

As we work together towards achieving our common objectives I would like to conclude with this African proverb; “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

I trust you will enjoy this edition and wish you all a happy read!

Elcia Grandcourt
Regional Department for Africa

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