African Day 2023: UNWTO calls for sustained regional collaboration, policies
Aside being a vast and diverse continent, with vibrant cities and rich cultures, Africa is a hub of entrepreneurship and innovation that boasts of the most exciting tourism destinations on the planet.
Based on this, the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) realigned its agenda for Africa tagged ‘Tourism for Inclusive Growth’ with commemoration of Africa Day 2023, which was held on May 26, 2023.
At the event, UNWTO Secretary General, Zurab Pololikashvili, said: “As the world joins Africa to celebrate the continent on this year’s Africa Day, UNWTO agenda aims to directly support our member states in responding to the current challenges of tourism, particularly the need for more trained workers, more decent jobs and more and better-targeted tourism investments. Above all, we will continue to advocate for tourism as a driver for positive change and a pillar of economic growth for the continent.”
Pololikashvili, who described Africa as home to the world’s youngest population, as well as to a rapidly expanding middle class, added: “For many millions of people across the continent, tourism is a real lifeline. But the sector’s potential is still to be truly realised. If managed properly, tourism can accelerate socio-economic recovery and growth. It can spur wealth creation and inclusive development. The removal of tariff barriers and the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area undoubtedly bring new opportunities for Africa. Facilitating the free movement of individuals for business, for work or for studies, will help reduce economic disparities between regions, and deliver more opportunities, particularly for the most vulnerable, including women, who form the majority of the tourism workforce.
“At the same time, regional collaboration and harmonised aviation policies in line with the Single African Air Transport Market will help us achieve the objectives of the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and the UN Agenda 2030.”