The Chairman, African tourism Board Mr. Cuthbert Ncube has advocated for a more integrated Africa in order to allow a robust tourism economy across the continent.

He dropped this clarion call while delivering his paper “Re-Thinking African Tourism Industry During and After Pandemic” at a conference tagged “Africa Talks Business and Investment” a part of “Africa Celebrates 2021” which took place yesterday at Skylight Hotel, Addis Ababa.

As we activate our tourism economies in line with re-thinking the African tourism recovery, may I passionately appeal to the key tourism stakeholders to note the importance of members states to work in a more integrated and cohesive way.

Integration among African countries would enable the tourism economic sector to operate in a better way, whereby our governments come together as a block and asses the trends and impacts of the setbacks, thereby develop a collective recovery models that will then interprete the emergencies which will form the base pillars of mitigating the economic impact of the pandemic”, Ncube advocated.

He however frowned at the inactiveness on the part of decision makers to create that urgent enabling environment for tourism economy to flourish within the continent.

“It is disheartening and quiet unfortunate that there is lack of integration among policy makers which limits the vast opportunities which could actually be enjoyed when we come togther. By the way, Africa has the lowest percentage of of intra-Africa trade in the world which shows opportunities exist and to maximise the benefits to be derived from continental integration.

Current evidence suggests that our governments on the continent are so fragmented in their approach and they are missing out on a number of great opportunities that they could have harnessed by adopting a coordinated strategy as we encourage adaptation of bilateral agreements which ensure that countries work on a well coordinated approach on business tourism events for an urgent expansion of the sector within the continent.

The need for us to work together in different ways such as efforts to address trade and travel obstacles as we say is open to business, but still a nightmare to travel from one member state to another.

People travel through different countries but the lack of connectivity is causing the continent to sacrifice the vast socio-economic benefits and growth opportunities that tourism may bring to their countries.

Honestly, the continent’s sector is perhaps the sector with the most potentials to grow globally and can be sustainably increased when there is an effective coordination and deliberation across regional destiinations” Ncube added.

The African Tourism Board Chairman further touched on so many salient issues mitigating against Africa’s progressive moves where he called for a mindshift from the status quo to a more realistic approach.

Other prominent speakers at the event were Dr. Melinda Harris Barrow – President /CEO, 6th Chambers of Commerce, Panama, Engr. Dr. Noah Dallaji – Founder/President, African Children Talent Discovery Foundation (ACTDF),Otunba Segun Runsewe – Director General, National Council for Arts and Culture, Nigeria, H.E Lelise Nduga – Commissioner, Oromia Tourism Commission, Ethiopia and Sheikha Dr. Fatimah Tagwai Aji – CEO Global Voice of Women Organisation.

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