Every 12th of August has been set aside by the United Nations as World Youths Day, commemorating this year’s edition, the African Youths In Tourism organised a webinar where Mr. Cuthbert Ncube, Chairman, African Tourism Board, among other Guest Speakers advised African governments to always ensure the involvement of youths in the scheme of things especially tourism planning and also for the youths to be more pro-active about using tourism to create changes within the continent.

He gave the advise while presenting his own paper at the webinar where he also charged the youths to expend their energy into something meaningful and profitable which is what the continent required at this point in time for economic recovery.

Excerpt: His full Speech

Thank you for inviting me to engage with you today.
I am delighted to be among some familiar faces
and so many dynamic young people who have
joined us online.

Dear friends, I long for that day when we change that super-
imposed mindset that is underestimating the power we have as Africans. As young men and young women, we can’t be broken down but stand up together strong with one purpose which is to foster and develop
our beautiful continent.

As a continent, our young people fought for
political emancipation, they defied forces that
refused the basic human rights of our nations
and citizens. Some laid their lives for social justice and
political freedom as we celebrate the World
Youths Day in recognition of our youths as icons of
irreversible social, economic and political
change.

May I hasten to point the fact that transformation and
real economic emancipation is still far-fetched to
this day. Let me remind you of the power invested and the
tremendous impact and the energy invested on
young people, you are able to drive and impact
positively on every aspect of our lives both
socially and economical.


Your participation in the global economy would
stimulate wider benefits. By the way, countries and societies with wider
gender and youth inclusiveness not only offer
better socio-economic opportunities for young
people, but also tend to grow faster and more
equitable.

A case in study is Rwanda that has become a
gem of Africa, where young People are playing a
changing role both in the Government and
private sector.

It is from this backdrop that I am honored to
address this gathering of powerful young men
and young women with a vision of bettering our
societies and economies at large. We have noted with great pain the exclusion of young people in the front line within tourism sector, which by the way is still in the hands of
the minority, big conglomerates are still
controlling the sector both in the leisure facilities
and accommodation facilities in Africa. it is a
sector that needs greater transformation in a
wider range of issues.


By the way, tourism has and is one of the
stabilizing pillars of the global community in
creating jobs, supporting development and
spreading of technology and ideas, boosting
productivity, expanding consumer choice and
enabling cross-boarder communication channels
and supply chains.

As we activate this driving force, the contributing
revenue generator, economic power sector in the
travel and tourism, we need real transformation
across member States, we need to claim our
space as young people.


There is a dire need for the reversal of many
stereotypes and tourism can be on the forefront
of transforming knowledge and uniting Africa
young people as a whole.

Our determination therefore is to fight and push
for developing strategic and strong relationships
among ourselves as Africans, creating business
partnerships across the boarders of our Member
States , we need to be at the forefront in
breaking the boarders that have separated us as
Africans, separated us as nations.

We need to acknowledge the myth of
employment in the tourism Industry “Hard
labor, over work and low pay” to dispel this
myth and open the sector for more
inclusiveness, more entrepreneurial youths. Our
Governments need to focus on creating more
opportunities for our youths. training and
encouraging them to find their place in the
industry.

Tourism is an opportunity for youth to show
their love of our beautiful continent, its natural
beauties and diversity. A new generation of
young entrepreneurs should now promote their
countries to the global community.
I believe it can be done with so much wealth of
knowledge so much wealth of energy from our youths both in the diaspora and at home, we need to
know and understand how valuable our
continent is and we can do better as a united
front.

Young people, there is a need and realization of
the unity in our resolves whereby we combine
our efforts in building and resolving the
challenges of our Motherland Africa. Believe it or not, young people are invariable at the edge of change and innovation and Travel
industry is no exception.


Young people I challenge you this day, think
out of the box, push, push and push boundaries
and experiment with the new ideas in an era of unprecedented challenges in the tourism sector. Youth participation and travel
represent an important market segment, beyond
that, it is a vital resource for innovation and
change. Let us be pathfinders in leading positive changes in the sector by investing in local, regional, and
continental tourism businesses and
championing environmental protection, as such,
youth tourism participation is one of the most promising paths towards a more responsible and sustainable tourism sector.


As I conclude, allow me to quote from Dr. Taleb Refai the
Patron of the ATB and former Secretary- General
of the UNWTO, “Tourism is a half exposed treasure
chest, the lid is half opened and not many of our
people can get to the jewels, If we all work
together, we can press that lid open, so that the
benefits of tourism, the natural and cultural
heritage of our continent, can be shared by our
youths and all communities across the spectrum”.


This is the time to seek, to interact, to unite as
young people, to join the umbilical code that
inherits, identifies and joins us as Africans to
make a difference to the lives of our,
communities and be a leading change to our
economic recovery driven by the travel and
tourism sector.

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