It was everything positive , at the same time joyous when Hon. Rodney Sikumba, Minister of Tourism, Zambia re-affirmed his commitment to collaborating with the African Tourism Board wlth the aim of advancing African tourism.
This came up at a bilateral meeting hosted in the Kingdom of Eswatini during President Hakainde Hichilema’s official visit to the Kingdom recently.
The bilateral engagement was initiated by Hon. Moses Vilakati, Minister of Tourism and Environmental Affairs and the Chief Administrative Officer of African Tourism Board, Amb. sandile magongo.
President Hichilema was accompanied by six Cabinet Ministers to the mountain kingdom including the Minister of Tourism, who also doubled as the Foreign Affairs Minister.
As a follow up from the discussions at the Indaba Africa’s Travel in Durban, few months ago, ATB Chairman, Cuthbert Ncube with the Chief Administrative Officer, Sandile Magongo met with the Minister at the Royal Villa, Mbabane.
During their deliberation with the Minister, he also confirmed the extended invitation for ATB to participate at the AU event in Zambia, which comes up in July, 2022.
He further assured them of his unflinching interest in the ATB and of his unwavering support, working closely with the most prominent tourism organization in Africa and to further support the organisation in its quest at promoting and marketing the continent.
ATB, in reciprocity extended an Invitation to Hon. Sikumba to participate in the upcoming “Imagine 2063 Business and Cultural Summit” 2022 slated for Victoria Falls in October, 2022.
This initiative hopes to serve as a bolster to the ideal of African Business Tourism Agenda and the opportunities there in, and to further promote African cultures and values.
The summit will promote intra African trade and address other issues affecting seamless travel within the continent in particular the Sub-Saharan region.
Hon. Vilakati of Eswatini and hls counterpart Hon. Sikumba of Zambia also affirmed and solidified their existing cordial relationship while expressing their utmost desire to ensure ATB achieve it’s set goals.
They also agreed to sign an MoU that will solidify their relationship which they believe would usher in a lot of deliverables, beneficial to all parties.
You will recall that ATB and Zambia were at Indaba and Africa’ Travel 2022, where a strategic partnership between the two was initiated, discussed and agreed upon in brand marketing Africa’s bio products, services and destinations, as a must exploration by Africans and the world at large.
“Zambia is well positioned in the heart of the quadri point, and by the way, there is only one place on earth where you can be in four countries at once, and surely it’s in Africa.
“Zambia is part of this amazing four countries joined together with its offerings of gigantic landscapes of forests that offer indigenous bio nature, sharing the mighty Victoria Falls that rumbles, inviting every visitor and indulge in its ever roaring sounds and splashes of it’s rainy showers that leave visitors completely wanderlust in Africa to the amazing natural experience.
“The honorable minister has endorsed ATB as the only vehicle that is in line with the objectives of the African Union, that spells out a need to look within for a sustainable eco-tourism growth in the continent where the spin offs of the Africa’s earnings remain in the continent for the benefit of the populace of Africa.
“Zambia and ATB will jointly be running meetings, MICE programs and conferences that will bring Africa together in celebrating its diversity both in culture, heritage and investment opportunities, Ncube said.
The Executive Chairman of ATB also appealled for a need to promote Africa under a single brand, thereby acting towards overcoming negative stereotypes, and in enabling the continent realize its full potential by highlighting the complementary landscapes, the unique cultures, heritages , wildlife and natural mineral resources through a common narrative and road map. This, he believes will surely enable member States to move beyond traditional tourism practices, but embrace the more engaging ones that will open the African market the more to Africans and the global tourists.