The President of the African Tourism Board, Hon. Cuthbert Ncube has called for more robust tourism collaborations among stakeholders within the continent in order to achieve the tourism agenda being projected for the sector’s acceleration, post Covid-19 era.
He made this submission yesterday at the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where the Africa’s mother body, the African Union signed a tourism Memorandum of Understanding with the leading African tourism organization, the African Tourism Board which was well attended and witnessed by great leaders in the sector.
The well curated event at the instance of African Union was necessitated in the face of challenges facing African tourism, where ought to be a need for a proper direction which was perfectly achieved through the MoU.
Hon. Cuthbert Ncube, ATB President in a handshake gesture with H. E Albert Muchanga, AU Commissioner for Economic Development, Trade, Tourism, Industry and Minerals after the signing at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Present at the historical event were Hon. Silesh Girma, Min. of State for Tourism, Ethiopia ; H.E Albert Muchanga, AU Commissioner for Economic Development, Trade, Tourism, Industry and Minerals; Hon. Chiza Charles N.Chiumya, Acting Director, Industry, Minerals, Entrepreneurship and Tourism, AU; Hon. Dr. Haile G. Selassie, Ethiopian renowned Marathoner and Founder Haile Silesi Resort and host of other dignitaries from both the private and public sectors including the Executive Board Members from the African Tourism Board and members of the press.
In his remarks, the President of ATB, Hon. Cuthbert Ncube reiterated a need to strengthen collaborations between the two organizations in order to advance the continental tourism agenda beyond imagination.
Hon. Silesh Girma, Minister of Tourism State for Tourism, Ethiopia at the MoU Signing Ceremony at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
“As we strengthen our collaborative efforts in the build up of the African Tourism as a resilient sector, we are more than delighted as ATB in co-joining this umbilical cord by affirming and cementing the positive collaboration through MoU, thereby making it historical on the continent”, Ncube said.
He further informed the gathering that tourism would continue to play a significant role as a contributor to the continental economies and as one of the promising industries for the continent’s yearning for economic advancement.
Ncube was of the view that for countries within the continent to benefit from the growing share of tourism in the world, Africa must upscale her efforts by creating synergies, collaborations and conducive environment for the attraction of tourists to the continent.
A group photograph of attendees after the signing ceremony at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
The ATB President frowns at the level at which Africa is currently lagging behind in terms of numbers of tourists’ arrivals to the continent compared to other continents which he said should be adequately looked into by a synergy that was being promulgated by ATB and AU.
He delved more on the urgent need to engage in joint ventures amongst tourism stakeholders which would help to advance the sector thereby creating an African corridor that would attract more of African domestic market segment that would accelerate the sector within which would lead to Africa achieving up to 8% growth to start with, rather than the current 3%.
Hon. Dr. Haile G. Selassie, Renowned Ethiopian Marathoner and Founder, Haile Silesi Resort, at the event in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Looking at the sui generis nature of Africa, Ncube enumerated on the unique products, destinations and great people which according to him surpassed that of any other continent, whereby reiterating his calls for more intimate, collaborative and enhanced synergy than competing with one another.
He also called for more Intra-African coordination in order to develop a tourism sector that would continue to be resilient to any latent or manifest shocks as experienced during the Covid – 19 period which nearly cripple the sector, believing that government and private sectors must by all means collaborate and face squarely any impediments to tourism development within the continent.
He concluded by emphasing the core value of ATB as an organization that strongly believes in co-branding and co-positioning in the areas of projecting the continent through an effective strategy for Member States to attract domestic, regional and global travelers.