His Excellency, Albert Muchanga, AU Commissioner for Economic Development, Trade, Tourism, Industry and Minerals has called for the implementation of the signed Memorandum of Understanding between the African Union and the African Tourism Board.
He gave the clarion call while making his own remarks during the signing ceremony held at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Tuesday.
He started by reiterating the welcome message earlier made by the Director of Industry, Minerals, Entrepreneurship and Tourism, AU, after which he emphasised need for the implementation of the MoU severally in order to drive the message home better for the ATB delegates and other stakeholders present at the ceremony so as to make them understand the importance.
ATB President, Hon. Cuthbert Ncube with H.E Albert Muchanga, AU Commissioner for Economic Development, Trade, Tourism, Industry and Minerals at the AU Headquarters during the MoU Signing Ceremony, Tuesday
“I will like to reiterate the welcome message conveyed to you from the Acting Director of Industry, Minerals, Entrepreneurship and Tourism.
“Feel at home, the African Union Headquarters is your headquarters, it is owned by the people of Africa, we are mere servants for the people of Africa, so you are at home.
“And this signing ceremony is very significant and very very historical. And the key message to it is Implementation, implementation and implementation”, he emphasised.
Before delving into his remarks, a video clip from a reporter telling a story about an Arabian destination where Safari activities were artificially made to attract tourists as against the natural ones prevalent across Africa was played for the gathering where it was glaring that one of the best attractions of Africa is being hijacked, and if care is not taken, might create a serious challenge to the wildlife sector of African tourism.
ATB President, Hon. Cuthbert Ncube with his Vice President Dine Bouraima after the MoU Signing Ceremony at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa
He chided such an act, but advised African countries to start looking inwardly on the need to create more attractions for the yearnings of global tourists, by drawing them to the natural destinations across Africa rather than the artificial one being promoted.
He berated the motives behind the video clip but emphasised the need for an urgent decision by African Members States to start bringing up uniqueness in their destinations which would to a larger extent draw more tourists to the continent, thereby increasing the numbers of arrivals to a higher percentage.
He concluded his remarks with further emphasis on the implementation of the MoU in order to accelerate the developmental agenda as envisaged by both private and public sectors including the African Union for the benefit of the people of Africa.
A group photograph after the signing ceremony at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Tuesday
“So, the ceremony is just a small part, the major part is to generate some tangible results from all our efforts which are going to make tourism in Africa contribute to the lifes of African people”, Muchanga added
ATB delegates to the AU Headquarters for the signing ceremony led by Hon. Cuthbert Ncube, the President were Amb. Dine Bouraima, Vice President and Board Member ; Amb. Hiwotie Amberbir, Secretary-General ; Amb. Yehia Elhajj, Board Member ; Amb. Frank Mugisha, Board Member ; Amb. Kazeem Balogun, Director of Media and Communications and Global Amb. Peace Onuiri.
The African Tourism Board is a not for profit organization tourism organization based on the continent, registered and trade marked in the Kingdom of Eswatini but with a global presence for the advancement of African tourism.
The organization is tasked with several responsibilities, major among them is to making Africa one choice destination for would best tourists.
ATB has achieved so much successes since it’s established in 2018, partnering many Member States and organizations across the continent in actualising their set objectives.
This MoU signing has accorded the organisation more responsibility of ensuring that Africans can travel within the continent seamlessly without connectivity challenges and visa hindrances which the African Union had earlier on achieved through ratification of the AU Passport, only to be rolled out by Members States for the benefit of the travelling class within the continent, and this would be part of the new agenda among other salient objectives before the two organizations.