AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK REAFFIRMS STRONG SUPPORT FOR AFRICA’S TOURISM SECTOR, PRIORITIZING SUSTAINABILITY AND GROWTH. A STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP WITH UNWTO AIMS TO AMPLIFY TOURISM’S POTENTIAL AND ALIGN WITH GLOBAL DEVELOPMENT GOALS.
In a resounding declaration, Leila Mokaddem, Director General for the Southern Africa Regional Integration and Business Delivery Hub, addressed the 66th Tourism Conference organized by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in Mauritius in July 2023. The message? The African Development Bank steadfast commitment to nurturing Africa’s burgeoning tourism industry.
Mokaddem, speaking at the conference themed “Rethinking Tourism for Africa: Promoting Investment and Partnerships; Addressing Global Challenges,” emphasized the bank’s dedication to supporting member nations in the development of their tourism sectors. This commitment extends to promoting sustainable, climate-smart local economic development.
Mokaddem underscored the undeniable potential of tourism, highlighting its status as one of the globe’s fastest-growing and interconnected sectors. It not only has the power to boost GDP but also attract investment and foster regional integration. She commended Mauritius as a success story in this regard.
African Development Bank: Shaping Tourism’s Future Together
The conference provided a vital platform for African tourism ministers and key industry stakeholders to engage in extensive dialogues. The discussions centered on innovative strategies to encourage investment, cultivate partnerships, and champion sustainable growth within Africa’s tourism sector.
The African Development Bank has identified the tourism sector as pivotal in its drive to expedite Africa’s industrialization and promote green growth. To realize this vision, the bank is forging a close partnership with the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), which represents 158 member countries. This collaboration will formalize through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
Aligned with Global Objectives
The partnership between the African Development Bank and UNWTO is guided by global frameworks, including the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, the African Union Agenda 2063, and the Rio+20 development goals. These objectives are in sync with the bank’s 2013-2022 Strategy and its High 5 priorities, which focus on industrializing Africa and enhancing the quality of life for Africans through youth employment opportunities.
This collaborative effort will address critical areas, encompassing advocacy, policy development, and analytical advice. Together, these endeavors aim to invigorate Africa’s tourism sector, boosting its potential and promoting sustainable growth.
Signing the Pact
The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the African Development Bank and UNWTO is currently under discussion. This formal agreement will prove their collective commitment to Africa’s tourism industry.