Why inclusive prosperity is at the center of the UN Tourism strategy for Africa

The promotion of the UN Tourism Agenda for Africa – Tourism for Inclusive Growth – and the department of UN Tourism Africa are priorities for the organization. Our member governments have worked with us in recent years on important initiatives to bring about revolutionary transformation in the African tourism industry.

Our sector has demonstrated incredible resilience in the face of global challenges; in 2023, arrivals reached 88 percent of pre-pandemic levels, and in Africa itself, expectations were exceeded with 96 percent of pre-pandemic visitors. Demand from European markets was strong, with Ethiopia (+30%), Tanzania (+20%), and Morocco (+11%) all surpassing their 2019 numbers through October or November of 2023. Sustainable growth is our goal, and key themes including digital transformation, safety and security, branding, and investment promotion have not changed.We keep paving the route for a better future for African tourism through alliances and calculated actions.

We are happy to highlight some important strategic priorities that are in line with the main themes of our agenda as we seek to solidify the growth of tourism in Africa.The organization intends to reinforce its position as the world leader in tourism for development, propelling social and economic transformation to guarantee that “People, Planet, and Prosperity” are key to all our actions. The adoption of the new name and brand, UN Tourism, marks a significant step in that direction. UN Tourism seeks to guarantee that local communities gain directly from tourism efforts by putting people at the center, promoting social inclusion, economic growth, and cultural preservation.We have been advocating for sustainable investment in the African tourism industry for the last two years. Our goal is to establish an environment that is conducive to attracting foreign and domestic investment and promoting sustainable growth and development throughout the continent. We will achieve this through focused initiatives like the creation of Tourism Doing Business Guidebooks and strategic collaborations. Our strategy continues to be centered on education and human capital development in order to empower people and communities in the tourist industry. We are increasing our efforts to make high-quality education and training options accessible, giving stakeholders the know-how and abilities they need to prosper in a sector that is changing quickly.The 67th UN General Assembly will provide a platform for additional discussion and significant coverage of these two issues: investments and education.

Furthermore, we will initiate programs designed to highlight Africa’s rich cultural legacy, breathtaking natural features, and distinctive experiences, further enhancing the continent’s standing as a top vacation destination.In light of this, Zambia and Zimbabwe are scheduled to host two crucial regional gatherings in July 2024: the first UN Tourism Africa Regional Gastronomy Forum and the second UN Tourism Regional Conference on Brand Africa. These high-level forums are purposefully created to address obstacles to the industry’s expansion and recast Africa’s image. The conferences aim to change the perception of the continent by tackling preconceptions and enduring hurdles to perception, with the ultimate goal of maximizing Africa’s tourism potential.

Our agenda for inclusive growth also includes women’s empowerment and gender equality as essential components. We still support and encourage more women to take on leadership roles and participate in the tourist industry. We will be discussing some important efforts that will assist advance and empower women in the tourist industry through the UN tourist Women in Tourism Leadership Africa Committee (WITLAC), which is led by the Honorable Minister of Sierra Leone.
We still have a clear vision for the future. In order to assist our member states in fostering strong collaborations with important tourism stakeholders for the development of sustainable tourism projects with significant socio-economic impacts throughout the continent, it is imperative that we underline our firm commitment and dedication to diving the UN Tourism Agenda for Africa – Tourism for Inclusive Growth.