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African ministers confirm UNWTO attendance

2021-06-02  Albertina Nakale

African ministers confirm UNWTO attendance
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As Namibia expressed its readiness to host the United Nations World Tourism Organisation’s (UNWTO) Brand Africa conference, about eight African ministers confirmed their attendance for the global event.

The ministers who confirmed are from Cabo Verde, Morocco, Ivory Coast, South Africa, Chad, Ghana and Nigeria. This information was confirmed by the Namibia Tourism Board (NTB) CEO Digu //Noabeb during an engagement with the media over the weekend on Namibia’s readiness to host the event, aimed at finding ways for the swift recovery of the tourism sector in the midst of the pandemic.

The UNWTO Brand Africa Conference will be held in Namibia from 14 to 16 June 2021. //Noabeb emphasised the need to comply with the new public gathering restrictions of 50 persons.

“We received by 28 May overwhelming interest of about 146 delegates, which is a challenge we must manage in light with the new Covid-19 regulation dealing with public gatherings,” he said.

The programme of activities of the conference will include presentations, interactive discussion sessions as well
as technical visits, which will be organised by the NTB as the host of the event.

The main objectives of the conference are to leverage tourism as a cross-cutting sector, with a high impact on national and regional branding to enhance the image of African destinations as the building blocks of the overall image of Africa. 

It also aims to engage the public and private sectors as well as local communities and the diaspora in promoting positive stories and experiences about Africa, developing synergies among countries to further strengthen the positioning of the continent.

Equally, it aims to understand the policy framework in place for SMEs to secure loans and facilitate access to capital and leverage business performance during the pandemic.

//Noabeb said day one would consist of two parallel master class training sessions, digital marketing for SMEs and branding. “Namibia has 40 places, and attendance is by invitation and approval by NTB for Namibian participants,” he said. President Hage Geingob is expected to officiate at the conference.

He noted Namibian delegation attendance is strictly by invitation only by the tourism ministry and not through the UNWTO website portal registration as currently is the case.

As the United Nations’ specialised agency for tourism, UNWTO has been actively guiding the sector’s recovery and restart from this unprecedented crisis.  To reflect the new challenges, it has worked directly with its African member states, including Namibia, to adapt the 2030 Agenda for Africa on tourism for inclusive growth, the landmark roadmap for the responsible growth of tourism across the continent. 

Secretary general Zurab Pololikashvili met President Geingob last November for talks on realising
the potential of tourism to drive sustainable development, including for youth, women and rural communities. 

At the time, the secretary general commended the head of state for his leadership, particularly with regards to the international tourism revival initiative, which includes the key health and safety protocols that were drawn up by UNWTO.   - anakale@nepc.com.na


2021-06-02  Albertina Nakale

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