Casa Africa has launched the Casa África Agenda 2030 Forums to put the spotlight on tourism and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Africa.
Speaking as one of the partners during the launch, the Director of Africa Department at the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Elcia Grandcourt shed light on tourism’s role in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)s in Africa.
Ms Grandcourt said the UNWTO as the UN’s specialized agency for the promotion of responsible and sustainable tourism is leading the agenda to streamlining tourism as key part of national agendas.
‘’In 2018, the continent welcomed 67 million tourists, registering a growth of 7%, more than the world’s average. This number reflects the sector’s potential for job creation, for providing decent work and creating economic growth in Africa (goal #8 of the SDGs)’’ Ms Grandcourt added.
Ms Grandcourt said it has become critical to position tourism as a policy priority by strengthening policy and governance structures. She also outlined the 5 main priorities for the UNWTO namely innovation and digital transformation, investment and entrepreneurship, Education and employment, safe secure and seamless travel and social, cultural and environmental sustainability.
She expressed appreciation to Mr Jose Segura Clevell Director General of Casa Africa for inviting UNWTO to present Tourism and SDGs in Africa within the framework of a series of forums launched by Casa Africa aimed at promoting the core principles of the UN Agenda 2030.
On his part, Mr Jose Segura Clevell Director General of Casa AFRICA said, the relationship between UNWTO and Casa África has recently turned 10 years old, which are the years in which we have jointly organized with Fitur the Forum for Business and Investment in Tourism in Africa, Investour.
‘’Investour takes place every year within the framework of FITUR. Investour is one of our most important and beloved projects. Probably the flagship initiative of our economic diplomacy. It fulfils our mission of bringing Africa closer to Spain by offering a space in which the creation and reinforcement of Spanish-African networks of contacts and common projects are favoured’’ he added.
‘’Since the first edition in 2009, Investour has been consolidating and acquiring greater visibility, bringing together more than 1,500 participants from 36 African countries and having served as a platform for the presentation of more than 900 projects. It is also worth mentioning the high representation of tourism ministers that Investour has had in all its editions, reaching the figure of 25 African ministers in one of its editions’’ the Director General observed.
Mr. Segura Clevell said with the launch of the program, Casa Africa will look forward to supporting and fulfilling the sustainable development goals of the United Nations.
‘’Today with this conference we inaugurate the Agenda 2030 Forums Program, a program that was born as a result of the priorities of the new Strategic Plan of Casa África 2018-2021 and that seeks to support the fulfilment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDS) of the United Nation’’he said.
As part of Ms. Grandcourt visit to Las Palmas, several bilateral meetings were held with Casa África and other tourism institutions from Canarias, in order to reinforce their cooperation and explore future collaborations to continue promoting the development of sustainable tourism in Africa.
The conference is the first of many programs lined up by Casa Africa around the SDG 17 and towards the 2030Agenda in Africa.
Speakers also included Head of the Economics and Business at Casa Africa, Mrs. Ana Cárdenes Bilbao and Mr. Navin Khemlani, CEO IBC Spain, consultant and trainer specialized in the internationalization towards the African continent.