UNWTO participates in Switch Africa Green Conference on Sustainable Tourism

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The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has participated in the first regional meeting on sustainable tourism in Kigali, Rwanda.

The event is an initiative of Switch Africa Green with collaborating partners such as some UN Agencies especially UNEP, the European Union and the Government of Rwanda.

The main objective of the workshop was to consolidate and share the knowledge generated by SWITCH Africa Green in the sustainable tourism sector and to promote the scale-up and replication of best practices identified.

Jaime Mayaki -UNWTO Deputy Director for Africa Department

It has been established that more radical innovations come from the micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). They play a key role in the transition to green economies and sustainable development in general. They do so by creating business models that are not only economically profitable but also create environmental and social inclusiveness.

The UNWTO was represented by the Deputy Regional Director of the Africa Department, Jaime Mayaki, and was invited as one of the three peer-reviewers to present the comprehensive analysis of the Regional Sector Report on Sustainable Tourism: Focus on Green Business Development. In addition, he contributed to the key discussions and outcomes of the session on green financing mechanisms for the tourism sector.

“Much of the economic potential for green tourism is found in micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in (MSMEs), which need better access to financing for investing in green tourism, which would ensure major environmental benefits, especially the mainstreaming of SCP practices” Mr. Mayaki added.

He also had a very fruitful working session with the Chief Tourism Officer of the Rwanda Development Board, Ms. Belise Kariza, on the cooperation between Rwanda and UNWTO, and the different activities that UNWTO can partner with and provide support to Rwanda in line with the UNWTO Agenda for Africa 2030.

Rwanda is one of the leading emerging countries when it comes to tourism in Africa and it is natural that they would take a leadership role in the implementation of the Agenda for Africa.

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