The African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD) has restated its commitment to support African youth whose works geared towards finding innovation solution to challenges within the sector.
Sustainability remains one of the main focus when it comes to tourism on the continent as many of the products exist in their natural state, and with high youth unemployment rate, the sector is seen as a vehicle for economic growth.
“Part of what we do at NEPAD is the promotion of sustainable tourism, and one of the components is working with the youth because we believe that unemployment rate in Africa cannot be tackled through one sector. We also believe that tourism can contribute to the significant reduction of unemployment rate, especially among the youth population,” says Vincent Oparah, Tourism Advisor at the African Union Development Agency.
In an interview with VoyagesAfriq he said they work with the youth and also encourage them to come up with innovative ideas on sustainability, ecotourism, and different kinds of tourism initiatives for support.
“Also some of them get training through masterclasses as well as attend the business school like the IE Business School in Madrid. So far we’ve been able to support about five students in 2018. And during the second edition of the Tourism Tech Adventure and the Tourism Startup Competition on the global level, we’ve been partnering with the World Tourism Organsisation in this initiative,” he said.
Oparah disclosed that a number of startups will receive support from the Agency during the upcoming UNWTO Commission for Africa (CAF) Meeting in Seychelles this year.
“On the margins of the CAF Ministerial Conference in March, we intend to work with startups from 2018 and startups from the 2020 edition by bringing them together to come up with innovative ideas on sustainability. They have to identify a problem in the tourism sector and come up with a solution on how these problems can be tackled which will also be recommended to the Ministers attending the conference,” he stated.