Image: Mrs. Estherine Fotobong
The African Union Development Agency-New Partnership for Africa’s Development (AUDA-NEPAD) is continuing in its mandate to coordinate and execute priority regional and continental projects to promote regional integration towards an accelerated realization of Agenda 2063 and to strengthen the capacity of African Union Member States and regional bodies. This is according to the Agency’s Director of Programme Implementation, Planning and Innovation, Mrs. Estherine Fotobong who in an interview with VoyageAfriq, gave an insight on her outfit’s Post Covid-19 African Tourism Recovery Strategy launched in the midst of the pandemic to support member states.
She said the pandemic has posed significant threats to their operations, disrupting their programme of activities. For her however, the Covid-19 season can be looked at through a positive lens as the pandemic has presented to the world an opportunity to rethink the innovation of development. She further explained that the pandemic has caused the reaffirmation of the significance in building socio-economic resilience post Covid-19 as it has also demonstrated the challenges Africa is facing in terms of economic inequality.
Mrs. Fotabong said that an analysis of the impact of the pandemic by AUDA-NEPAD highlighted issues relating to tourism and security and developed early warning systems and mechanisms to deal with other unforeseen crisis and future pandemics.
The objectives of the post Covid-19 African Tourism recovery strategy initiative include the creation of a reference system that presents good practices and response that look at what pertains to other regions, and what they have done as a tool to assist member states in their response and recovery processes to anticipate futuristic threats and risks.
Others comprise, coordinating the efforts of member states and partners to ensure minimized duplication to promote evidence-based public health practices in the tourism sector and to address key areas involving diversification of markets, products and services. It also highlights the issue of investment in the various markets, intelligence systems and digital transformation of the sector.
Mrs. Fotabong stated that the Agency will maintain its strong relationship and partnership with United Nations World Tourism Organisation to advance recovery in the area and tourism and travel for Africa,
According to her, it is time for Africa to channel their focus on innovation in building a sustained and resilient tourism.
“We need the right kinds of investment, and we need to look at ways of building resilience and enhancing sustainability in the sector, she said.
In addition, Mrs. Fotabong emphasised that it is imperative to prioritise digitization, especially among Member States that are unable to access connectivity, to promote digital marketing; online advertisement, online shopping and other related digital fields.
This was first publihsed in the 15th issue of VoyagesAfriq Travel Magazine