West Africa’s archipelago island of Cabo Verde has inked an agreement with the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) to host the Organization’s Commission for Africa (CAF) meeting on September 2-4 this year.
The meeting will also see the Global Tourism Forum for the Investment in Africa, happening from September 2th-4th 2021.
Minister of Tourism and Transport Dr. Carlos Jorge Duarte Santos and Secretary-General of the UNWTO Zurab Pololikashvili signed the agreement.
Dr. Carlos Santos assured the UN Tourism body and the African Member States of a great event to be held in the tourism hotspot of Santa Maria, Sal.
He said, “I invite all African member states, major stakeholders from tourism, investors and entrepreneurs and my dear colleague ministers to come to Cabo Verde for the first Regional Commission on the continent since 2018. This unique event in the island of Sal in the city of Santa Maria will also be the venue for the 2nd edition of the UNWTO Global Tourism Investment Forum in Africa where #RestartTourism will be the main driver of the business discussions and deals sealed during that week.”
Signing the agreement, Dr. Carlos Santos reiterated the commitment of the Cabo Verde Government to UNWTO and the African continent, while also appealing to the African Member States to show interest in the 24th General Assembly of the organization in October, in the Kingdom of Morocco to build a strong, resilient and aligned organization with new priorities that the post-pandemic phase requires.
On his part, UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili reiterated his long-standing position on coordination and collaboration to restart tourism. Mr. Pololikashvili was optimistic of a quickened tourism rebound with a public-private partnership.
Mr. Pololikashvili emphasised the importance of Cabo Verde in the organization and praised the country for hosting the Ministerial Conference on Tourism and Air Transport in Africa in March 2019 on Sal Island, adding that, to date, they were some of the biggest event held under the auspices of UNWTO in Africa.
He also took the opportunity to stress on an initiative to create the African Tourist Brand, in which Cape Verde is one of two African Member States being considered for the pilot project this year.
The two events take place with the primary objective of driving investment into tourism in Africa, at a time when all efforts are focused on resuming and recovering tourism.
Cabo Verde has been a member of UNWTO since 2001 and was, for the first time, elected to the Executive Council of the organization in September 2017 for a four-year term, for which it is seeking re-election at the next General Assembly.
The country is currently one of the Vice-Presidents of the General Assembly and during 2020-2021 held the vice-presidency of the Executive Council.