Africa could capitalize on its huge tourism potentials as a key pillar to achieve the UN Agenda for Sustainable Development and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
This is according to the Secretary-General of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), Zurab Pololikashvili. Speaking at the opening of the 64th UNWTO Commission for Africa (CAF) Meeting in Cape Verde, the Tourism Chief said, “We need to take this spirit of determination and cooperation forward as we rethink and rebuild tourism.
“This way we can make tourism in Africa even stronger. And we can make the continent an example of how tourism can be an essential pillar of the UN Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals.”
Stressing the need for countries on the continent to work together to expedite recovery from COVID-19, Pololikashvili emphasized, “The crisis has shown the importance of working together: On the vaccine rollout and for harmonized travel protocols. Both of these are essential for tourism’s restart. I would like to commend all African Member States who are making great efforts to get their people vaccinated and so get tourism moving again.”
In addition, he maintained that UNWTO recognizes that digital transformation will be a key element of the recovery and that the adoption of innovation and technology will boost the competitiveness of the region, create jobs, and provide new opportunities, including for youth and women.
Cabo Verde Prime Minister, Ulisses Correia e Silva, speaking to the media on the sidelines of the event, highlighted the steps taken by the government in terms of vaccination of the population and other actions developed over time to transform the Sal Island and Cabo Verde into a safe destination.
“Cabo Verde is on a good path. It is noted that at the local level we are already reaching 70% of the vaccinated population, we want to reach 80% by the end of October. Islands like Sal are already at levels above 70%. We have islands which have already reached 100%,” the Prime Minister disclosed.
Some highlights of the 3-day event included the election of Cote d’Ivoire to Chair the Commission for Africa with Kenya as Deputy. Cabo Verde was also retained to serve on the UNWTO Executive Council.
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