The 2022 edition of the Africa Youth in tourism innovation challenge and summit is set to take place in Namibia’s capital of Windhoek from 27-29 July.
Organised by the Africa Tourism Partners in collaboration with UNWTO, Namibia’s Ministry of Environment, Forestry & Tourism, and BDO , the 4th edition is held under the theme “ Developing youth and innovative entrepreneurship solutions for inclusive tourism recovery in Africa
The event since its inception in 2019 has gathered the continent’s young innovative minds and offered ideas to help scale up tourism in Africa.
The 4th Innovation Challenge aims to empower African youth between the ages of 18 and 35 years by providing business partnerships, market access, networking & mentorship Platforms, and funding solutions from the global marketplace including UNWTO, Namibia Business enterprises, private sector, social entrepreneurs, start-ups travel, fintech Entrepreneurs and ATP networks.
The summit also invites youth to participate in the challenge with the winner of the Africa Tourism Innovation Challenge will receive a US$1000.00 seed grant, whilst 1st & 2nd runners-up receive US$500 among several benefits.
Speaking during the announcement of the 2022 4th Africa Youth in Tourism Innovation Challenge, the Chairperson of the Innovation Challenge, Barry Clemens said: “Entrepreneurship and innovation are what moves industries and economies. The youth do not get enough support to fully drive their great innovative ideas to fruition. As such these types of programs are essential to encourage and assist the development of ideas that have made it past the basic stage and ensure they come to a monetised stage and drive job creation and increase the tax base of a country which in turn improves opportunities for full Communities”.
Ms. Natalia Bayona, Director of Innovation, Education and Investments at UNWTO stressed that empowering youth through entrepreneurship is one of the keys to creating more added value jobs and modernize the tourism model through innovation. “Only 5% of the worldwide unicorns are focused on tourism, so there is a strong opportunity to create new start-ups and grow in new niches such as gastronomy, wellness, events tourism & hospitality industry”.
One of the Innovation Challenge judges, Professor Keolebogile Motaung said, “Entrepreneurs change the world by solving big and small problems and creating jobs and skills development. They also contribute to the socioeconomic of the country. Hence having this program is very important.”
The entry criteria of the Challenge include the vision, uniqueness, authenticity and rationale,
evidence of innovation in travel & tourism or related industry challenges being solved in
Africa, sustainability of the impact of the project on travel and tourism, local communities
and/or related industries, timelines for the project, the kind of support required and
provision of a demo/Minimum Viable Product (MVP).
Selected top 5 candidates will be required to present 5 minutes demo to the judges for selection of the winner, first and second runner up at the Africa Youth in Tourism Innovation Summit and Challenge scheduled for 27-29 July 2022 in Namibia. The Finals of the Innovation Challenge will be held in Botswana on the margins of the annual Africa Tourism Leadership Forum (ATLF) and Awards to be held in November 2022.
Register here to participate