Environment and Tourism Minister Pohamba Shifeta has emphasised the importance of African youth contributing to innovative development programmes that are compatible to the Sustainable Development Goals and regional tourism programmes.
Shifeta at the opening of the African Youth in Tourism Innovation Summit and Challenge at Swakopmund on Wednesday said young people should aim to become transformational industry change-makers and future leaders of the tourism sector.
“The youth of Africa and all industry players should collaborate and form partnerships to place African brands/destinations at the centre of the global dialogue, displaying and expressing the love and warmth of the African people, diverse culture, abundant wildlife and rich history of the continent in your engagements with friends across the globe,” he expressed.
The Namibian Government, he said, is a member state of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), which enables it to subscribe to and support its agenda of Africa that positions tourism at the centre stage for inclusive growth in order to optimise the sector’s contribution to sustainable development of Africa at large.
“This African agenda for inclusive development can only be achieved with the inclusion of the youth and women in the tourism ecosystem. I therefore urge you all to embrace innovation, digital disruptive change and harness your potential to succeed in the tourism sector and your participation at this summit is of utmost crucial and surely indicates your passion and love for the industry,” he said.
The summit is a pan-African youth initiative which was established in 2019 in South Africa.
It serves as a voice for the youth and emerging enterprises in tourism, travel, hospitality, aviation and all related industries with the sole objective to among others; connect, innovate and grow themselves, their businesses and the entire travel & tourism economy of the African countries.
The four-day event aims to harmonise and influence government policies, introduce strategies and adopt new technologies that support the development and growth of the Small, Medium, and Micro Enterprises, tourism businesses and create market access for youth entrepreneurship.
It is being attended both in-person and virtually by about 2 000 attendees from 38 African countries.
Source: The Namibia Press Agency