The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has reiterated its commitment to helping Africa countries develop the tourism sector through the adoption of 2030 Agenda for Africa. This was made known during a three – day visit to Namibia by a team of the global tourism body led by its Secretary General, Zurab Pololikashvili.
The three-day official visit to Namibia, which is the first to any Africa country since the outbreak of COVID – 19, saw UNWTO reaffirms its commitment to the continent and featured a series of high-level talks aimed at strengthening existing partnerships and looking to a sustainable, resilient future.
To reflect the new challenges, it has worked directly with its African Member States, including Namibia, to adapt the 2030 Agenda for Africa: Tourism for Inclusive Growth, the landmark roadmap for the responsible growth of tourism across the continent.
This official visit offered a first chance to follow up on virtual meetings and advance the preparations for the restart of a sector upon which millions of African livelihoods depend. Pololikashvili met with Dr. Hage G. Geingob, president of the Republic of Namibia for talks on developing the country’s tourism and commended the president for his leadership, particularly with regards to the international tourism revival initiative which includes the key health and safety protocols drawn up by UNWTO. The team also met with the country’s Vice President, Nangolo Mbumba, with a member of parliament, Pohamba Shifeta, who is the Minister of Environment, Forestry and Tourism as well as Neville Andre, Governor of the Erongo Region of Namibia.
“UNWTO is committed to working closely with our African Member States to realize the potential of tourism to help societies recover from the effects of the pandemic and enjoy long-term sustainable growth,” said Pololikashvili.
Adding that: “The UNWTO Agenda for Africa maps our collective way forward, and I pleased to see first-hand the commitment shown by the Government of Namibia to support tourism at this vital time and embrace the sector as a driver of positive change for all.” Some of the tourist attractions visited by the team included: Namib Sand Sea, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; Swakopmund and the up-and-coming Walvis Bay tourist destination. While the visit team also visited the Namibia Tourism Expo provided where it engaged with public and private sector leaders from across the region.