The African ministers through the UNWTO summit pledged that African member states would work together to establish a new narrative for tourism across the continent.
The pledge is meant to better realize tourism’s potential to drive recovery, they said through a joint communique.
“UNWTO and its members will also work with the African Union and the private sector to promote the continent to new global audiences globally positive, people-centered storytelling and effective branding,” the UNWTO said in the communique.
With tourism recognized as an essential pillar of sustainable and inclusive development for the Africa, UNWTO welcomed high-level delegates to the first Regional Conference on Strengthening Brand Africa.
The conference featured participation of the political leadership of host country Namibia, alongside public and private sector leaders from across the continent.
The UNWTO’s African member states unanimously endorsed the Windhoek Pledge on advocating Brand Africa.
Under the terms of the Windhoek Pledge, members will engage both public and private sector stakeholders and local communities to build a new, inspiring narrative for tourism across the continent, Ministers said.
The program of activities of the African Tourism Minister’s conference had included presentations, interactive discussion sessions, as well as technical visits organized by Namibia Tourism Board that hosted the event.
The conference had covered five main objectives. The first objective was to leverage tourism as a cross-cutting sector with high impact on national and regional branding, to enhance the image of African destinations as the building blocks of the overall image of Africa.
Second objective was to engage the public and the private sectors as well as local communities and the diaspora in promoting positive stories and experiences about Africa, developing synergies between countries to further strengthen the positioning of the continent.
Third objective was to create and enhance destinations’ capacity and skills on brand development and management, marketing, including social media and storytelling, and effective communication.
Fourth objective was to create compelling stories, enhance Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) capacity and competitiveness.
The Fifth objective was to understand the policy framework in place for SMEs to secure loans and facilitate access to capital and leverage business performance during the COVID-19 pandemic.