Uzoma Akabusi is a travel enthusiast and tourism professional. He has also been actively involved with Africa's business tourism destination promotion and investment facilitation. His specialty is West Africa.
Previously, Uzoma Akabusi worked some international travel and logistics companies including Hertz in Nigeria.
The third cultural tourism conference (3-5 December) organized jointly between the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) concluded today in Istanbul, Turkey. Participants declared their support for cultural tourism as a driver for safeguarding living heritage, catalyzing creativity in cities, and spreading tourism’s socioeconomic benefits to all.
A key conclusion from the conference was the need for a clear and strong link between tourism, culture and local community stakeholders. Cultural tourism policies and strategies must consider the perspectives and interests of local communities, who can also assist governance bodies in balancing tourism
Ethiopia has joined the list of growing African countries that have policy of visa-on-arrival for all African travellers. The idea of the African Union Agenda 2050 to unite the continent's peoples. The new travel policy is expected to significantly increase the number of African tourist arrivals to Ethiopia. The process of Ethiopia's Visa-On-Arrival for all Africans include online visa application facility. Ethiopia, hosts the African Union (AU) headquarters in Addis Ababa, last week announced at the AU headquarters that the Visa-On-Arrival policy takes effect from November 1st 2018.
Nigerians of the Igbo extraction in Ghana will on September 22, 2018, celebrate this year's Igbo Day and New Yam Festival. The event theme is, 'Celebrating Igbo culture in the diaspora'. This year's programme which will come off at the Efua Sutherland Children's Park will also congregate hundreds of cultural troupe from Nigeria and Ghana.
Against the backdrop of international tourist arrivals expanding 8% in Africa in 2017, thus outgrowing the world average increase in arrivals, tourism is gaining weight as a development opportunity for the whole continent, with its vast diversity of nature, culture and wildlife its greatest vehicle for development.
UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili stressed that “tourism has huge potential to generate lasting development opportunities in Africa if we manage it in the right way, which is economic, social and environmental sustainability”.
The participants from 17 countries, including 14 ministers, supported a coordinated approach to seizing the continent’s potential for tourism, a sector that last year attracted more than 62 million international visitors. Issues on the UNWTO Agenda for Africa include, among others, connectivity, the image and brand of Africa, poverty alleviation, climate change, education and skills development, and financing. Delegates underscored the importance of educating other economic sectors on the broad impact of tourism for the benefit of societies and its people, and promoting tourism as a priority in national agendas.
The Institute for Tourism Professionals (ITP) has stayed true to its avowed commitment towards Nigeria's tourism manpower development. The Institute, popularly called ITP, recently continued its exemplary tourism development efforts with training programmes for top and middle level officers of Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Information and Culture.
One of the latest training programmes was held for three days, from the January 11th, 12th and 13th 2018, in Nasarawa State for middle management Tourism Officers from the Tourism Department of the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture.
Getting a visa to visit another African country has typically meant being buried in a mountain of paperwork and also expensive visa fees. When procured, the visas are typically only for a short duration. Even then, getting the visa isn’t enough to stave off extra hassles at entry points no thanks to the suspicions of immigration officers who sometimes appear bemused that another African is visiting their country as a tourist.
But this year, in line with recommendations by the African Development Bank (AfDB) in its Africa Visa Openness report, more countries have began making it a lot easier for other Africans to visit.
Nigerian National Parks Service on Wednesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Nature Investors West Africa Ltd. on technical and financial support for conservation activities at Gashaka Gumti National Park. The Conservator-General of the Park Service, Ibrahim Goni and the Director of Nature Investor West Africa Ltd., Olajide Layele, signed the agreement in Abuja.
Goni said that the agreement was a milestone for the Service in its efforts to boost wildlife protection and conservation activities in Gashaka Gumti National Park, located in Adamawa and Taraba, in a professional manner to achieve maximum results. “The support will be specifically in the areas of conservation, research and tourism activities of the park. “The support is to fund and support surveillance training, anti-poaching patrols as well as patrol, research and tourism equipment supplies,’’ he said.
Goni said that the agreement would last for 30 years, from the date of its signing, adding that it could be renewed for another 30 years, subject to ratification of both parties. The conservator-general thanked Nature Investors West Africa Ltd. for deciding to partner with the service. “Nature Investors West Africa Ltd. had since proved to be a reliable partner by previously assisting the park in joint patrols and repairs of patrol vehicles, even before the idea of the partnership was conceived. “I also ask that it should extend its support to other parks across the country so as to strengthen their capacity in conservation, research and tourism activities,’’ he said.
In his response, Olajide thanked the conservator-general for the understanding and assured him of the maximum support of his company. He also said that his company was in the process of floating a non-governmental organisation, which would eventually be the counterparty in the agreement. He said that the two parties would thereafter set up a Local Organising Committee to oversee the implementation of the partnership agreement.
Kasane, capital of Chobe District in Botswana, hosted tourism stakeholders to exchange experiences and knowledge of innovative approaches to enhance tourism and conservation planning, financing and marketing. Under the theme “Empowering Tourism Destinations’ Sustainability through Innovation”, the 10YFP STP International Symposium and Annual Conference also discussed the role of the tourism sector in fighting climate change.
The tourism sector in Africa, which according to UNWTO saw an 8% increase in international arrivals in 2016, is progressively becoming prominent largely due to the increased commitment from governments. Possessing massive potential to foster positive change and transformation, it is timely that most heads of states and governments are seeing the urgency to prioritize the sector now directly accounting for 10.2% of the world’s GDP (US$2.3 trillion).
The capital city of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, has recently hosted the 59th Meeting of the UNWTO Commission for Africa. Held between 18-21 April, the Commission included a High-level Meeting on Chinese Outbound Tourism to Africa, where regional representatives debated the potential that the sector brings to the continent.
Attended by 21 tourism Ministers from the African continent, the UNWTO Regional Commission for Africa has become the best platform to discuss tourism trends in the continent and the potential that Chinese tourism can induce at regional level.