UNWTO and AU to sign tourism agreement after proposal from Seychelles
(Seychelles News Agency) - The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) and the African Union (AU) will soon sign an agreement on the development of tourism in Africa. The decision comes after an AU ministerial working group met in Seychelles recently, according to a statement from the Seychelles Ministry of Tourism and Culture released today.
The proposed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), put forward by Seychelles’ Minister of Tourism and Culture, Alain St. Ange, will see the African Union member states, working alongside the UNWTO to create the ‘Africa Brand of Tourism' and promote tourism in Africa, also possibly becoming a UNWTO Affiliate Member.
The UNWTO already works with African member states through the UNWTO CAF (Commission for Africa), which will be meeting in Angola at the end of April.
The Director for Africa at the UNWTO and former chief executive at the Seychelles Tourism Board, Elsia Grandcourt, lent her backing to the call from Minister St. Ange, which was approved by the ministerial working group.
According to the Tourism and Culture Ministry, Grandcourt said that the agreement would herald a “new milestone for Africa Tourism” and could play a pivotal role in joint cooperation efforts between the UNWTO and its African Union member states.
Grandcourt added that she would be following up on the drafting of the MoU with the AU Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy, Dr Elham M. A. Ibrahim, and said it was possible that the agreement could be signed by the Secretary General of the UNWTO, Taleb Rifai, later this year during a working visit to Addis Ababa.