UNWTO Hosts First High-Level Forum on Tourism Investment in Africa

Tourism Ministers from across Africa came together for the first UNWTO Global Investment Forum in Africa, a landmark event aimed at unlocking the potential of investment for driving sustainable growth and development. This gathering is a contribution to the UNWTO Agenda for Africa for sustainable growth through tourism.

With investment a key part of the ambitious UNWTO Agenda for Africa, Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili opened the forum (20-22 February, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire). The high-level meeting saw the participation of representatives of more than 40 countries, including Vice President of Côte d’Ivoire H.E. Daniel Kablan Duncan throughout the event. Joining them were key representatives from the African Development Bank, International Finance Corporation (IFC) World Bank Group and from across the private sector, including from Marriott International, Accor, Hyatt Hotels Corporation and Uber.  

The inaugural forum offered a platform to discuss the key challenges and opportunities relating to the development of African tourism through investments. These include building a more attractive business environment and potential reforms to obtaining credit, registering property and trading across national borders.

Unlocking growth through investment

UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said: “The UNWTO Agenda for Africa is an ambitious roadmap aimed at guiding African tourism towards sustainable growth between now and 2030. At the heart of this plan is unlocking growth through the promotion of investments and through the power of public-private partnerships. This Forum shows the high level of interest among our African Member States, and I am confident this will be the first of many high-level events aimed at driving investment in a sector whose potential to develop communities and transform lives is almost limitless.”

Under the chairmanship of H.E. Siandou Fofana, Minister of Tourism and Leisure of Côte d’Ivoire, the Forum issued a set of recommendations which will be submitted to the 63rd UNWTO Commission for Africa which will take place in the Republic of Seychelles from March 25-27, 2020.