Minister of Tourism Champions African Unity through Intra-Continental Travel Advocacy

Minister of Tourism, Ms Lola Ade-John has called for a united front to boost travel and tourism within Africa.

Speaking at the Walk for Love Africa Summit in Lagos over the weekend with the theme “Intra-Africa Travel and Tourism Ecosystem,” she highlighted tourism’s power to drive unity, economic growth, and sustainable development across the continent.

The Minister emphasized the importance of initiatives like the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) and the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) in simplifying travel and economic exchange. 

She stressed that collaboration is key to unlocking Africa’s full tourism potential, fostering a more interconnected and prosperous continent.

“I firmly believe that by working together, hand in hand, across nations and boundaries, we can unlock the full potential of our tourism sector and pave the way for a more interconnected, resilient, and prosperous Africa”. 

Former Managing Director,Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Dr. Richard Aisuebogun, in a paper presentation entitled “Liberalization of the Skies in Africa: The way forward”, highlighted that Africa has the world’s least connected airspace.  

This, according to Dr. Aisuebogun, necessitates urgent improvement in air connectivity, especially considering Africa’s position as the world’s fastest-growing continent in terms of population.

“It is estimated that frequencies on existing routes will increase by 27% providing greater convenience and choice for consumers. Within the context of AFCFTA, it is expected that SAATM will definitely complete trade in AFRICA”.

Organizer of the summit, Mr. Toni Ukachukwu in his opening remarks said, promoting travel within the continent not only boosts local economies but also fosters cultural exchange and a sense of shared identity.

“We believe in the power of unity, compassion, and collaboration to transform lives and create lasting positive change.But our work is far from over. There is still much to be done to harness the full potential of Intra Africa travel, tourism, and trade”.

Discussions at the event focused on various topics, including: Reducing barriers to migration, tourism, and trade,

The role of technology and cross-border payments in enhancing trade partnerships and Utilizing media and creative arts for destination marketing.

The Summit aims to position Africa as a top travel destination by showcasing its rich cultural heritage and diverse landscapes.

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