Writes Nkeletsang Morapedi
Kigali, Rwanda: During the recent World Travel and Tourism Council summit, President Samia Suluhu Hasan of Tanzania delivered a compelling message, urging African nations to redefine the continent’s narrative. Her powerful address at the 2nd Global Summit of the World Travel and Tourism Council in Kigali emphasized the need for African nations to take control of their own stories, offering fresh and unique perspectives on the continent.
President Samia underscored the vital role of strategic marketing, branding, research, and conservation in advancing the tourism industry. She stressed the urgency of changing the global perception of Africa and breaking free from the era of misinformation.
“It is time for Africa to present its own story and shape a positive narrative about the continent,” President Samia asserted, emphasizing that remaining silent in the face of misinformation is not an option. “Africa is not just the future; it is present,” she added.
The President encouraged the development of compelling narratives and a distinct brand identity that showcases Africa’s rich cultural heritage, breathtaking natural beauty, and diverse experiences. She advocated for a greater focus on ecotourism and the launch of robust marketing campaigns on various global platforms.
President Samia highlighted the importance of prioritizing conservation efforts to protect cultural sites, artifacts, and traditions. She stressed the significance of research on tourism trends, visitor preferences, and environmental impacts to ensure the sustainability of the continent’s tourism sector.
Emphasizing the need for collaboration among governments, the private sector, and non-profit organizations, the Tanzanian Head of State described it as crucial for the growth of the tourism industry. Tourism plays a pivotal role in Tanzania’s economy, contributing 17 percent to the country’s GDP and accounting for 25 percent of its foreign exchange earnings.