By Taiye Olayemi
The South Africa Tourism (SAT) has advised African leaders on the establishment of an intra-Africa tourism masterplan to stimulate tourism demands and growth across the African region.
Nomasonto Ndlovu, Acting Chief Executive Officer, SAT, gave the advice on Tuesday during a business roundtable and dialogue session organised by the South Africa Consulate General in Lagos and Brand South Africa.
The theme for the programme is “Promoting Regional and Continental Trade Through the AFCFTA and BRICS in Africa”.
Ndlovu said that considering the different barriers hindering seamless intra-Africa trade, travels and tourism, it had become important to be strategic in handling the challenges.
She noted that it was high time Africans developed a tourism masterplan which would make provision for a downward review of airfares within Africa.
She explained that the masterplan should also ensure a uniformity in infrastructural development across Africa and lots of innovations aimed at advancing Africa as a continent.
“It is time we begin to address our problems as a unit and not individual countries. How to promote Africa as a region should be paramount in our minds at this stage of our development
“I will suggest that to improve intra-Africa connectivity, investment, trade and tourism, we must unanimously develop an intra-Africa tourism masterplan.
“The masterplan should entail improvements in our policies, budgets, infrastructures, airfares and every other aspects that will enable us take the world by storm in the areas of trade, investment and tourism,” she said.
Ndlovu disclosed that SAT had been able to develop its film industry through partnership with Netflix.
She said a lot more would be done to ensure tourism continues to thrive in the country.
Earlier, Prof. Bobby Moroe, Consul General of South Africa in Lagos, disclosed that the rainbow nation would host the 15th BRICS summit from Aug. 22 to Aug.24.
According to Moroe, BRICS is a group of leading emerging markets and
developing countries of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
He urged Africans to work toward addressing the triple challenges of inequality, poverty and unemployment through increased intra-BRICS trade, investment, tourism, capacity building, skills, and technology transfers.
He disclosed that over 17 per cent of South Africa’s exports were going to BRICS member states, while nine per cent of
its total imports were from BRICS.
“The total South African trade with BRICS reached R702 billion in 2021 from R487 billion in 2017.
“Given the significance of BRICS to Africa’s developmental agenda, it becomes
critical that we create linkages amongst our economies in Africa.
“This will help us leverage available opportunities and provide space to propose new innovations that are aimed at unlocking bottlenecks confronting the AfCTFA in the implementation of its strategy.
“Let us create an enabling environment
within which BRICS can nourish the AfCFTA to deliver on its mandate,” he said. (NAN)