The UNWTO Regional Conference Enhancing Brand Africa – Fostering Tourism Development bought together a wide variety of African tourism stakeholders to explore how to build a stronger brand for Africa as a tourism destination. The conference opened on Monday 17 August 2015 at Accra, Ghana.
Tourism is one of Africa’s most promising economic sectors, but the sector’s capacity to fully contribute to inclusive and sustainable development across the continent is often hindered by negative perceptions and the generalization of crises situations in specific locations. At the same time, the numerous positive stories from Africa remain untold to a global audience, further impeding positive perceptions of the region.
Opening the conference President Mahama stated “for many years the narrative of Africa has been negative. This has been promoted in the mindset of many that the continent was a backward, under developed, disease ridden jungle where, if people were not starving, then they were busy killing each other in tribal wars. Africa has great potential, and Africa has a lot going for it, nature, culture, animals, great food and friendly people.”
Against this backdrop, the UNWTO conference Enhancing Brand Africa – Fostering Tourism Development aims to:
- Analyze the situation of Brand Africa and its impact on tourism in the region
- Identify the key challenges facing Brand Africa and that of African countries
- Exchange national experiences on country branding and tourism branding
- Explore how African destinations can successfully build a strong brand in an increasingly competitive marketplace and a constantly changing business environment
- Create synergies among African countries towards greater cooperation in the promotion and positioning of a common African Tourism Brand
Among the confirmed speakers to gather in Accra, Ghana, are the Ministers of Tourism of Ghana, Cameroon, Namibia, Seychelles and Zimbabwe; the CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, Tewolde Gebre Mariam; and Zain Asher from CNN International, the media partner of the Conference, who will deliver a key note speech on “What is Brand Africa?”.