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AfCFTA endorses Africa tourism private sector alliance

AfCFTA endorses Africa Tourism Private Sector Alliance

The Africa Free Continental Trade Area (AfCFTA) has endorsed the Africa Tourism Private Sector Alliance (ATPSA). The endorsement took place during the 6th Africa Tourism Leadership Forum & Awards (ATLF) 2023, which was held from October 3-6, 2023 in Gaborone, Botswana.

The endorsement at the tourism forum, hosted by the Government of Botswana, was witnessed by over 600 industry stakeholders, policy-makers, private sector executives, academics and investors.

With the AfCFTA’s endorsement, ATPSA is now affirmed as the only Pan-African apex body and platform for national tourism private sector associations and organisations for African Union Member states. Birthed on the margins of ATLF 2022 in Botswana, the ATPSA will serve as a single voice and platform for positioning tourism as a priority sector across all African countries. The primary role of the body is to advocate for the removal of barriers to intra-Africa travel such as visa-free travel for Africans within Africa, improved connectivity within African countries, reduced cost of air travel across Africa, promotion of Africa under the “Brand Africa” banner in collaboration with the AfCFTA.

Read also: AfCFTA: FG calls for collective action among African nations

Other key priority focus areas of the alliance are; research, creation of market access for SMEs through destination marketing, capacity building and learning, best practice and knowledge sharing, thought-leadership development, sustainable tourism development and more.

Championed by AfCFTA, ATPSA is positioned to promote sustainable tourism development, improve intra-Africa travel facilitation, and strengthen sector competitiveness and youth and women inclusivity.

Read also: Implementing AfCFTA: Cogs in wheels, stumbling blocs and windows of opportunity

The interim secretariat of the alliance is hosted by the Society for Aids in Africa (SAA), Accra Ghana and supported by Kenya Tourism Federation Offices in Nairobi, Kenya. The ATPSA secretariat therefore takes advantage of the endorsement opportunity to invite all tourism and related industries’ private sector organisations across Africa to join the alliance.

Meanwhile, the alliance’s work plan and programme of action for 2024 is being developed to be validated by AfCFTA, members and African tourism industry stakeholders and related international partners in early 2024.