RWANDA, Kigali: PRESIDENT Samia Suluhu Hasan has urged African countries to rewrite the narrative about the continent by telling their own stories from their own unique perspectives.
Delivering her speech at the 2nd Global Summit of the World Travel and Tourism Council in the Rwandan capital, Kigali, the President said African governments must ask themselves some serious questions for tourism to make the required strides, including strategic marketing and branding, research, and conservation.
“Africa should tell its own story in its own terms and set a positive normative about Africa. We cannot afford to continue remaining silent in this era of fake news. We should stand up and put the record straight; Africa is not only the future, it is now,” said President Samia.
Tanzania’s Head of State suggested that Africa should develop compelling narratives and a brand identity that highlights the continent’s unique cultural heritage, natural beauty, and diverse experiences.
President Samia insisted that Africa must embrace ecotourism and invest in targeted marketing campaigns across various platforms to reach global audiences.
The Head of State said Africa should prioritize conservation and support efforts to preserve cultural sites, artifacts, and traditions for future generations if the continent wants to continue relying on natural attractions.
Research on tourism trends, visitor preferences, and environmental impacts is crucial for the tourism sector to remain relevant in Africa, she said.
The President emphasized the role of the private sector in the tourism industry; there has to be collaboration between the government, private sector, and non-profit organizations.
Like elsewhere in Africa, tourism plays a key role in the economy, accounting for 17 percent of Tanzania’s GDP and 25 percent of foreign exchange earnings.