- Kenya and Jamaica with a little help from Saudi Arabia may have the golden key for tourism recovery in Africa – and it showed in Kenya yesterday with a ground-breaking memorandum of understanding (MOU) and declaration.
- Kenya’s Secretary for Tourism & Wildlife, the Hon. Najib Balala, had the vision, and he has the influence in Africa. Yesterday, an excited and proud Kenya tourism leader officially opened the Africa Tourism Recovery Summit, pointing out Africa’s 1.3 billion people have resources, young people, and a fast-growing middle class to pitch in.
- The Hon. Edmund Bartlett, the Minister of Tourism for Jamaica, is seen as an African at heart. He has been a board member of the African Tourism Board (ATB) since 2018 and has played an instrumental role in ATB Project Hope. He brought the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre to Africa.
Kenya’s Minister Balala noted: “We meet here to find out how through our decisions how we can work to transform Africa’s tourism sector. I strongly believe that working together is possible.
“The story today is about us in Africa and what we can do for ourselves. Africa is a large continent of 1.3 billion people, endowed with resources others can only envy. Africa is a continent of young people. Africa is a continent with the fastest-growing middle class.”
The Co-Chair of the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre located in Jamaica, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, and the Chairman of the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre – Eastern Africa, Kenyatta University, Hon. Najib Balala signed what they called a groundbreaking MOU earlier today between the two Centres.
This paves the way for the two Centres to work on policy and relevant research on destination preparedness, management, and recovery.
Another local tourism leader with a global outlook and a big heart for Africa attended yesterday’s Africa Tourism Recovery Summit. The Minister of Tourism Ahmed Al Khateeb from Saudi Arabia has billions of dollars in support of global tourism. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has emerged as a strong global player, and Minister Al Khateeb is leading this effort.
The Saudi Minister has recently shown great interest not only in Africa but in many other parts of the world. When tourism needs help anywhere in the world, Saudi Arabia is responding.
Three leaders that have the power, the vision, and the money to make a difference were seen having an involved conversation together in Kenya yesterday.
The Host, the Hon. Secretary of Tourism and Wildlife, Najib Balala, welcomed the delegation at the Africa Tourism Recovery Summit held at Villa Rosa Kempinski Hotel in Kenya’s capital city of Nairobi on Friday and delivered the following remarks: