Tourism is one of the driving forces of sustainable development. The African Tourism Board (ATB) was invited to contribute to an event hosted by the University of Africa (UNISA) Women’s Forum.
The event was chaired by Dr. Sheila Kumalo of UWF and a Professor at the University.
Unisa Women’s Forum has the objective to emancipate and push for women dialogue in the university.
It’s supposed to inform women within the academic framework in realizing the need to empower and offer an opportunity to play a pivotal role in the growth of the African economy and re-addressing the inequalities.
The University of South Africa (UNISA) is in the top 1000 on the global list of best universities. It is one of the eight South Africa Universities to make the Times Higher Education World Universities Ranking in 2018.
In his opening remarks the ATB Chairperson, Mr Cuthbert Ncube acknowledged Women’s massive contribution to the global economy, tourism, the underrated power that Africa has and what Africa can achieve if united as a continent.
“Being part of The Unisa Women’s Forum today is such an honor. Women are powerful and have a tremendous impact on every aspect of our lives socially and economically. According to the World Economic Forum empowering women to participate equally in the global economy could add $28 trillion in GDP growth by 2025.
“Their participation in the economy would stimulate wider benefits. Societies with greater gender equality not only offer better socioeconomic opportunities for women but also tend to grow faster and more equitably. There are gains in poverty reduction, environmental sustainability, consumer choice, innovation and decision-making on a wider set of issues. It is on this background that a strategic partnership will surface and benefit powerful women with a vision of bettering our societies and economy at large.”
For years, tourism has been one of the stabilizing pillars of the global community creating jobs, supporting the development and spreading of technology and ideas, boosting productivity, expanding consumer choice and enabling cross-border communications channels and supply chains. Real transformation and unity in Africa need the reversal of many stereotypes and tourism can be at the forefront of transforming knowledge and uniting Africa as a whole.
As Africa rises to its true potential, as it takes its rightful economic place among the nations, the door cannot be slammed shut in women’s faces. Women deserve their place in the African sun, and, as Ms Dlomo asserts: “Finding a place in the sun begins with finding the confidence to believe in it, the courage to insist on it and, crucially, the voice to claim it. It is time for the women of Africa to make a noise.” I hope more women will find their voice in the corporate world and assist in pushing the agenda of united Africa, not only through Tourism but through any economic sphere possible.
More on the African Tourism Board go to www.africantourismboard.com