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This World Tourism Day, September 27, 2017, the African Development Bank has called for collaborative actions from all stakeholders for sustainable tourism development in Africa. The Bank recognizes that Africa’s tourism and travel industry can serve as an engine of progress for socioeconomic transformation.
The United Nations’ World Tourism Day, with the theme ‘Sustainable Tourism − a Tool for Development’, presents a unique opportunity to raise awareness about the contribution of sustainable tourism among public and private sectors’ decision-makers and the international community.
In addition to its investments in tourism infrastructure (ports, airports, roads and rail, among others), the AfDB is promoting the creative and cultural industries to diversify the economic base of African countries and attract tourism.
The Bank has, through various initiatives, given tourism development a new focus. Through its Fashionomics Africa initiative, the AfDB is supporting the development of creative industries that utilize local products, especially cotton, in Africa. The Bank’s Food Cuisine Africa platform connects key players and newcomers in the food industry in the continent. .
Omoyemi Akerele, founder of Lagos Fashion and Design Week, stressed how the fashion industry fuels sustainable tourism.
“Fashion weeks [fashion industry events] generate considerable foot traffic for cities like Lagos, which hosts the annual Lagos Fashion and Design Week. But there needs to be a deliberate attempt on the part of African governments to tap into the potential that fashion has to grow the tourism industry,” Akerele said.