The office for Eastern Africa of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) jointly organized a three-day meeting in Mombasa, Kenya from 24 to 27 October 2023 to discuss the development of a Sustainable Tourism Master Plan for the IGAD region.
The main objective of the meeting was to develop a regional framework for sustainable tourism development that will foster socio-economic development, poverty reduction and regional integration in the IGAD member states. The tourism sector is a strategic sector at the national, regional and continental levels in Africa, as it is one of the five services priority sectors under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
According to Ms. Mama Keita, Director of ECA in Eastern Africa, the tourism sector accounts for an average of 8.7% of GDP in the Eastern Africa region and has a huge potential to create more income, jobs and opportunities for the people. Ms Keita praised the constructive work done by tourism experts from the IGAD member states and said that the road map agreed upon will guide the preparation and validation of the Sustainable Tourism Master Plan for the region.
The meeting brought together senior officials from the IGAD member states who are responsible for tourism management and development. The meeting was presided over by Mr Osman Abdi Mohammed, the Director of the Djibouti National Tourism Agency, with Her Excellency Dr Fatuma Ibrahim Adan, the Head of the IGAD Mission in Kenya, representing the Executive Secretary of IGAD. Hon. Mohamed Osman Ali, the County Executive Minister for Tourism, Culture and Trade, represented the Mombasa County that hosted the meeting.
The IGAD member states are Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).