Africa Youth in Tourism Innovation Summit & Challenge 2023 Empowers Youth and Fosters Collaboration
The Africa Youth in Tourism Innovation Summit and Challenge 2023 concluded with great success, as it brought together over 600 physical delegates and more than 1000 virtual attendees. The summit, hosted by the Namibia Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism in collaboration with Africa Tourism Partners, UNWTO, and BDO, provided a dynamic platform for youth in tourism, entrepreneurs, start-ups, and small enterprises to connect, engage, and learn.
Held in Swakopmund, Namibia, from 30 May to 02 June 2023, the 5th edition of the Africa Youth in Tourism Innovation Summit surpassed expectations, facilitating meaningful networking opportunities and fostering collaboration among industry stakeholders.
During the official opening of the summit, Honorable Pohamba Shifeta, the Minister of Environment, Forestry, and Tourism, emphasized the crucial role of tourism in economic growth and poverty alleviation. Minister Shifeta encouraged the youth and tourism stakeholders to leverage the platform for fruitful collaboration, highlighting the importance of showcasing Africa’s cultural diversity, abundant wildlife, natural beauty, organic food, and rich history to the global community.
One of the highlights of the summit was the hosted buyer program, which allowed international participants to engage in productive business-to-business interactions. Attendees had the opportunity to explore Namibia’s tourism attractions, culture, gastronomy, and activities, enabling them to develop comprehensive packages and effectively market the country.
Extensive media coverage was given to the summit, with journalists from various African countries and local media outlets reporting on the event. Prominent media organizations such as Voyages Afriq, Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation, TV3 and 3 FM-Ghana, Southern and East African Platform Daily Tourism Update, Business Daily Nigeria, Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, and Namibia Broadcasting Corporation played an instrumental role in disseminating information about the summit to a global audience. Online media platforms also contributed significantly to spreading awareness of the event.
The summit concluded with an awards cocktail, where the top three continental innovators were announced. Gloria Kisilu from Kenya, Cornelius Collins Ugwunwa from Nigeria, and Ntshabo Lehong from South Africa were among the shortlisted innovators. The winner of the 2023 Africa Tourism Innovation Challenge will be revealed at the Africa Tourism Leadership Forum and Awards in Botswana, scheduled for October 2023. The winner will receive a seed grant of US$10,000, including non-cash mentorship, marketing support, and a cash prize of US$1,000. The first and second runners-up will each receive US$500, along with mentorship, marketing support, and exposure to various other opportunities valued at US$5,000.
The Africa Youth in Tourism Innovation Summit 2023 successfully provided a platform for collaboration, knowledge sharing, and innovation within the tourism industry. With its impressive attendance and impactful initiatives, the summit has demonstrated its commitment to empowering the youth and driving sustainable tourism development across Africa.