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AU eyes engagement in tourism sector as transformative tool for Africa

ADDIS ABABA, Feb. 10 (Xinhua) — The African Union (AU) is eyeing the tourism sector as a transformative tool for Africa’s economic development, an AU official said on Monday.

“For the first time we’re seriously addressing the sector of tourism. Tourism is a fantastic sector when it comes to employment and income generation to everyone at all levels,” said Abou-Zeid Amani, Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy, at the sidelines of the 33rd ordinary session of the assembly of the heads of state and government of the AU being held in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

“The AU has developed and adopted last July, the strategic framework for tourism. We started already the work to establish the African tourism organization within the strategy,” said Amani.

Amani said the development of tourism in the continent is crucial to change the image of the continent and showcase it in a positive light.

“We’re focusing on branding of the continent, intra-African tourism and also showcasing Africa in a different light to the whole world,” said Amani.

“We started this brand-new activity in 2019, with the purpose of establishing the African Tourism Organization. By the end of this year we expect to report on where we are with this new specialized AU organ,” said Amani.

The AU eyes tourism as one key pillar to achieve its ambitious Agenda 2063 goals of transforming the political, social and economic prospects of African countries.

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