Attending the Annual World Tourism Conference in Rwanda, Facebook and Instagram representatives were in Kigali this week (28-31 August) to discuss and explore ways in which social media can be used to effectively drive tourism growth across the continent. Showcasing how both platforms can be used as a tool to creatively help change the narrative of Africa as a tourist destination, the team also took part in a live panel discussion exploring the ‘Evolution of Online Travel and Lifestyle Tourism: Leveraging Africa’s Diversity’.
The event, developed by the Rwanda Development Board, the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) and the Africa Travel Association (ATA), saw government officials, tourism ministers, tourism boards and business professionals from across the world and the continent descend onto the capital.
Showcasing how tourism operators and agencies can leverage Instagram, Facebook Live and Facebook 360, the Facebook and Instagram team discussed how new technologies can be used to create a seamless experience for both the tourist and the operator; from immersive travel experiences to entice potential customers, to using WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger to allow tourism companies to build customer service channels and communicate with customers prior to booking, during their trip and on their return home.
Commenting on Facebook’s involvement in the World Tourism Conference Akua Gyekye, Public Policy Manager for Africa at Facebook said: “Social platforms offer tourism agencies and companies in Rwanda and across the continent, wonderful opportunities to put their countries firmly on the map. We’re excited to share ideas about how Instagram and Facebook can help Africa share its rich culture and beautiful landscapes with the world, and connect with the tourists of today and the future —an effort we’re proud to support.”
Ahead of the conference, Facebook undertook a number of training sessions including partnering with the ATA and Rwanda Development, the local business council, to train 100 tourism focused SMBs in how to use Facebook platforms to promote, engage with communities, and grow their businesses.
SA Businesspeople Urged to Partner With Mozambicans
South African businesspeople have been urged to reach out to their Mozambican counterparts and establish partnerships that will enable them to access trade and investment opportunities in the neighbouring country.
In a speech that he delivered during the official opening of the South African Pavillion at the international exhibition, FACIM in Maputo last night, the Board Advisor of the Mozambique Investment and Export Promotion Agency (APIEX), Dr Gil Bires said partnerships would be a perfect vehicle for exploring opportunities in Mozambique to the benefit of SA and Mozambique.
“As a national investment and export promotion agency we are delighted to see the South African businesspeople showing interest in our country and coming over to seek opportunities here. We view the participation of the South African companies in FACIM as an indication of our neighbour’s commitment to enhancing bilateral economic trade relations and increasing trade and investment relations between the two sister countries,” said Bires.
He singled out oil and gas as one of Mozambique’s natural resources that present a plethora of business opportunities for local and foreign companies.
“I am encouraging you to establish partnerships with your Mozambican counterparts for the exploitation of these and other opportunities that are available in the Mozambican economy. I want to assure you that the business environment in Mozambique remains stable despite a number of challenges. There are ongoing efforts at all levels to address these challenges in order to make the environment more conducive and attractive for trade and investment,” added Bires.
He further explained that his organisation, which was created by the Mozambican government in October last year, was working hard to woo investors to the country.
FACIM is an international multi-sectoral trade fair held annually to showcase Mozambique as an attractive destination for trade and investment. Almost 2 000 companies from more than 30 countries are participating in the trade fair.
UN Deputy Secretary General Mohammed To Deliver 2017 Mandela Lecture
United Nations (UN) Deputy Secretary General Amina J Mohammed will deliver the 15th Nelson Mandela annual lecture in Cape Town, the Nelson Mandela Foundation (NMF) said on Wednesday.
The 2017 lecture, titled “Centering Gender: Reducing inequality through inclusion and sustainability” will be delivered on November 25.
“Following the 2015 annual lecture, the foundation thought it important to highlight the link between poverty, inequality, and gender. Since then, we have had numerous initiatives to respond to this challenge,” said foundation CEO Sello Hatang.
“We are honoured that Ms Mohammed accepted our invitation to deliver this year’s annual lecture. She will no doubt leave us with insights that will help shape the discourse and our ability to find sustainable solutions.”
Mohammed said she was looking forward to visiting South Africa to help continue Madiba’s vision. She said Mandela was a true champion for gender equality and women’s empowerment “in word and in deed”.
“Reducing inequality through inclusion and sustainability is truly my passion, it drives me to do more now and every day until we reach that goal. Empowerment and the meaningful participation of women and adolescent girls are essential to realising peace, rights, prosperity and a life of dignity.”