By Victor Arjiromanus
Globally, the Tourism sector is greatly affected by the Covid-19 Pandemic, as many tourism activities have been put on hold worldwide.
How the tourism industry remains one of the most vital and lucrative sectors in its role towards economic development and social welfare. So, the drastic need to keep the sector in the know through constant awareness and public education, despite Covid-19, especially in Africa.
Tourism and hospitality firm, Tourism Afrikania, has said it is out to spread education on travel, tourism and hospitality across all African countries through its initiative, ‘Build Africa 2020’ slated to hold on the 3rd and 4th of July through virtual media, Zoom.
Build Afrika, 2020 is an initiative of Tourism Afrikania with the intention to promote Travel, Tourism and Hospitality Education in Africa through presentations from renowned stakeholders, and competitions among participants that will in turn lead to the growth of the industry.
According to the founder, Tourism Afrikania, and Lagos state cordinator, Hospitality and Tourism Management Association of Nigeria (HATMAN), Diplomat Chimezie Mike; ‘ the aim is to see that the African leadership and people understand the importance of Travel, Tourism and Hospitality industry towards economic development for the continent as a job creation tool and a high level entrepreneurial industry’
Continuing, he said; ‘the relevance of tourism can never be overemphasized, therefore the goal of tourism Afrikania ‘Build Africa 2020′ initiative is to promote African tourism and hospitality education which is a great factor in getting the industry in Nigeria, and in Africa generally to the right direction; this event therefore plays the role of enlightenment and Exposure for the future of hospitality and tourism Experts (students).’
” we do this effectively through supports and partnership with well meaning organizations, media and Government parastatal; which is a vital factor towards the realization of this great initiative that is targeted towards actualizing the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations through Education in Hospitality and Tourism, thereafter, achieving other goals like eradication of Hunger and Poverty in Africa, as tourism is one of the highest employer of labour today (One in every ten Jobs).”
”Also, the discipline (Hospitality, Travel and Tourism Management), seems unknown to so many institutions of learning, Parents and candidates deciding on their career paths, hence our responsibility to create this awareness through our activities.”
”Fostering education and training in tourism for job creation and socioeconomic inclusion, by adopting the best practices to increase and improve skill sets in the sector the project brings to share and mentor the upcoming industry professionals, groom them through experience sharing and many more.”
‘the Project’ will provide a platform where the students can interface with the industry players, learn from their shared experiences, gain scholarship aid or entrepreneurial empowerment fund to invest in any Travel, Tourism and Hospitality business of candidate’s choice. However, to promote excellence in the industry, the participating students are to make a presentation on their chosen career paths, before the audience and the panel of judges and thereafter with all selection processes put in place, a winner shall emerge for the year in focus”, he said.
Some features of the program are; Career Path Presentations, Competition among the following contestants; Eze Amanda, Ezondu Theresa, Uzoka stella, Ushie Veronica, Okonkwo Gertrude, Orimaye Olakunle, Oyebamiji Aanuoluwapo, Oyesomi Fatimah, which will attract cash prizes, Mentoring, Career Development, connecting schools and students that major in hospitality, travel, tourism and other related fields with the Practicing Industry stakeholders (Captains of the Industry) to mentor them towards career development.
Some of the mentors are ; CEO Aeroport College of Aviation and Travel Agency, Mr. Taiwo Gideon, Vice Chairman, Institute of Hospitality UK Nigerian Branch, Dr. Babalola Wasiu, Dr. Yekinni Bello, Miss Adetola Olagunju among others.