October 23, 2021

Nigeria Transport Hub

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African Airlines, UNWTO, to accelerate restart of travel in Africa

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Mr Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General, United Nations World Tourism Organization, UNWTO

The United Nations World Tourism Organization, UNWTO, and the African Airlines Association, AFRAA, have unanimously agreed to jointly fashion out strategies to mitigate the impact of a post-COVID-19 pandemic on aviation and tourism.

Although the mutual consent to synergize and turn the gloom in the horizon to a boom was signed outside of Africa in Madrid, Spain, the letters and the spirit of the document was to lift African airlines out of recession and offer a shot in the arm to tourism in the continent.

The Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, was signed on behalf of African airlines by AFRAA’s Secretary-General, Abdérahmane Berthé, and UNWTO Secretary-General, Zurab Pololikashvilil.

Under the terms of the agreement, both parties will consult each other on matters and activities of mutual interest to develop greater connectivity and advance seamless travel across Africa.

Mr. Abdérahmane Berthé, Secretary-General, African Airlines Association, AFRAA

UNWTO’s Secretary-General, Pololikashvili said: “Coordination and cooperation are essential for the safe restart of tourism across Africa. Closer collaboration between UNWTO and aviation will also help African tourism grow in the years ahead, driving economic development and providing opportunities for millions of people throughout the continent.

In his comment, Mr Abdérahmane Berthé said further that: “aviation and tourism are interrelated and interdependent. By signing this MoU, AFRAA and UNWTO will augment the coherence between the two sectors as well as harmonize the respective regulatory frameworks and sectoral policies.”

In the more immediate term, the new MoU is aimed at helping mitigate the impacts of the pandemic on African aviation and restarting international travel

Looking further ahead, the agreement will also help grow the overall benefits of tourism and air transport within both national and regional economies.

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