Pretoria – The City of Tshwane yesterday celebrated Africa Day at Menlyn to market the municipality as a tourism destination of choice for many people across the continent and elsewhere in the world.
The event was hosted under the theme “Tshwane ready to host Africa” and was attended by government officials and some members of the African diplomatic corps based in the city.
Mayor Randall Williams said the metro wanted to use the platform to promote the capital city’s business tourism and leisure offerings.
He said the theme was crafted to address the detrimental economic impact caused by the Covid-19 pandemic across the continent.
The mayor said focus must now be shifted on how to address the challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality.
Williams commended the Tshwane Economic Development Agency for leading a drive aimed at reviving the tourism sector.
“Back in 2018 we were the host of the World Choir Games. Being South Africa’s administrative capital, we are home to 134 foreign missions, 18 research institutions and four higher learning institutions. That is making Tshwane an ideal location for business events,” Williams said.
He said the City had Wonderboom Airport and Dinokeng Game Reserve, which were among the facilities making the metro stand out as a tourism destination.
“As the City of Tshwane we see this as an opportunity to work together safely, and to revive our economies by sharing knowledge and resources in the spirit of ubuntu.”
Director of advisory services at BDO South Africa, Lee-Anne Bac, talked about many opportunities available in the tourism sector across the continent.
She said in 2019 Africa we comed at least 70 million international tourists.
However, the number dramatically dwindled to 18 million last year due to the outbreak of Covid-19. Bac said the sector was capable of creating more jobs than its counterparts in the European tourism industry.
Acting chief executive at Tshwane Economic Development Agency, Lardo Stander, said: “The celebration of Africa Day allows us to highlight the importance of continuing to strengthen relationships, not only with our international communities, but specifically with our sisters and brothers on the African continent.”