AfDB promotes tourism in Africa through enhanced water management

24 Nov 2015, 12:00 am
Financial Nigeria


The study shows how growth can be achieved through improved management of water resources in Africa’s tourism industry.

AfDB President, Akinwumi Adesina

A new report by the African Development Bank (AfDB) discusses the important role of water in tourism development in Africa. The report, released by the African Natural Resources Center’s (ANRC) and entitled, Maximising Benefits from Water for Tourism in Africa, highlights the importance of strengthening resource management and how tourism can be an effective means of delivering growth based on a renewable natural resource.

Using widely-varying African case studies and the latest tourism research, the study illustrates the opportunity for economic growth and job creation in this complex natural resource area. It shows how growth, specifically green growth and inclusive development, can be achieved through improved management of water resources in Africa’s growing tourism industry.

“Natural resources are at the heart of Africa’s opportunity and also the very root of its challenges:  Only by ensuring responsible governance, equity and fair benefit - sharing can sustainability and security be ensured. The study examines these opportunities and challenges in the context of the most basic natural resource of all: water. It uses tourism to show how value can be added, but also how benefits need to be shared if economic development is to be sustainable,” Sheila Khama, Director of the African Natural Resources Center, wrote.

According to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), Africa is set to develop the world’s fastest growing tourism market over the next ten years, alongside Asia–Pacific. WTTC says Africa’s tourism industry is on course to contribute 4.9 percent to the continent’s GDP over the next decade. Figures in the report also show that tourism’s job creation potential accounts for over 8% of total employment in Africa.

The vast majority (almost 80 percent) of tourism arrivals to sub-Saharan Africa is at present divided between East and Southern Africa. In East Africa the leading destinations are Mozambique, Kenya and Zimbabwe. In Southern Africa, South Africa captures two thirds of arrivals. In West Africa, Senegal and Nigeria attract 78 per cent of arrivals, and in North Africa Morocco has displaced Egypt as the leading destination.

The African Natural Resources Center, an arm of the African Development Bank, works to assist Regional Member Countries to increase economic deliverables from natural resources.