Addis Abeba, the capital of Ethiopia, held the fifty-ninth meeting of the WTO Commission for Africa, and a Meeting on Chinese Tourism Emission towards Africa.
Form 19th to 21st April, in Addis Abeba, the 59th Meeting of the World Tourism Organisation Commission for Africa, and a senior-level Meeting on Chinese Tourism Emission towards Africa took place. The meeting was attended by a delegation from the Republic of Equatorial Guinea Ministry for Tourism, led by the Minister of State Charged with the Sector, Tomas Mecheba Fernandez-Galilea, assisted by the Director General for Planning, Statistics and Tourist Regulations, Maria del Carmen-Zulema Mituy Alene, and the senior official from our diplomatic representation in Addis Abeba, Magdalena Mfono MaAan Ada.
The delegation led by the minister attended, on 18th, the official opening ceremony which was attended, in addition to the WTO Executive Council, headed by its General Secretary, Taleb Rifai and the Director General for Africa, by some fifty ministers from various African countries, among them Hirut Woldermariam, Minister for Culture and Tourism in Ethiopia, and Walter Mzembi, Minister for Tourism and Hospitality in Zimbabwe, in his capacity as president of the 59th Meeting.
The ceremony had an emotional moment when he paid tribute to the General Secretary Taleb Rifai, for his work as head of the WTO during the last seven years, organised by the Ethiopian Ministry for Culture and Tourism, as the host country.
On Wednesday 19th the Commission for Africa working sessions began, which had as their central theme debates in interactive sessions on the International Year for Consolidated Tourism for Development. There were various speeches; everyone agreed on looking for mechanisms based on tourism, as a key factor in eradicating poverty from African populations. Along those lines, the representative from the Seychelles suggested getting the population involved in the tourist industry in our respective countries, in order to consolidate the development generated. Tourism is the only industry which can benefit the population and make the development of nations tangible, according to his words.
The ease in granting visas to tourists was another of the points dealt with at these sessions. Along these lines various African countries have already removed previous visa requirements, such is the case in Cape Verde, Benin, the Seychelles, and Morocco, among others.
On the Thursday there was a high-level meeting on Chinese Tourism Emission towards Africa. The Vice-president of the Chinese National Administration for Tourism (CNTA), Wei Hongtao, was charged with setting the guidelines for the needs of the Chinese tourist. The figures provided by the representative of the Chinese delegation speak for themselves. For example, proof that the Asian country has enormous potential in the Emission sector, is that in the last three years, approximately, it has emitted 135 million tourists, who have moved over 290 million dollars. And this market is continuing to grow.
On 20th April, the Minister of State, Charged with Tourism, held a meeting with the head of the Chinese delegation, in which Fernandez-Galilea reiterated the wish to receive shortly a business delegation from this friendly country, in order to study the business opportunities provided by Equatorial Guinea in the tourist sector, and the possibility of investing with full guarantees.
At the meeting, the Equatoguinean minister spoke of the support from our country for China, so that its language may be admitted as the sixth language of the WTO.
Source: Official Web Page of the Government of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea