Experts call for local business growth

Martin Endjala

Experts attending the 4th Africa Youth in Tourism Summit have called on local businesses to partner with international companies for the growth of local products.

The local business industry has for many years lived in the shadows of multinationals, with experts stressing that the Africa Youth in Tourism needs to start finding new solutions in reinvigorating a normal buy-stander into buying locally made products particularly in the tourism sector that has been heavily impacted by Covid-19.

Virtual and online businesses are seen as fast emerging options that local business needs to start considering in order to grow and showcase their products.

Nepotism and other hurtles that are impediments to local businesses growth when applying for business networking or collaborations on trading are also said to have been ironed out with the new online innovations.

This year’s theme of developing youth and innovative entrepreneurship solutions for inclusive tourism recovery in Africa at the Africa Youth in Tourism Summit and Challenges is said to be seeking for youth inclusion in tourism.

Young entrepreneurs are being urged to venture more into the sector as it is one of the sectors that brings in large capital into the country.

The summit that started on 26 July ending and ends tomorrow has seen youth attendance from across the African continent with experts from across the world.

Minister of Environment, Forestry and Tourism, Pohamba Shifeta pointed out that around 60 percent of Africa’s population is under 25 years of age. He stated that the young demography is powerful and has comparative advantage, hence the need to equip them with skills and capital to be the drivers and beneficiaries of the tourism industry.

Kwakye Donkor who is the Executive Officer of the African Tourism Partner lamented that tourism is everything and everything that we do.

Traveling and connecting as well as sleeping and eating is all part of tourism hence he believes in identifying problems and finding solutions to them.

The Executive Director Investment and New Ventures Francois van Shalkwyk emphasized that local businesses need to partner with international companies in order to grow their businesses and to be directly connected to these international companies’ customers network.

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