Destination West Africa Project (DWAP), an initiative dedicated to promoting internal travel, business and trade within the West African region, by Goge Africa and its partners, was launched last week, with a view to its issuance Opening in a few weeks. The event, which was held at the Lekki Conservation Center (LCC), was full of pomp and delight, with tour operators and service providers, as well as the diplomatic community, in attendance. The event was also designed to commemorate this year’s World Tourism Day (WTD), with the theme; Rethinking Tourism.
The launch was preceded by a series of entertainment activities, with the Lagos State troupe captivating the audience with dazzling performances, a tour of the LCC, including exploring the family park and a canopy ride. In the conversation workshop of the event, the director of operations of Ibom Air, George Uriesi, spoke on the subject; Travel and Tourism in the Subregion: Perspectives and Challenges. He spoke at length about travel within the region, highlighting some of the challenges and perspectives, especially regarding air connectivity, airfare and competition, noting that; “The more airlines we can operate in the region, the better for us.” This was followed by a round table of various operators and members of the diplomatic corps on how to develop the region’s tourism business.
The founder and president of La Campagne Tropicana Beach Resort, Otunba Wanle Akinboboye, in his speech referred to the vast resources of Africa, which, according to him, is the second largest continent in the world and the richest, however, he regretted that There is no business being poor. Akinboboye praised Goge Africa, which is the initiator of the project, and its partners, noting that; ”We need to unite to process our resources. The only way you can have an edge is when you push your edge and the only edge we have today is the edge of culture, arts, music and dance.”
Noting further that; ”this is what we should focus on” by emphasizing that; “Now that we have found a real project, Destination West Africa, we should continue with it.” However, he warned that; “There are challenges, but we must understand that they are meant for us to overcome.” He called for travel loans to be provided to people traveling within West Africa. ”Let’s make it easy, let’s make it possible, we are starting a journey that can help us all reach greater heights. Those of us who can do it, let’s start doing it and stop blaming others or those who are not doing it,” he admonished.
While Prince Yemisi Shyllon, an arts connoisseur and patron, advocated private sector-led development, noting that; “I don’t think the government will do much, however we do hope that the government will give us the enabling environment and provide leadership to remove some of the problems that we have in terms of travel.” He narrated how easy it was. years ago traveling within the region and the continent, especially by road, as he once traveled by road from Lagos to Yamoussoukro, Ivory Coast. But attempting that now, he said, is nearly impossible, as he is plagued with so many dangers and bureaucracies.
“But I dare anyone to try. The bureaucracy is terrible,” she noted, applauding Goge Africa for what they are doing now. To be successful in this new venture, he said that Africans need a cultural reorientation, stating that; ”We have a problem of culture, our belief in our culture is very low, we have to have a map of festivals or a calendar of festivals in West Africa, it is very, very important. “It is not only the cost of travel that makes people travel abroad, but we do not believe in ourselves and we have to believe in ourselves and travel more within our regions. “I congratulate Wanle Akinboboye for what he has done within Lagos and Goge Africa for this initiative.”
From the diplomatic community, the Consulate General of Ghana, Ambassador Samata Gifty Bukari, emphasized the importance of traveling within the region and the continent, noting that tourist attractions should be mapped and children should be introduced to tourism at an early stage through school excursions. ”I am very pleased with this initiative because tourism generates income for all the countries in Africa, however, we have left what we have and gone to the West. But now we have to do our Africa because there are many tourist attractions in Africa. I don’t know much about the others, but I know that in Ghana we have many attractions,” said the envoy.
To get ahead, he called on the association, working together with ECOWAS, AU and AfCFT. ”Let’s try to make the most of tourism in Africa. We should start with regional tourism and start with schools where we have to organize tours for our children,” she noted. Envoys from Gambia, Republic of Benin, Senegal, Ivory Coast and Liberia also attended. The Executive Director of Goge Africa, Ambassador Nneka Isaac-Moses, called on the various regional governments, well-meaning organizations in the region and the ECOWAS Commission to lend their support to the project in order to prepare Africa Occidental for continental travel, trade, and navigation. integration.
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