NOW AVAILABLE HERE IS #ALAINSTANGE’S 21st EDITION OF HIS WEEKLY TOURISM REPORT FROM THE #SEYCHELLES AND OTHER INDIAN OCEAN ISLANDS
Alain St. Ange, immediate former Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine – until the change of portfolios when President Danny Rollen Faure took office Minister of Tourism and Culture – needs no introduction. The world of tourism knows him, for triggering the marketing juggernaut of the Seychelles islands which keeps marching on to ever new arrival records since he joined public service in 2008 and of course for his campaign as candidate for Secretary General of UNWTO.
At the time highly fancied as a credible, the only credible candidate from Africa was his candidature brought to an abrupt halt on the eve of the election by the Executive Council of UNWTO in Madrid, when the African Union on the behest of a country in Southern Africa blackmailed the government in Victoria to either withdraw their letter of support for St. Ange or else face massive sanctions.
The AU had never formally explained nor apologized for their initialled but otherwise unsigned note handed to the Seychelles’ Ambassador to the African Union in Addis Ababa and now of course stares at a tourism future on the continent robbed of the advocacy and support St. Ange could have extended had his candidacy been allowed to stand.
But there is light on the horizon, light individuals with a keen interest to move Africa and African tourism forward have spotted.
Kenya’s Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala was elected to chair the Commission for Africa at UNWTO and the continent will look at him to drive the agenda forward and increase Africa’s share of global tourism arrivals from its present 60 or so million or 5 percent of global travel movements which last year touched the 1.2 billion number.
(Najib Balala in the middle seen here with Seychelles’ Tourism Minister Maurice Loustau-Lalanne and Alain St. Ange)
Balala, a highly respected tourism minister, not just in Kenya and East Africa but across Africa and the world, needs to take the lead at the African Union and make the UNWTO Commission on Africa the main tourism platform for the continental body, giving credibility back to the AU while working with the other members of the commission to transform the tourism desk at the AU and turn it into a vehicle for progress.
It is in fact here where a man of St. Ange’s caliber can come in very handy, taking on a role as a lead consultant to shape a vision beyond the merely bureaucratic ticking of boxes and get the show on the proverbial road, allowing the Balala led commission to set and implement their agenda for their term of office which lasts until 2019. Because what Africa cannot afford is the loss of such talent, of not making use of a man whose global standing and reputation keeps him engaged in whirlwind tours across the globe as a speaker.
Having known Najib Balala from his early days in politics at the then Mombasa Municipal Council and knowing that he reads my blog, I also know him as a very smart operator who, when he sees forward looking opportunities, knows how to make use of them.
Meanwhile enjoy the St. Ange Tourism report Edition 21, again with news not just from the Seychelles but from across the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands and beyond.