The World Bank issued a report, “Africa’s Tourism Set to Boost Economic
Growth, Create New Jobs, and Now Outpace Other Regions for New Tourism
Investment.” While the full report may be accessed via its main entry
portal www.worldbank.org ,
sections of it are shown below for ease of reference.
Sub Saharan Africa’s tourism industry is set to spur more economic growth
for the continent and directly employ 6.7 million people by 2021, according
to a new World Bank report released today.
The report—Tourism in Africa: Harnessing Tourism for Growth and Improved
Livelihoods—says that tourism accounted directly or indirectly for one in
every 20 jobs in Sub Saharan Africa in 2011, and is one of the few
industries on the continent in which women are well represented as employees
and managers. Sub Saharan Africa is outpacing other regions in tourism
The report examines the potential of African countries to improve and expand
their tourism sector, and suggests that 33 of Sub Saharan Africa’s 48
countries currently have the capacity for tourism success through
establishing strong political support for developing the industry and
attracting increased private investment to help finance and sustain it.
The report cites successful examples of countries including Cape Verde,
Kenya, Mauritius, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania and others, who
have simplified their tourism policies, liberalized air transport and
diversified tourism while protecting their communities and environments,
which created a positive investment climate for tourism development.
“Africa’s private companies are increasingly attracting regional and
international investment and the returns on investing in Africa are among
the highest in the world,” says Makhtar Diop, World Bank Vice President for
Africa. In close alliance with the private sector, governments must also do
their part to create better transport, electricity, infrastructure, and
other key services to develop tourism for more broad-based growth and
Tourism is increasingly attracting regional and international investment,
and returns on investments in the sector remain among the highest in the
world. Global hotel chains are expanding across Africa, recognizing
investment potential and committing millions of dollars in new projects over
the next few years to meet increased demand from both international tourists
and the continent’s own fast-growing middle class.
In 2012, Africa attracted 33.8 million visitors, up from a low 6.7 million
visitors in 1990, and its receipts from tourism for the same year amounted
to over US$36 billion, or 2.8 percent of the region’s GDP.
In 2011, global tourism contributed 9.1 percent to world GDP, 5.9 percent of
worldwide exports and 4.5 percent of global investment. Africa’s tourism
revenues are rising fast and are set to contribute more and more to world
If developed effectively and managed efficiently over time, tourism has the
potential to accelerate Africa’s economic growth and job creation. It can
also help accelerate the reforms needed to improve airline and road
transport as well as other key infrastructure, besides raising the incomes
of young men and women, who form a high percentage of the job holders in the
“For African countries looking to sustain and increase growth, tourism can
be harnessed through joint public and private sector efforts to achieve
growth, wealth creation and shared prosperity,” says Gaiv Tata, Director of
Financial and Private Sector Development for the World Bank in Africa whose
department prepared the study.
This report is the first to comprehensively examine tourism in Sub-Saharan
Africa at a regional level and to recommend practical evidence-based
measures that could create an economic transformation by leveraging the
tourism industry to help create jobs, stem poverty and diversify economies.
With an analysis of 24 tourism case studies from around the world, the
report is a valuable and timely contribution to efforts to build a framework
for sustainable tourism in Africa. It also identifies policies and
institutional approaches for African countries to make their tourism
industry more competitive and attractive to investors.
“Although Africa’s tourism potential has largely gone untapped to date, it
can now take steps to close the gap with other regions,” says Hannah
Messerli, co-author of the report and Senior Private Sector Development
Specialist in the World Bank’s Africa Region. She adds: “Given the
continent’s abundant natural and cultural resources, as well as business
activity, the fundamentals are in place for tourism growth. Using the
strategies and examples presented in this report, Africa can claim its fair
share of world tourism.”