‘Africa is the Place to Be!’
As the Chairperson of the African Tourism Board (ATB), Ncube says that his role is merely to act as a connector between the diverse member states of the continent. It is their role to figure out how the different cultures compliment one another to contribute and share what they have.
The African Tourism Board (ATB), in Ncube’s words, is a voice of unifying the opportunities Africa has in terms of investments and tourist attractions. He realises the need for Africa to reclaim its title as the ‘Jewel of the World’. There was a need to break the conditioned shackles that separated the different member states to come together as a continent.
Cuthbert Ncube says, “Africa is the place to be- in terms of our diversity and our culture! It is a dynamic continent that needs to be reanalysed and be appreciated for playing a pivotal role within the global community.”
The African Tourism Board is a manifestation of a dream that the former UN World Tourism Organization (WTO) Secretary General Dr Taleb Rifai had. Ncube believes that Dr Rifai is the backbone of the African Tourism Board. The actualisation of this dream was also possible thanks to the support of strategic partners and Ministers from the different member states. Ambassadors have been instrumental in the realisation of this movement from actioning at a grassroots level.
The African Tourism Board recently launched its Secretariat offices in the Kingdom of Eswatini. The Head Office was set up with the support of the Minister of Tourism, Eswatini in line with his vision to bring Africa together to sell its tourism sector on a global level.
A Beacon of Hope
If one were to leaf through the pages of history, Africa has been rather segmented for a while. However, the lockdowns changed something and brought the continent together. From there began the intention to look within Africa and promote domestic tourism. It pushed for a shift from a competitive to a collaborative spirit. Ncube believes that tourism is all about bringing people together and to negate the inequalities that have existed for so long.
Ncube believes that Africa should be able to write its own narrative and story. The world should listen to what Africans are saying about their own country. “We can only tell a good story if we join hands together,” Ncube says. “No continent can surpass what Africa has to offer today.”
The vision of the African Tourism Board as an organisation is to reshape, rebrand and remarket Africa as a destination for tourists. “Africa stands as a beacon of hope to the whole world, especially after the COVID pandemic. We are saying the doors are open, business is open,” says Cuthbert Ncube.