African Tourism Board supporting women and youth

Cuthbert Ncube, Chairman of the African Tourism Board, said he was honored to be part of an event attended by the Royal Bafokeng Nation Queen Mother Her Majesty Dr. Semane Molotlegi. She spoke and emphasized the need of unity in the Corporate community and appreciating one another as we live to complement one another.

Cuthbert Ncube, chairman of the African Tourism Board was a panelist and speaker at the  Women of Value South Africa organized by Dimakatso Malwela, A on their Annual Entrepreneurship Summit focusing on Business Opportunities in the Tourism sector.

Women of Value is an organization and a focus on the woman and youth socio-economics. The organization was founded in 2012, in collaboration with the National Department of Tourism. It launched Vision 2020 as a vehicle to the sustainability of Women and youth SME and co-ops through the Tourism Value Chain.

Ncube said in his address:

I want to express my gratitude to Women of Vision SA for extending an invitation to me and giving me this opportunity to interact with such driven and powerful women today.

Society is better when women are not taken for granted and are given equal respect. In the olden days, women were confined to the home and were not allowed to step out of the house for work. Household chores were their only area of work.

But today’s society has seen a lot of changes. This generation values women and trusts them with amazing responsibility. Women are given equal potential at work and are allowed to stand among and sometimes ahead of men in many fields. Economically Strengthening women who account for more than half of South Africa’s population will expedite the growth of the economy of the nation. When we invest in women and work towards eliminating inequalities, poverty can be eliminated and the entire country can better its chance of becoming a stronger player in the global marketplace.

The Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) and Co-ops sector carries great hopes and great burdens in the evolution of all of the transitional economies. Sustained and healthy growth in this sector is obviously necessary. Public and private sectors should priorities supplier and Enterprise development because they lead to better overall relationships with suppliers and will improve communication, quality, and timing as a result. According to the Department of Small Business Development (2018), Access to market opportunities is one of the key enablers for corporates to implement Supplier Development Programmes to benefits enterprises in a real way, for the sustainability of Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) and Cooperatives. With limited market access opportunities, small enterprises will have no means of generating revenue and therefore difficult to survive.

The Bolton Report of 1971 has it that, an economy totally dominated by large firms can not for long avoid decay and slow growth. Therefore Developing and transforming SMEs and Co-ops is very vital as this has a huge impact on economic growth and job creation. The importance of new businesses and their role in the wider context of economic development and well-being cannot be overemphasized. A major factor in uneven regional economic performance is low rates of new firm formation and low stocks of regionally based businesses. New businesses provide choice, dynamism, competition, employment, are locally owned and committed to the local communities and develop and benefit those communities.

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According to Porter, the proper role of government is to stimulate enthusiasm and to unleash and amplify the positive forces that drive growth. Policies should at the very least, be aimed at laying the foundation for competitive advantage for SMEs and Co-ops to be created and sustained. Particularly those founded by women. This environment requires a particular form of corporate governance, government commitment and industrial and market structure. The bottom line is that the public and private sectors should be creating the right conditions for SMEs and Co-ops to start and grow.  This requires a clear objective, sustained commitment, managerial practices, and attitudes, together with a national culture that reflects prestige and priority.

It is also generally recognized that partnerships with the public and private sectors offer a long term, sustainable approach to enhancing the value of public assets, supporting SMEs and Cooperatives through the procurement value chain. There are many demonstrated benefits from working through public and private bodies and these include, Avoiding duplication of investment or activities, Increased economies of scale, Sharing or reducing risks, Leveraging on resources (crowdfunding) within partnerships; Sharing of knowledge, expertise, and resources to improve effectiveness.

As African Tourism Board we believe and therefore strongly advocate for partnerships that will help foster brotherhood between nations and communities. We want to see a more integrated and cohesive approach to human movement which will benefit Africa as a block of Nations and it’s communities. We need to form a strong marketing force for goods, services and a rare –cross-pollination of ideas, standards, culture, operational dynamics, and approaches, through sustainable tourism. Culturing an environment for the transfer of skills, economic advantages and growth. In essence, we want SMEs and Co-ops not to only have a local market but also a regional one.

Our objectives as ATB are to assist governments, private sector, communities and stakeholders in promoting and facilitating tourism growth and tourism development across the African Continent. To brand and market Africa as a single tourist destination, Capacity building targeting local communities, private and public sectors and to have a strong focus on Community Based Tourism (CBT).

Africa has historically been heavily polarized and was not ready to move into the levels of competitiveness that can warranty our stake in the world economic playing field.  However, we are determined to develop strategic and strong relationships among African nations and communities as well as business partners. As a result of our communities, women, youths will be empowered.

The African Tourism Board stands like a lighthouse for all endeavors and efforts to bring together the Nations of our continent to realize our worth and appreciate what we possess as a continent in a bid to erase the dependency syndrome of depending on the west that has ruled us for decades and the culture of shortchanging ourselves. Our SMEs and Co-ops have the power to transform lives in South Africa and Africa at Large. And it is very encouraging to see women at the forefront of this transformation.

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About the author

Linda Hohnholz