AFRICA’S COMPETITIVENESS STILL LACKS BEHIND

Gary Diskin - Jun 20, 2011
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The World Economic Forum in conjunction with the African Development Bank and the World Bank have recently issued the Africa Competitiveness Report 2011; while some countries are taking advantage of their potential the continent needs to focus more on exploiting its opportunities.

Sub-Saharan Africa is currently dealing with many issues and while some countries are aware of the need to focus on developing their travel and tourism sector, most have not yet formed and efficient strategy to reach their potential.

The World Economic Forum, in co-operation with the African Development Bank and the World Bank have recently produced the Africa Competitiveness Report 2011 which assesses the opportunities and possible limits to the industry. In general, the report states the continent is not fully utilizing all its natural and cultural resources and local governments need to make competitiveness their priority.

Worldwide statistics reveal one in every ten jobs is within the tourism and travel sector while African job market features only one in twenty. The continent faces many challenges which limit its chances, namely safety and security, along with health and hygiene which are in dire need of improving, as well as infrastructure.

Local governments are advised to diversify their products and markets, and support international trade. A key issue is lack of educated professionals in strategic fields like science, engineering, technology and business. Supporting women in their entrepreneurial activities is also crucial; while micro-economic projects have long been underway and work great, women need to have a chance to expand to generate more profit.

Selecting the right tourist product and investing in it is a great strategic move. For example, in mid-nineties, Rwanda started focusing on local rare gorilla population and today, the targeted industry is booming.

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