Africa: ‘How Nigeria Can Key Into U.S.$3.4 Trillion Projected Opportunities in AfCFTA’

The National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA) said it has unveiled plans to enable Nigeria benefit from the projected $3.4 trillion Gross Domestic Product (GDP)-rated Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Initiative.

NANTA said the country could benefit from the anticipated $3.4 trillion through the collaboration of the Nigerian aviation industry with four major African carriers: Kenya Airways, Egypt Air, Ethiopian Airlines and Rwanda Air.

NANTA also said that an organised trade and tourism marketing among African nations facilitated by well-thought out aviation connectivity, African Union passport and synchronised visa regime, among nations under the AFCFTA deal, could change the economic narratives of the estimated 1.3 million population of African nations.

NANTA President, Mrs. Susan Akporiaye, told journalists in Lagos, that the trade pact had the potential of lifting out the vulnerable poor, particularly African women, who she said were about 70 per cent the informal sectors in Africa out of poverty.

NANTA boss said she had unveiled the association’s ‘Africa to Africa Tourism Promotion’ campaign to the management of the four aforementioned airlines at different meetings in Lagos.

She reiterated that with the advent the African Union passport and NANTA driving the tourism and culture content initiative in collaboration with the airlines, would promote and market African tourism economy, create jobs, engender peace and integration.

Speaking during the visit to Kenya Airways management in Lagos, Akporiaye called for a detailed and focal attention on Kenya tourism within the AfCFTA agenda while NANTA would push the frontiers of its marketing and promotion.

She believed Kenya Airways could be a veritable partner, in the association’s drive to create jobs across and within the continent through intra-continental tourism initiatives.

Country Manager, Kenya Airways, Hafis Balogun in his response, lauded NANTA’s campaign.

He assured that Kenya Airways would partner with the association to give a different holiday experience to Nigerians and Africans who are interested in visiting Kenya.

“We have taken note of the desire to rebrand and drive the Kenya Holidays with safari, beach shopping tourism products enabled agenda, and with your deserving collaboration, Kenya tourism would rebound fast,” he said.

At Ethiopian Airlines, Akporiaye reiterated the need for intra-African tourism rebirth and challenged the management to facilitate the promotion of Ethiopian religious tourism and its agricultural offerings.

General Manager, Nigeria, Ethiopian Airlines, Mr. Shimeles Arage, said the airline had been in the forefront of African connectivity and integration.

At Rwanda Air, the NANTA boss said the airline had shown capacity and discipline since bestriding the African aviation space, hence the need to be part of the campaign.

Egypt Air, General Manager, Nigeria, Mr. Muharram Rahman, said the airline was determined to put its strength and experience behind the NANTA Africa Tourism Promotion campaign.