Malawi and South Africa on Thursday signed an agreement of cooperation in the field of tourism as one way of enhance mutual cooperation between the two countries in the sector.
The signing agreement took place at Bingu International convection centre BICC in Lilongwe on the side lines of the Malawi “ Takulandirani” 2017 Malawi International Tourism Expo 2017.
Minister of Trade, Industry and Tourism, Henry Mussa said government of Malawi appreciates the support it gets from southern government for the tourism sector.
He said South Africa has assisted in the capacity building of grading assessors, restocking of wildlife species in protected area and training of wildlife personnel at South Africa Wildlife College.
Mussa said having the agreement signed has been well over due and it has taken the two countries seven years to have it signed.
The minister pointed out the agreement would cement the already existing cooperation between the two countries as the two hare a lot in common.
“Culturally we are one people and family; many tribes in Malawi have their origins from South Africa, the Ngoni’s are an example,” Mussa said.
The Minister observed that the signing of the agreement is a big leap to strengthen the bilateral relations.
He said Malawi has a lot to offer to South Africa in terms of business invests and tourism activities.
South Africa’s Minister responsible for Tourism, Tokozile Xasa said the tourism sector need to be viewed as a great contributor of direct labour force.
She said her government took a bold stand in 2009 to have the tourism department on its own for it to exploit the potential tourism opportunities of the country to the maximum.
Xasa said the tourism sector contributes about 9 per cent of the country’s Growth Domestic Product (GDP) and offers almost 1.5 million direct employment to the labour force.
She hoped that the signing of the agreement between the two countries would help to grow and enhance people to people relationships.
“We need to cooperate in another of areas such as flights, visa issues, visas and small scale business for the local people,” Xasa viewed.
The cooperation of agreement covers area of marketing and promotion, investment, training, sponsorships and fellowships, exchange of information and tourists’ transfers.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :