By Kazeem Balogun
In his utmost desire to ensure a successful hosting of the biggest cultural tourism festival in Africa, Mr Moses Vilakati, Eswatini’s Minister of Tourism and Environmental has inaugurated a think-tank and formidable committee to prepare grounds for the staging of the Pan-African cultural festivity that will take place in the Kingdom of Eswatini by 2022.
The inauguration took place online on Wednesday 21st, during the first meeting where tourism/cultural professionals within Africa were in attendance.
In his remarks, Mr. Vilakati expressed his unreserved satisfaction at the team and the initiative, which he described as “an important assignment for Africa”.
He also stressed the need for a unifying Africa to actualise such a lofty dream in unison.
“This is a journey we need to achieve together. Africa is endowed with huge opportunities particularly when it comes to culture. You go to the East, West, North, Central and South, the culture is the same and I think we can show the whole world that. The task is for us to make sure that we unite Africa and do something great for Africa, the responsibility is with us, ” he said.
Before inaugurating the committee, Hon. Vilakati charged the team members to put in their possible best in order to actualise the dream of hosting the biggest cultural event on the continent.
“I will charge all of you to think and say what is it we can do together. One good thing is that we meet through a particular project and say let’s do this project together. A lot of learning and learning but at the end of the day, we will say we have achived it. I wish this team all the best of luck. I know we can reach the sky because I always say the sky is the starting point.”
He concluded by inaugurating the committee with a wish for a big success.
He said: “May I take this opportunity to inagurate this wonderful team and wish it the success that it will have. You have my blessing and go out there and do the good. Thank you very much”.
African Tourism Board’s Executive Chairman, Mr. Cuthbert Ncube who has been very instrumental to the progressive tourism strides of Africa in all sphere, identified an urgent need to re-write the stories of Africa through this cultural convergence in Eswatini.
“Our focus is to know how best we can re-write our stories so that at the end of the day, we will achieve the goal of African unity. The focus is on Africa and African Union on how do we come together as nations to drive the positive progressive agenda for our lovely continent”
Ncube also extended his appreciation to Mr Moses Vilakati who conceived the initiative to showcase African culture to the world by bringing countries in Africa together for the cultural festival in the Kingdom of Eswatini.
“It is an honour to know that our Hon. Minister Vilakati who has come up with this dream for it to happen in Eswatini that is why we have him and the rest of the team from Eswatini, all of them are from the tourism space.”
He concluded by imploring the team to think of leaving a legacy behind through this project by hard work and togetherness.
“This is your responsibility to run this race so that when we look back, we would say we have left a positive legacy for those who are following behind us, so I know that together we are going to achieve this.”
Mrs. Anita Nana Okuribido, the Vice Chairman of the Committee, was elated at the convergence and also charged the team to focus on three key elements of culture, heritage and sustainable tourism in order to bring about festivity of unity in Africa
”All these three establishments must be our focus as this committee has now been inaugurated”, she submitted.
Also present at the inauguration were Mr. Emmanuel Frimpong, Secretary; Mr. Joseph Grah, Coordinator; Mr. Stanley Dlamini, Director of Intergovernmental/Global Agencies and Mr. Kazeem Balogun, PR & Media Director.
The team expressed their unflinching willingness to work assiduously for the actualisation of staging a great cultural festivity in Eswatini by 2022.