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11th Annual Presidential Forum on Africa Tourism

New York University Africa House in collaboration with the Africa Travel Association, a division of the Corporate Council on Africa, held the 11th Annual Presidential Forum on Africa Tourism on Monday, September 19, 2016, on the occasion of the United Nations General Assembly meetings. This year’s forum, entitled “Driving Africa Tourism Growth Through Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Technology,” featured a keynote address by H.E. Erastus Mwencha, Deputy Chairperson of the Africa Union Commission. This high-profile event brings together tourism leaders from across Africa to spotlight the critical role tourism plays in driving socio-economic growth and development. Over two hundred people, including travel and tourism professionals, airline and hotel representatives, diplomatic representatives, African Diaspora leaders, media, faculty, and students attended.

We launched the Presidential Forum in 2006. Since then, more than 20 African countries and representatives from the African Development Bank, United Nations World Tourism Organization, World Travel and Tourism Council, and the World Bank have participated in the event. We have been honored to welcome His Excellency Dr. Jakaya M. Kikwete, President of the United Republic of Tanzania, and His Excellency Yoweri Museveni, the President of the Republic of Uganda.

Event Program:

9:00 am – 1:00 pm: Presidential Forum

Keynote Address by: 

• His Excellency Mr. Erastus Mwencha, Deputy Chairperson, Africa Union Commission

Remarks by: 

• Dr. Yaw Nyarko, Director of Africa House, Professor of Economics, New York University

• Mr. Edward Bergman, Advisory Board Member, NYU Africa House

• Mr. Stephen Hayes, President and CEO, Corporate Council on Africa and Africa Travel Association

• Mr. Francis Gatare, CEO, Rwanda Development Board (RDB)

Open Forum on Africa Tourism Ministerial Roundtable


• Dr. Kristin M. Lamoureux, Associate Dean, NYU Tisch Center for Hospitality and Tourism


• Hon. Vincent Biruta, Minister of Environment and Forestry, Republic of Rwanda

• Hon. Nina Walet Intalou, Minister of Handicrafts and Tourism, Republic of Mali

• Hon. Walter Mzembi, Minister of Tourism, Republic of Zimbabwe; Chairperson of the United Nations World Tourism Organization Commission for Africa (UNWTO) (CAF)

• Hon. Tommy Nambahu, Deputy Minister of Environment and Tourism, Republic of Namibia

• Hon. Sidi Yahya Tunis, Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Republic of Sierra Leone

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm: Lunch/Networking Reception

Afternoon Breakout Sessions

1:00 pm – 2:30 pm: Panel: Music and Tourism in Africa

The Music and Tourism in Africa panel explored how music festivals contribute to the global tourism industry and the challenges and opportunities for African countries to use music in innovative strategies to attract new tourists, boost the value of tourism destinations, improve the tourist experience and generate social and economic benefits for local citizens.


• Hon. Nina Walett Intallou, Minister of Handicrafts and Tourism, Republic of Mali

• Mr. Manny Ansar, Director, Festival in the Desert, Mali

• Mr. Mina Girgis, Producer and CEO, The Nile Project

• Ms. Ngozi Odita, Founder and Executive Director, AFRIKA21, Social Media Week Lagos

• Ms. Jordana Phokompe, Director, David Rubenstein Atrium, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts


• Professor Carlos Chirinos, Director of the NYU Music and Social Change Lab and Professor of Music Business, NYU Steinhardt

Presented by:

2:45 pm – 4:00 pm: Panel: Entrepreneur Spotlight


• Mr. Jide Ehimika, Director of Strategy, Noirbnb

• Ms. Cherae Robinson, Founder & CEO, Tastemakers Africa


• Mr. Mike Muse, My Brothers Keeper Millennial Entrepreneurial Champion/Founder of Muse Recordings