Africa Tourism Partners, UNWTO and BDO South Africa have launched the fourth annual Africa Youth in Tourism Innovation Challenge. The event is scheduled to take place in Namibia and will be hosted by the Namibia Ministry of Environment, from July 27-29.
Its aim is to empower African youth between the ages of 18 and 35 by providing business partnerships, market access, networking and mentorship platforms, and funding solutions from the global marketplace including UNWTO, Namibia Business enterprises, the private sector, social entrepreneurs, travel start-ups, fintech entrepreneurs and ATP networks.
The Challenge is looking to provide a distinctive platform that calls for youth – who are running innovative solution-driven projects that go beyond technology but are related to the travel and tourism industry – to submit their projects for review and adjudication by a panel of adjudicators. As part of the programme, shortlisted innovators are introduced to industry leaders and potential partners for mentorship and support.
The winner of the Africa Tourism Innovation Challenge will receive a US$1 000 seed grant, whilst first and second runners-up receive US$500, among other benefits.
Director of Innovation, Education and Investments at UNWTO, Natalia Bayona, stressed that empowering youth through entrepreneurship was one of the keys to creating more added-value jobs and modernising the tourism model through innovation.”
The selected top five candidates will be required to present five-minute demos to the judges for selection of the winner and first and second runners-up. The finals of the Innovation Challenge will be held in November in Botswana, close to the annual Africa Tourism Leadership Forum and Awards.
The deadline for entry submission is May 25.