African universities and tourism associations have embarked on a partnership with British counterparts to develop youth involvement and innovation in sustainable tourism initiatives in sub-Saharan Africa.
‘Accelerating Youth Entrepreneurship and Innovation for Sustainable Tourism in Africa’ is a multi-partner project funded by the British Council under the Innovation for African Universities programme.
The project has seen the University of Brighton (UK), Strathmore University (Kenya), University of Ghana (Ghana), Sustainable Travel and Tourism Agenda (Kenya), and Africa Tourism Partners (South Africa) coming together to explore opportunities for supporting climate-friendly and digitally-oriented youth entrepreneurship innovations.
“By bringing together universities from the UK and sub-Saharan Africa with organisations supporting innovation and entrepreneurship in the region, we can facilitate an exchange of learning, ideas, knowledge and connections to enable universities to become key champions for innovation and entrepreneurship,” said Moses Anibaba, the British Council’s Regional Director for sub-Saharan Africa.
On August 2, as part of the partnership, four young people, one each from South Africa and Kenya and two from Ghana, were announced as winners of a student project innovation challenge, receiving funding for their winning ideas. From South Africa, Jennifer Mathebula was awarded for her Discover Ekasi App, which aims to take users on digital tours through Tembisa township in Johannesburg.
“The app is a platform that allows local, ‘going green’ tourism businesses from my town to gain exposure, and it also allows tourists to book accommodation. What distinguishes me from others is that I offer sustainability with my partnerships. Only ‘going green’ establishments are published on the app,” Mathebula says.
The Kenyan winner was Susan Waweru, with her Zoya digital platform, a website that aims to be a one-stop shop for cultural heritage tours in Kenya, incorporating a map of major cultural sites and experiences, a calendar of upcoming cultural events, and a list of accommodation establishments.
“My project will be implemented throughout cultural spots in Kenya, and it will draw its content from our local communities in multiple tourism destinations,” said Waweru.
The Ghanaian joint winners were Carolyn Sekyi-Addo and Sylvia Tettey, whose Ghana Eats app is designed to provide information about Ghanaian cuisines.