African Union Commission considering Seychelles' proposal for a tourism body by STB
(from left to right ) Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson of African Union Commission and Mr. Alain St. Ange, Minister for Tourism & Culture
African Union Commission is prepared to consider Seychelles' proposal for a tourism body within the pan-African organisation, to push African Heritage Site Label for sites in Africa seeking recognition by UNESCO.
This issue was discussed during a courtesy call by Dr Nkosazana Dlamini -Zuma African Union Commission's Chairperson, to Alain St Ange Seychelles' Minister for Tourism and Culture at his office a the National Cultural centre. Also present at the meeting were the Principal Secretary for Culture, Ms Benjamine Rose and Director General Marcel Rosalie.
Responding to Mr St Ange's comment on the lengthy procedures to have protected cultural sites recognized by UNESCO, Dr Dlamini -Zuma said: “We as Africans should be in a position to support the protection of our Heritage sites. We all know that we need to protect what is dear to our respective populations. We should recognize and protect these sites that we are proud of."
Mr St Ange referred to the Slave Ruins at the Mission Lodge of Sans Souci, a site , he said, needed to be saved for future generations as it marked an important chapter in Seychelles' history. He noted that the site was used for accommodation and schooling of young Africans landed in Seychelles by British ships after slavery was abolished.
“These ruins," he said, " we remain determined to protect and as we wait recognition from UNCESCO to declare it a World Heritage site, we can have an African Heritage site label and have it listed as an attraction in Seychelles that is recognized by Africa."
Dr Dlamini Zuma is to invite interested Ministers of tourism from African countries, to discuss setting up a tourism bid within the African Union.
Mr St Ange said: Tourism remains the one industry that can unite Africa, because most African countries are developing their very own tourism industry, while others are also interested in tapping their natural assets. Tourism is the industry that can have a positive effect on the economies of all our countries and benefit our peoples."
Dr Dlamini Zuma said she is a "great believer in tourism, especially African tourism, adding that economic integration will be made easier and more beneficial if we know more about our continent."