Tourism Ethiopia, IFC Agree to Improve Tourism Sector

Tourism Ethiopia signed a cooperation agreement with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group.

The cooperation agreement is for IFC to give advisory support aiming to improve the economic performance of the tourism sector in Ethiopia. Lensa Mekonnen, Tourism Ethiopia CEO, and Jumoke Jagun-Dokunumu, IFC’s Regional Director for Eastern Africa signed the agreement on behalf of their respective sides.

The advisory support laid down in the agreement provides a framework that will be implemented in a three-year program, partnering with Tourism Ethiopia and other public and private sector stakeholders.

The program aims to enhance competitiveness of meetings, incentives, conference, and events (MICE) and stopover tourism as well as strengthen the institution and data-driven sector management.

Lensa Mekonnen, Tourism Ethiopia CEO, appreciating IFC’s advisory support to tackle the bottlenecks in the tourism sector, indicated that the program’s implementation will focus on robust data collection and empirical analysis on relevant tourism segments including global practices for benchmarking, capacity building, alleviating investment constraints and consultative dialogue with stakeholders.

Lensa also noted the focus areas of the program go hand-in-hand with the priorities set by the Ethiopian government, and the partnership aligns with the current momentum of reform.Jumoke

Jagun-Dokunumu, IFC’s Regional Director for Eastern Africa, on her part noted that the tourism sector is one of the top employers around the world creating job opportunities for the youth, hence IFC eagerly supports the sector.

“Given its world class natural, cultural and historical assets as well as high performing airline advantage, Ethiopia has enormous opportunities to expand tourism industry,” she said.

These factors, given the strategic location Ethiopia is situated in, which enable it to serve as a center for and host a number of diplomatic missions and international agencies, equip the tourism sector with a marvelous competitive edge, Ms. Jagun-Dokunumu further noted.

Ethiopia’s tourism potential in this regard still remains largely untapped, making it the country lagging behind regional peers in the MICE market. Ethiopia currently ranks 89th globally, hosting 12 major meetings a year.

IFC’s cooperation with Tourism Ethiopia, providing technical and advisory support, hopes to see these figures rise as the sector as a whole improves and becomes more competitive. The said support is estimated to be worth $1 million, Tourism Ethiopia CEO related.

According to Tourism Ethiopia CEO, Lensa Mekonnen, the advisory and technical support of IFC Tourism Ethiopia will worth around 1 million US dollar.

Sources: ENA, Fana BC

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