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					SPEECH FOR THE DEPUTY MINISTER: OPENING OF
AFRICA FESTIVAL

The Programme Director,
Honourable Ambassadors in our presence,
Representatives of the Federative Government of Brazil,
Representatives of the Governments in the SADC Region
Representatives of the Government of Kenya,
Representatives of the Government of Rwanda,
Business Representatives
Media representatives
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen


It is my pleasure to be addressing you today, one day just
after the kick off of the historical event as we celebrate the
first ever FIFA World Cup hosted in the African continent. I
am sure you are full of jubilation as we have seen the first
game and congratulating our boys who did well when as
they finally earned a point while drawing against Mexico by a
1- 1.
When RETOSA Executive Manager divulged the proposal of
hosting this event to me, I then realized that African people
have always enjoyed visitors who come in large numbers
with the aim of celebrating togetherness. The African
Festival should mark the beginning of the interaction of
African continent to celebrate our cultures, heritage,
hospitality and UBUNTU.


Tourism is recognized as one of the sectors with the greatest
potential to contribute to the economic regeneration of the
continent, particularly through the diversification of African
economies and generation of foreign exchange earnings. In
this context, carefully considered strategic interventions in
the tourism sector have the potential to catalyse growth in
other areas of the economy, for example, agriculture,
horticulture and the service sector. More importantly, the
tourism sector has a huge potential to contribute to the
achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs),
and ultimately eradicate poverty.


In August 2008, South Africa hosted the 28th SADC Summit,
during which all 14 SADC members agreed to enter into a
free Trade Agreement. This agreement ushers in a new era
of economic integration with the goal of eliminating tariffs
and trade barriers among member countries. It was
anticipated that the agreement will create a regional market
worth $360 billion benefiting around 170 million people. As
the tourism industry, we should be tapping into this kind of
agreement and making our contribution through the
movement of our people without major obstacles in both the
trade and hospitality sectors. An event of this magnitude
enables that tourism becomes factor influencing regional
integration. This celebration of Africa Festival should bring
pride in our people to develop and conserve their culture and
heritage.


Ladies and gentlemen, finding the proper balance between
sustainability and tourism growth demands is the difficult and
important task of World heritage Sites Managers, and these
are areas that our countries could share experiences and
expertise on. Balanced growth means shared growth, and
socially this will ensure long-term sustainability.




I was delighted to note that the aim of Africa Festival is to
showcase the continent’s tourism, cultural and business
opportunities to the world and our own people while hosting
the VIPs in the business, government, arts, media and
investment sectors. This Festival will be a marketing platform
by business, governments and tourism and hospitality
industry. I therefore urge all of us to continue supporting and
participating in this event in future. I would like to thank all
participating governments across the continent as well as
our provinces, business and media for supporting this
festival and I officially invite you to the business trade and
investment seminar to be held on the 24th June 2010 here at
Melrose Arch.


Ladies and gentlemen, let’s go and enjoy the rest of
upcoming events from the international, local artists and
watch the games in the spirit of oneness. I now declare this
Africa Festival officially open.


I thank you