The Minister of Trade and Industry, Monique Nsanzabaganwa, has urged the private sector to take a lead in developing tourism if the sector is to benefit all communities.
Nsanzabaganwa made the call at the opening of a three-day Pan African workshop on tourism and poverty reduction yesterday at a local hotel in Kigali.
She told the delegates that Rwanda is a relatively young in terms of tourism development but was eager to learn from the valuable experiences of other African counterparts.
“This meeting holds particular distinction, not only because it is the first of its kind being held in Rwanda, but it is also our first workshop as members of the Commonwealth” she said.
Nsanzabaganwa urged participants to exchange ideas on the functions of the public and private institutions in developing more sustainable tourism policies.
“Our objective as a nation has always been to prioritise poverty reduction and wealth creation for the least advantaged people in the country” she said.
The workshop that is attended by delegates from Benin, Botswana, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, Swaziland, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia, was organised by Rwanda Development Board in partnership with the Netherlands Development program(SNV), International Trade Centre and the Commonwealth Secretariat.
The workshop focuses mainly on highlighting the significance of tourism development in poverty reduction on the African continent and how poor people participate in the tourism supply chains.
The Deputy Chief Executive Officer of RDB in charge of Tourism, Rosette Rugamba, said that Rwanda was chosen to host the workshop because of her remarkable progress in tourism development in recent years.