President Paul Kagame and Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan are among the keynote speakers at the World Travel and Tourism Council Global Summit taking place in Rwanda’s capital, Kigali, organisers have said. ALSO READ: Kigali to host over 2000 participants in WTTC's Africa debut The three-day summit, which kicked off on November 1, is expected to draw over 2,000 participants, where sector leaders are expected to recognise the sector’s growth across the continent in recent years and at the same time analyse its challenges. It is also the first time WTTC is hosting its conference in Africa, with organisers attributing the decision to the continent’s growing potential. “As the world’s second-largest and second most populous continent, Africa has plenty to offer in both travel and tourism — from inspiring tourism experiences to lessons in being Guardians of Nature,” reads part of the programme shared with The New Times. ALSO READ: Didier Drogba among key speakers at global tourism “It also has the world’s youngest population with the UN reporting that 70 per cent of sub-Saharan Africans are under the age of 30. It is truly a continent of promise.” The New Times understands that also expected at the summit is the President of Togo, Faure Gnassingbé. “Three Heads of State will share opening remarks and their vision for the future of Africa,” the programme added. Co-organised by the Rwanda Development Board (RDB), the WTTC is the most influential annual summit on the travel and tourism calendar bringing together thousands of industry leaders, experts, and key government representatives to continue to align efforts to support the growth of the sector and move towards a safer, more resilient, inclusive and sustainable future. Under the theme ‘Building Bridges to a Sustainable Future’, the summit is expected to draw various sessions on resilience and sustainable growth, the growing impact of AI, and understanding new and emerging markets, as well as cover the key challenges and opportunities facing the sector. For Rwanda, organisers said, the summit is an opportune moment to showcase the role of sustainable tourism in its transformation, at the same time showcasing the power of sustainable tourism to protect biodiversity and create thriving communities. “Rwanda is the perfect venue for our global summit, as the sector embarks on a significant new chapter. Africa has the world’s youngest population and by 2033, $1 in every $13 created in Africa, will come from travel and tourism and 1 in 17 jobs will be in the sector. This demonstrates the huge potential the continent’s sector has for new jobs and new economic growth for young people across Africa.” Rwanda aims to double its tourism revenue from $445 million (approx. Rwf 546 billion) raked in during 2022 to more than $800 million (approx. Rwf983 billion) under its seven-year National Transformation Strategy. The WTTC Global Summit 2023 aims to be the catalyst for this change, offering a platform where ideas meet opportunities, and where the future of travel and tourism is redefined, organisers said. In a related development, the WTTC projects that by 2033 the travel and tourism sector will contribute more than $2.1 billion (approx. Rwf 2.5 trillion) to Rwanda’s economy and generate almost 568,000 jobs, citing the country’s commitment to sustainable tourism, diversifying the experiences it offers and promoting knowledge of its rich biodiversity, culture, heritage, and art.