Why attend the Africa Youth In Tourism Innovation Summit & Challenge 2023?

The country of Namibia is home to diverse wildlife including a significant cheetah population, spectacular scenery, the sandwich harbour, diverse cultures and is distinguished by the Namibian desert along its Atlantic Ocean coast. While that might sound attractive, there has to be more of a reason to visit this amazing African country, right? Yes, indeed and that reason is The Africa Youth In Tourism Innovation Summit And Challenge hosted by the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism, of Namibia.

This competition invites and welcomes innovative ideas and solutions that goes beyond technology but are travel, tourism and MICE industry related projects for review and adjudication by a preeminent panel of industry leaders. Through the summit and other media platforms, top 5 finalists of the Africa Youth in Tourism Innovation Challenge are introduced to industry leaders, mentors and potential funders and/or partnerships. The aim is to encourage young people to take initiative and play a positive role in sustaining the travel and tourism industry. This could be a great opportunity for you and your project to be part of the innovative solutions and economic growth within the tourism sector in Africa. 

Here are more convincing reasons on why you should attend the Summit:

  • Secure intra-Africa tourism business opportunities and market access
  • Gain insights into myriad of intra-Africa tourism innovation opportunities
  • Learn how to build tourism supply chain linkages and opportunities with big industry stakeholders including leisure, MICE and travel technology;
  • Learn about post Covid-19 “new world” opportunities in terms of technology, financing and market access for start-ups, academia, investors, accelerators and venture builders;
  • Network with among others, potential investors, public sector entities, start-ups, academia, corporations, accelerators and venture builders;
  • Meet local and regional innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem with international tourism leaders supporting start-ups in scaling up their businesses;
  • Exchange of knowledge, business models and build partnerships;
  • Learn about strategies for developing robust innovation culture in tourism anchored on skills development for business growth;
  • Learn how to develop creative tourism solutions through the application of disruptive technologies;
  • Be equipped with new skills in travel & tourism technology and new quality standards
  • Gain from career guidance as fresh high school and university graduate interested in travel and tourism eco-system careers; and
  • Be part of new and exclusive intra-Africa marketplace for youth, start-ups and SMMEs.


There will be delegates in attendance who will connect with African and global tourism leaders, entrepreneurial innovators, and partner organizations from across Africa and the rest of the world. The Africa Youth in Tourism Summit and Innovation Challenge has reached people from all over the world with delegates who will be attending the Summit both physically and virtually. With this, we have partnered with tour operators and travel agents from across the continent who have created exciting and cost-effective travel and accommodation travel packages.


Cultural performances at the 2022 Africa Youth In Tourism Innovation Summit & Challenge.


The Summit is held annually in collaboration with the UNWTO (World Tourism Organization) and BDO (Binder Dijker Otte) and this year’s Summit will include desktop exhibition focused on highlighting youth empowerment initiatives, SME’s (Small & Medium Enterprises) trade offerings including tour operators, tourism accommodation facilities, transport service providers, educational institutions, travel and marketing technology start-ups and incubators, employment agencies, professional development and more. The two key objectives are to not only provide a transformative platform for African Youth, start-up, entrepreneurs, students and small enterprises for income generation and career development, but to also mainstream youth inclusivity through policy, training, and mentorship, financial and economic transformation.

Other specific objectives are to:

  • Create a viable network to support youths, start-ups and small enterprises to maximise their leadership potentials;
  • Help to drive a transformative change in their societies and nations at large through critical and design thinking;
  • Train, inspire and equip youths across Africa to impact their world, and proffer lasting innovative solutions for growing Africa tourism sector;
  • Empower youth at all levels, start-ups and small enterprises by offering market access, business development, value-partnership, mentorship and funding solutions;
  • Present an opportunity for youth to showcase their tourism related businesses and bankable projects to the global marketplace in order to find the required support;
  • Offer career development opportunities for youth interested in pursuing careers in travel, tourism, tourism academia, hospitality, aviation, conservation and related industries and sub-sectors.


The Summit is passionate about the development of young people and innovative entrepreneurship which is the driving force to creating sustainable and inclusive tourism recovery in Africa. Additionally, the Summit is expected to bear the following benefits to the country:

  • Create greater awareness on the importance of tourism and how the sector can positively impact livelihoods;
  • Expose high school and university graduates interested in travel and tourism, to different career paths in the tourism sector;
  • Exposed Namibian youth to employment opportunities within the sector through networking, market access and insights into Africa Tourism Supply Chain, as well as empowerment to come up with innovative ideas;
  • As well as provide insights into funding, business recovery and continuity opportunities between start-ups established and big industry stakeholders across the tourism industry.

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