UNWTO.TedQual's mentoring programme for Africa

26 July 2011
ITC News


The UNWTO.TedQual Mentoring Pro­gramme for Africa is improving the competitiveness of the tourism sector through higher education programmes across six pilot countries: Angola, Algeria, Cape Verde, Mozambique, Tunisia and Uganda.

The Programme was created in 2010 by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), through its regional representation for Africa and its operative arm in education, training and research, the UNWTO.Themis Foundation. The programme’s format is based on the outcomes of a survey of the national tourism administrations of all UNWTO Member States in Africa. They highlighted tourism education as one of the top three priorities of all African countries.

In order to develop a programme to suit the needs of all these Member States, in-situ missions to Angola and Mozambique were organized, along with meetings with UNWTO.TedQual Higher Tourism Education Institutions that have been involved in projects in Africa. The general consensus was the need for a programme that empowers human resources directly linked to tourism education, particularly faculty members and officers from the Ministries of Tourism in-charge of developing or updating policy frameworks.

The differences between Member State cultural and political structures highlighted the need to assure language diversity (English, French and Portuguese speaking countries) as a representation of cultural backgrounds while maintaining a programme of activities that can be feasibly implemented in all countries. The first draft was defined with Angola, and validated with Mozambique, Algeria, Cape Verde, Uganda and Tunisia, constituting the project’s six pilot countries. The importance of having one UNWTO.TedQual responsible
institution per country was also highlighted.

In Africa, four activities are to be implemented by UNWTO.TedQual and its supporting institution in each country between 2010 and 2012:

1. Support the creation and updating of a higher education tourism curriculum;

2. Create a basic tourism library for each country (to be housed in an existing library);

3. Update knowledge opportunities abroad for faculty members and officers from national tourism administrations; and

4. Provide in-situ coaching activities with the support of UNWTO.TedQual Institutions in each country.

The Programme is supported by leading international institutions, including: César Ritz Colleges, Switzerland; La Rochelle Business School, France; The School of Business Administration of Turiba, Latvia; and Instituto Politecnico Viana de Castelo, Instituto Politecnico de Coimbraand the Escola Superior de Hotelaria e Turismo do Estoril in Portugal. Other institutions, such as BBI Brussels Business Institute, Belgium; NHTV Breda University of Applied Sciences, Netherlands; the University of Applied Science of Bonn, Germany; and the University of Molisse, Italy will assume key roles at different stages of the process or as new countries come on board.

The Programme’s strength is built on the direct support of UNWTO.TedQual Higher Tourism Education Institutions and the appropriateness of the selected activities developed in consultation with participating Member States. Despite the political instability of some of the countries involved, the project was low risk in terms of rollout due to the careful consideration of available human and monetary resources of all actors involved.

The project seeks to promote collaboration and offer unique coaching experiences; for example, a Makerere University (Uganda) faculty member made a month-long visit to the School of Business Administration of Turiba. Working with local academic staff, the Makerere University faculty member met with the Ministry of Economics and the State tourism development agency to discuss cooperation prospects in the education field between Latvia and Uganda, and also made visits to Latvian cities with tourism development potential.  

For more information visit www.unwto-themis.org.