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The Role of NGOs in Africa’s Tourism

Tourism is one of the largest sectors in Africa, contributing approximately 3.3% to the total Sub-Saharan Africa GDP, and forecast to grow, in terms of GDP contribution by 5.2% between 2016-2026 in the same region. Various stakeholders have contributed to this growth, among them Non-governmental organizations. Here are different major roles which NGOs have played in developing tourism in Africa.

Driving Sustainable Tourism
Due to the continuous growth and influx of tourists into the continent, the industry has at some point been criticized for various negative impacts on the environment. These include increased pressure on the natural resources, people displacement by investors in search for more land to develop, sex tourism, illegal hunting, and poaching, among others. Some NGOs have come in handy to salvage the situation, by for instance acting as watchdogs and critics of tourism policies by governments and/or companies and other organizations that are detrimental to the environment.

While most tourist destinations are based in rural areas such as HYPERLINK ""  Samburu in Kenya, Omo River in Ethiopia, and Kabala in Sierra Leone just to mention a few; it is palpable that most of the host communities hardly benefit from tourism proceeds.


In relation to this, NGOs have played a prominent role in increasing rural development, since they often work at the grassroots level. They are also frequently involved in innumerable community-based development programs such as infrastructural development that not only benefit tourists but the locals as well. By ensuring fair distribution of benefits, NGOs help in safeguarding the long term economic gains for the rural communities.

Voluntourism or volunteer travel has become popular in Africa, as more people seek to do short term volunteer work, while at the same time partaking in tourism and exploring local destinations. Most of these volunteer opportunities are provided by either local or international NGOs, thus attracting more tourists into the continent.

Conference tourism

Radisson Blu Hotel & Convention Center, Kigali
With most of them organizing major conferences that bring together thousands of participants, NGOs majorly play a role in Africa’s conference tourism. The hospitality sector is especially a major benefactor, due to the massive  HYPERLINK "" accommodation and catering services required during the conferences.

Foreign Direct Investment
A 2016 UNCTAD report (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development), indicates that Africa recorded an increase in flow of foreign direct investment (FDI) of more than 25% compared to the same period last year. NGOs have in their part made numerous investments in the continent, especially by funding various development related projects.

While undertaking the above-mentioned projects, there requires manpower to ensure r success and continuous development. NGOs that are proactive in engaging local communities have thus created employment in various positions both in the managerial and junior levels. This has helped African countries in tackling the ever-challenging high rate of unemployment particularly among the youth.

Cultural Integration
NGOs are said to have a common value of integration and diversity. This calls for the inclusion of all regardless of ethnicity, religion, culture, disability, gender, and nationality. The organizations therefore act as a converging ground for different cultures, thus promoting cultural integration.

Non-Governmental Organizations, ranging from research-driven, to aid organizations, and activist groups, have had their cons including being criticized for contributing to the underdevelopment of the continent. However, it is no doubt that their role in Africa and particularly in the tourism industry has gone a long way in bettering the entire continent’s economy.

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Creatives taking over 2023

26th September 2023

Creativity is seen everywhere and these individuals did something recently that’s never been done before, and some are still killing it. We see creativity on streaming platforms, stages, runways, social media and boardrooms even. Some of them are revamping their businesses, and lately, clothing sale is thriving.

They love concept-driven designs, storytelling and they bring fresh ideas and new perspectives that will leave footprints in the sand. Post the COVID-19 pandemic, these creative minds utilized the drawing board and they became cognizant that monetizing content will actually take them far, which is frank nonetheless.

This is commendable though, but the creative industry will still need support from government in order for it to flourish further. Allocation of resources (funds, facilities and empowerment) should be done consistently, creativity must be raised and at the end of the day, the economy benefits from that kind of investment.


Ever since he parted ways with his former manager, DJ Bougee Sid, Mahalapye born-pint sized, multi-award-winning artist, Hanceford Magapatona has been taking up space, unapologetically so. Han C has shown a strong will to take over the entire world, and he is in the right direction. He’s solely organizing the annual Mahalapye Spring Festival, which is taking place next weekend.

The Pepetetsa hitmaker raked some monies from his savings to put together this event. Mahalapye Spring Festival will feature Paige, Ubuntu Band, Khoisan, Amantle Brown and Double Up among others. Even though it didn’t come as a surprise, Han C was nominated at African Muzik Magazine Awards (AFRIMMA) in the US, under Best Male Southern Africa category.

However, the award was snatched by the late South African rapper, AKA. Its not all lost as Han C secured two nominations at the Yarona FM Music Awards (YAMAs): People’s Choice of the Year and Best Male Single.


This entrepreneur has turned his dreams into reality, and his promising apparel business is now a fashion destination. Matter of fact, Motswagole weathered the storms to be where he is now because through criticism and social media bullying, he still leads the pack in fashion.

His social media accounts got deleted but through his online store, KM Sales, Motswagole is able to rake in some profits. He initially started selling from his car but now owns a busy store and has employed a number of young people.

KM Sales has been offering fashionable items (shoes, t-shirts, pants) and has been participating in various lifestyle events such as Garden of Drip where it showcases its products.

If there is one young entrepreneur to draw motivation from is Koketso. The business started from humble beginnings, at the time when he worked part time at Ipelegeng as a casual labor. Indeed, good things come to those who wait, or well, work like a slave today, live like a king tomorrow.


Vee Mampeezy’s ex-wife Kagiso De Klerk clearly did not sit and weep over their dramatic divorce. The famous social media influencer hurriedly picked up the pieces and went hard on promoting business online. She literally took social media influencing to the head and it is working for her.

This year saw her partnership with Shell reach greater heights, and obviously, she is raking lot of pulas from the deal. Kagiso has been making frequent appearances in top events in South Africa such as Bubbles in Spring and Gold and Diamond Experience.


After a long break from the limelight, renowned media and radio personality, Gaona Dintwe is back. She was missed by many on TV, and she’s back where she belongs, news anchoring on BTV. Gaona has also found a niche in podcasting. She is a host of her own podcast, Gaona Live Conversation, where various people share their stories on camera.

Some of what they discuss is Gender Based Violence (GBV), polygamy and drug addiction. This is highly commendable because even BTV doesn’t have programs that discuss these crucial social issues. The Lentswelemoruti native is also seen in various corporate events where she is engaged as a host.






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26th September 2023

Now that one-man shows are made fashionable, traditional dance guru and ex-convict, Ditiro Leero is joining the crusade and he will be hosting his also. The show will be held next month at Zone 4 Farm in Selokolela, but the there are traditional dance music artists who have been lined up to perform at the show. Matshana, Morwa Leka and Maswailathota will be doing their thing and probably bring some heat too. Ditiro Leero will be making history as the first traditional artist to host a one-man show in Botswana.

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26th September 2023

With only two months before Miss World 2023, the reigning Miss Botswana, Lesego Chombo is having many irons in the fire, preparing for the much-anticipated beauty pageant. Miss World 2023 will be the 71st edition of Miss World pageant and it will be held in India. Chombo has been spotted toning her body at Jack’s gym, a requirement that is taken seriously at the pageant. She has also been participating in charity events, something that should add to her profile at the Miss World.

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