A European traveler, while walking in the streets of a third word capital will likely perceive that these days there are only few Europeans walking in the streets of Kigali, Maputo, Lomé, Lilongwe, Bangui, Addis Ababa, Asmara, Kampala, Dodoma, Ouagadougu, Lusaka or Kinshasa. Indeed, one will more likely meet a Chinese than a European tourist, not speaking about Chinese investors.
Africa once a highly sought destination by Europeans (colonial times) looks nowadays left alone by Europe.From the first sight, there is some rationale behind. In terms of a tourist infrastructure, Africa has few to offer comparing with attractive Asian and Latin American destinations. Most Europeans who visit Africa do it mostly for work purposes. Some of them might be part of a UN mission, Red Cross or US Aid mission. Others take part in the mission of one of the NGOs which operate in Africa (Medicines sans frontiers, Human Rights Watch, Habitat for Humanity. to name few.). Yet another important cluster of Europeans are the people in diplomatic services.
Is the absence of visitors from Europe really a problem for Africa?
We believe that tourist presence of Europeans in Africa is crucial to its economic emancipation as:
- Tourism is a key driver in the development of services in the third world countries, creating interesting jobs for locals.
- Higher presence of visitors in Africa means increased visibility of African developmental problems. This can leverage the transparency and accountability of international developmental and humanitarian organizations, which operate in Africa and are largely financed from the money of European taxpayers.
- Due to visa and freedom of movement restrictions, for most people in Africa Europe represents an unreachable fortress. Thus, if Europeans want to get involved in business and fair exchange of values with Africa they must come to Africa.
Is the absence of visitors from Europe in Africa really a problem for European general public?
We believe that the re-exploration of Africa by European visitors can help them to:
- Make reflection of their own civilization values and development
- Understand the dynamic of competitive globalization forces (increase of China influence in Africa)
- Enrich their personal lives with alternative views on philosophy, culture, religion, art, music and society in a broader sense
We as WI team encourage you to join us in one of our expeditions to explore unknown face of Africa, the places, which people from your surroundings have never seen.