Press Release: AFRAA and UNWTO to Cooperate to Restart of African Tourism and Travel


Madrid, Spain, 21 September 2021 – UNWTO has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the African Airlines Association (AFRAA) to work more closely together and strengthen the relationship between the aviation and tourism sectors.

The MoU was signed by Abdérahmane Berthé, AFRAA’s Secretary-General and UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvilil. Under the terms of the agreement, both parties will consult each other on matters and activities of mutual interest to develop greater connectivity and advance seamless travel across Africa. The two parties will also work together to encourage greater cooperation and dialogue between the transportation and tourism sectors within the continent.

Coordinated restart of African tourism

Secretary-General Pololikashvili said: “Coordination and cooperation are essential for the safe restart of tourism across Africa. Closer collaboration between our sector and aviation will also help African tourism grow in the years ahead, driving economic development and providing opportunities for millions of people throughout the continent.”

AFRAA Secretary General, Mr. Abdérahmane Berthé stated:  “Aviation and tourism are interrelated and interdependent. By signing this MoU, AFRAA and UNWTO will augment the coherence between the two sectors as well as harmonize the respective regulatory frameworks and sectorial policies.”

In the more immediate term, the new MoU is aimed at helping mitigate the impacts of the pandemic on African aviation and restarting international travel. Looking further ahead, the agreement will also help grow the overall benefits of tourism and air transport within both national and regional economies.

About   AFRAA

The African Airlines Association, also known by its acronym AFRAA, is a trade association of airlines from the member states of the African Union (AU). Founded in Accra, Ghana, in April 1968, and headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, AFRAA’s mission is to promote, serve African Airlines and champion Africa’s aviation industry. The Association envisions a sustainable, interconnected and affordable Air Transport industry in Africa where African Airlines become key players and drivers to African economic development.

AFRAA membership of 46 airlines cuts across the entire continent and includes all the major intercontinental African operators. The Association members represent over 85% of total international traffic carried by African airlines. Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.


The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is the United Nations agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism. As the leading international organization in the field of tourism, UNWTO promotes tourism as a driver of economic growth, inclusive development and environmental sustainability and offers leadership and support to the sector in advancing knowledge and tourism policies worldwide.