Addis Ababa — World Bank Group, International Finance Cooperation (IFC), have signed a cooperation agreement with Tourism Ethiopia to provide advisory support in a bid to improve the economic performance of tourism sector in Ethiopia.
The cooperation agreement provides framework for advisory support to be implemented in a three year program in partnership with Tourism Ethiopia and other public and private sector stakeholders.
Lensa Mekonnen, Tourism Ethiopia CEO, and Jumoke Jagun-Dokunumu, IFC's Regional Director for Eastern Africa have signed the agreement today on behalf of both sides.
The program aimed at enhancing competitiveness of meetings, incentives, conference, and events (MICE) and stopover tourism as well as strengthening the institution and data-driven sector management.
Tourism Ethiopia CEO, Lensa Mekonnen appreciated IFC's advisory supports to tackle the significant bottlenecks in the tourism sectors particularly in MICE and stopover tourism.
Implementation of the program will focus on robust data collection and empirical analysis on relevant tourism segments including global practices for benchmarking, capacity building, alleviating investment constraints and consultative dialogue with stake holders, she added.
The focus areas of the program align with the government of Ethiopia priorities and the partnership coincides with the country's momentum of reform, she noted.
IFC's Regional Director for Eastern Africa, Jumoke Jagun-Dokunumu, on her part said IFC is keen to support the tourism sector as it is one of the top employers around the world in creating more job opportunities for young people.
"Given its world class natural, cultural and historical assets as well as high performing airline advantage, Ethiopia has enormous opportunities to expand tourism industry," she pointed out.
The country's strategic location, as center and host to numerous diplomatic missions and international agencies provide competitive advantage in the tourism sector, she added.
Ethiopia lags behind regional peers in the MICE market that ranked globally 89th with 12 meetings. Hence IFC agreed to work cooperatively with Tourism Ethiopia through providing technical and advisory support to enhance the overall improvement and competitiveness of the sector, she stressed.
According to Tourism Ethiopia CEO, Lensa Mekonnen, the advisory and technical support of IFC Tourism Ethiopia will worth around 1 million dollar.