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EAC launches free online professional tourism courses to enhance regional capacity

ARUSHA, June 31, 2024  – Tourism practitioners in the region can now enhance their skills and expertise through a comprehensive suite of professional courses following the launch of the East African Community [ EAC ] EAC Online Tourism Capacity Development Programme.

The courses, developed in collaboration with the European Union [EU] and the German Development Cooperation Agency [GIZ] aim to elevate professional standards and skill sets across the region’s tourism industry.

The programme was officially launched during a virtual session led by Andrea Aguer Ariik Malueth, the EAC Deputy Secretary General, Infrastructure, Productive, Social and Political Sectors. The event was attended by various tourism stakeholders from both the public and private sectors, including tourism boards, tour operators, tour guides, SMEs, and the East African Tourism Platform, among other tourism stakeholders across the region.

The programme stands out for its accessibility, offering learners the opportunity to engage with high-quality training materials completely free of charge. Participants can expect a dynamic learning experience that combines self-paced modules, live webinars, expert talks, and moderated forums.

Covering a wide array of topics essential to the tourism sector, each course within the programme spans four months, allowing ample time for deep engagement and understanding. Upon completion, learners will receive a downloadable EAC certificate, digitally signed by the EAC leadership. The courses are also available in English and French language versions.

The course schedule is as follows: Tourism Marketing [June – October 2024], Sustainable Tourism and Hospitality Management [November – February 2025], Tour Guiding [November – February 2025] and Implementation of Sustainable Tourism Practices [March – June 2025].

The launch further underscored the significance of capacity development in the sector and provided an overview of the programme as well as the first course on offer ‘Tourism Marketing.’

Speaking during the session, Malueth reaffirmed EAC’s commitment to upscale the skills across the tourism sector in the region, targeting MSMEs, youth, women, and local communities.

In his remarks, Ariik highlighted that the EAC Online Tourism Capacity Development Programme is part of the LIFTED programme, co-funded by the European Union and Germany Cooperation, and implemented jointly by GIZ and the EAC Secretariat.

“This initiative builds on our efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic to support the resumption of tourism services. Together, we can redefine tourism for the benefit of all EAC citizens and future generations,” he said.

Ariik hailed the participation of the tourism stakeholders in the session and encouraged them to enrol and share this opportunity in their networks.

Representing the EU delegation to Tanzania, Martino Vinci, congratulated the DSG in championing this initiative and reaffirmed Team Europe’s commitment to further support the Community efforts to the regional tourism market through the ‘Leveraging Integration Frameworks for Trade in Services and CSOs [LIFTED]” programme, which seeks to increase service liberalisation and exports to the regional and continental levels, as well as promoting bilateral trade with the EU.

On his part, Marius Weist, the GIZ Tourism Component Lead, reflected on Germany’s long-time partnership and collaboration with the EAC in the tourism sector, including the recent development and launch of the Visit East Africa – Feel the Vibe Brand.

“Now, under this brand, we are excited to support EAC in a state-of-the-art e-learning initiative to foster capacity development in the tourism sector. Thus, it just fits in perfectly that the first topic that this programme covers focuses on tourism marketing,” said Weist.

Weist thanked the EAC Secretariat for leading this process and ensuring the development of this programme was a success. He also thanked the EU and the German Government for their trust in GIZ to deliver results in this critical sector.

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