Ethiopian Culture & Tourism | Interview with Aisha Mohammed Mussa, Minister of Culture and Tourism, by The Worldfolio

Ethiopia’s Minister of Culture and Tourism, Aisha Mohammed Mussa, explains the details behind the extra impetus Ethiopia’s government is adding to its tourism sector development and promotion to reach and indeed surpass the ambitious growth targets it has set for 2020.

Having such a vast past and culture, what would you say makes Ethiopia different from other tourism destinations?

My country is blessed with immense natural, cultural, and historical attractions. To mention some: Ethiopia is the origin of humanity, the origin of coffee, the origin of the Blue Nile. It is also the home of Erta Ale, the second most active volcano, and the beautiful Danakil Depression. Ethiopia is called “the water tower of East Africa.” It has beautiful scenery with a spectacular chain of mountains that are sometimes called “the roof of Africa.” We have four biosphere reserves that are registered by UNESCO. Ethiopia is home to numerous rift valley lakes, hot springs and highland lakes, even around Addis Ababa. We have various national and regional parks, such as the Awash National Park and the Simien Mountains National Park, among nine other national parks and two beautiful sanctuaries. On top of all these, Ethiopia has a dependable peace and stability as an advantage to attract tourists.

It’s also the home of ancient religions, like Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. And it is the home of ancient cities with beautiful ancient mosques and churches with carved stones and monuments, in Axum and Lalibela, among others. We have national archives and a national library with different rare manuscripts. And we have our own unique calendar and alphabet. The country has never been colonized; it’s considered as a symbol of independence in Africa and we are very proud of that. We boast more than 80 nations and nationalities and peoples, with their own distinct culture and amazing traditions.

The country’s aim is to triple the number of foreign visitors and increase it by more than 2.02 million by 2020. If we develop our sites fast enough and promote them accordingly, it might even get quadrupled. We are very ambitious in our vision.

Could you please discuss the prominence Africa is gaining on the international arena?

Africa’s role in terms of investment opportunities is growing for both advanced and emerging economies. This is mainly because of the fact that the continent has huge potential, having immense and untapped natural resources, availability of an adequate young and competitive labor force, relatively sustainable economic growth, and a comparative advantage of peace and security – even though we have some spot areas of conflict that may sometimes hamper the continent’s image. These, among others, are some of the main factors that make Africa attractive and prominent on the international arena.

Continue reading the interview with Aisha Mohammed Mussa on The Worldfolio
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