With the unveiling of the official logo of the Wonders of Africa Project by TheTeamAfrica (TTA) recently, all is set for the Pan-African initiative designed to get Africans to Visit Africa.
The initiative, which is a project by Africans in Africa and the Diaspora will take place over the next two years with aim of unearthing 25 wonders of Africa which will, in turn, get more Africans to know Africa and to plan journeys and travel within Africa and its Diaspora and inspire at least 3 million new travelers within Africa.
Team leader and Project Director the Wonders of Africa Project, Ikechi Uko in a series of posts on the popular Social networking site, Facebook explained the reasons behind the project.
“The Wonders of Africa Project’s aim is to sell Africa to Africans. To get at least 3 million Africans traveling within Africa. It also aims to build a partnership between 1000 Travel Professionals in Africa by uniting them for a common cause to building pride and integrate Africa.
This will benefit the African Traveller as he or she now has more options and will be spoiled for choice from the over 300 attractions to be shortlisted. The Travel Professionals will also benefit, because they now have over 1000 collaborators from other African countries, and it will be easier to sell a product already known to the Traveller.
The Destinations stand to benefit as their products will be on full global display.
With the success of the project, the African Free Trade project AfCTA and the Open Skies programme SAATM will be easily accomplished” he wrote.
Uko, buoyed by the gradual lifting of travel restrictions occasioned by the COVID 19 pandemic revealed that a project could have been launched about a decade ago.
Hear him, “In 2009, I visited Egypt. I had a meeting with the World-Famous Egyptologist, Prof. Zahi Hawass and we agreed to launch this project in 2010/2011. He was then the Head of Antiquity in Egypt, but the Arab Spring arrived and the project never took off.
I am so happy to have partners from all over Africa and the Diaspora who have signed up for this Project and we shall all win for Africa” he enthused.
TheTeamAfrica was formed in Kigali by Travel Promoters in 2015. TTA has promoted the Visa on Arrival policy and the African Open Skies policy, as ways of getting more Africans to travel Africa.
Since 2015, Africa has largely implemented these two policies. TTA believes it is time to implement the last leg of the 3-point Agenda – which is the Wonders Project.
The project will initially be an African affair as a partnership between leading African Tour Operators, Travel media, and Destinations. But the Final Voting starting from May in 2022 will involve the whole world.
The Wonders of Africa will be a bucket list of Must-See Destinations on the continent. It will be divided into two categories: Man-Made Wonders and Natural Wonders.
Recall that The African Union (AU) divides Africa into 6 geographic regions: The North, The South, The Central, The East, The West, and The African Diaspora. The Search for the 25 Wonders Of Africa will follow the same pattern.
Each of the 6 regions is expected to produce four (4) iconic man-made wonders. These total of 24 Iconic wonders will be selected over two (2) years.
The First Shortlist will be done in September 2020. Countries are expected to have nominated and registered their various Iconic wonders.
By April/May 2021, about 1000 African Travel Professionals will vote to shortlist 150 from the total number of registered wonders from all the 6 regions of Africa.
In September 2021, another shortlist will be drawn strictly by Africans to reduce the number from 150 to 75. By May of 2022, the icons will be reduced to 50 via global voting. This time voting will be allowed from all over the world. The Final 25 will be announced by September of 2022.
“Of the Seven (7) Wonders of the Ancient World, two were located in Africa: The Pyramid of Cheops and the Lighthouse of Pharos in Alexandria Egypt. Of all the Wonders, only the Pyramid of Cheops (Gizeh) is still standing. By right, the 25th Icon on the Wonders of Africa automatically is the Pyramid of Gizeh. It is the only Icon that qualifies without a vote because it is already an established Wonder” Uko explained.