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Regional Tourism Capacity Development Programme

East Africa has recorded impressive achievements in the realm of tourism owing to the conscious efforts of EAC Partner States and the EAC Secretariat to promote the region as a single tourism destination. As a key priority in the EAC Tourism Marketing Strategy, to strengthen institutional and private sector capacities in the region, the EAC welcomes all stakeholders and practitioners in the tourism sector in the region to enroll in the EAC Tourism Capacity Development Programme hosted on the atingi e-learning platform.

Dive into our exciting learning journey, tailored just for you! This programme is a unique blend of self-paced learning and interactive live sessions with industry experts in the region, all designed to enhance your knowledge, upscale your skills, and increase your competitiveness as a tourism stakeholder at absolutely no cost to you.

The courses in this programme are 100% free.

The courses are packaged in easily accessible and engaging modules, webinars, and expert talks for the duration of four (4) months per course. After the four-month duration has expired, a new course begins. Upon completion, you will receive a downloadable certificate, issued by the East African Community.

Benefits of the Online Program

To the EAC Tourism Sector

  1. Enhanced Competitiveness: By equipping participants with advanced skills and up-to-date knowledge, the programme ensures that the EAC tourism sector remains competitive on a global scale.
  2. Harmonized Standards: The programme promotes uniform standards across the region, leading to a more cohesive and reliable tourism experience for international visitors.
  3. Sustainable Tourism Practices: Emphasis on sustainable and responsible tourism practices ensures the long-term preservation of East Africa's rich natural and cultural heritage.


To Participants

  1. Career Advancement: Participants gain valuable credentials and expertise, making them more attractive to employers and opening doors to new career opportunities.
  2. Networking Opportunities: Interactive live sessions with industry experts provide a platform to connect with peers and leaders in the tourism industry, fostering professional relationships.
  3. Flexible Learning: The self-paced nature of the courses allows participants to learn at their own convenience, making it easier to balance with other commitments.
  4. Cost-Free Education: Access to high-quality education and training at no cost removes financial barriers, making professional development accessible to all.


How to Enrol

Click [HERE] to get more information on the programme and the courses on offer. Enrollment is easy and straightforward, ensuring that you can start your learning journey without any delays.

We hope you enjoy your learning experience and look forward to seeing the positive impact of your enhanced skills on the East African tourism sector.

ENROL TODAY

Wildlife Conservation and Management

In line with Article 116 of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community, the EAC Partner States undertake to develop a collective and co-ordinate policy for the conservation and sustainable utilisation of wildlife and other tourist sites in the Community, which entails:

  • Harmonising their policies for the conservation of wildlife within and outside protected areas;

  • Exchanging information and adopt common policies on wildlife management and development;

  • Co-ordinating efforts in controlling and monitoring encroachment and poaching activities


Strategy to Combat Poaching, Illegal Trade and Trafficking of Wildlife and Wildlife Products

The EAC Strategy to Combat Poaching, Illegal Trade, and Trafficking of Wildlife and Wildlife Resources was developed through a consultative process and was adopted in 2017.

The Strategy revolves around six strategic objectives, namely,

  1. strengthening policy and legal frameworks;
  2. enhancing law enforcement capacities;
  3. strengthening international and regional collaboration;
  4. promoting education and public awareness about wildlife crime;
  5. promoting research development; and
  6. increasing the capacity of local communities to pursue sustainable livelihoods.

Some of the initiatives that are being implemented under this strategy are:

  • formulation of a regional wildlife conservation and management policy;
  • economic valuation of wildlife resources in key transboundary landscapes;
  • development of Trade in Wildlife Information Exchange (TWIX) System; and
  • enhancing the capacity of wildlife law enforcement officials.

 

Draft Regional Policy on Wildlife Conservation and Management

With support from USAID, the EAC has developed a draft Regional Policy on Wildlife Conservation and Management. The draft policy was validated by Experts and submitted to the 10th Meeting of the Sectoral Council on Tourism and Wildlife Management for consideration. Further consultations on the Draft Policy have taken place and will be resubmitted to the 11th Meeting of the Sectoral Council on Tourism and Wildlife Management.


Economic Valuation of Natural Capital in priority Transboundary Wildlife Landscapes

With support from USAID, the EAC undertook an Economic Valuation of Natural Capital in priority Transboundary Wildlife Landscapes. The landscapes that were prioritized are:

  1. Great East African Plains (Kenya-Tanzania) (129,634 km2);
  2. Northern Savannahs (Kenya-Uganda-South Sudan) (48,841km2);
  3. Albertine Rift Forests (Burundi-Rwanda-Uganda-DRC) (7772 km2) and
  4. Rweru-Mugesera-Akagera Wetlands (Burundi-Rwanda-Tanzania) (2,968 km2).

The Report and Action Plan provides areas of action and recommendations to be implemented at the landscape, national and regional levels including pilot projects in each of the landscapes that should be implemented within the short and medium term. These are aimed at forestalling the value of the landscapes.


Participation at IUCN African Protected Areas Congress

With support from Convention on Migratory Species and IUCN, EAC successfully participated at the IUCN African Protected Areas Congress that took place in Kigali from 18th – 23rd July 2022. APAC was a great opportunity for the EAC Secretariat and Partner States to be part of forging a new vision for Africa’s invaluable natural heritage that celebrates and elevates the role of biodiversity as an integral part of Africa’s sustainable development path to the future. EAC was able to share lessons learned and to learn from best practices in management and governance of protected and conserved areas in Africa.


Establishment of an EAC Transboundary Wildlife Conservation Areas Network

The 10th Meeting of the Sectoral Council on Tourism and Wildlife Management considered and approved a concept note on the establishment of an EAC Transboundary Wildlife Conservation Areas Network.

The Goal and Objectives of the EAC Transboundary Wildlife Conservation Areas Network are to:

  1. establish a dynamic, inclusive network that will provide a platform for quick information exchange and to facilitate collaboration on transboundary wildlife conservation areas at all levels;
  2. support the work of the Sectoral Committees by facilitating information exchange and providing technical support to the functions of the TWG;
  3. connect and link with the various complementary initiatives in these priority landscapes; and
  4. assist the EAC Partner States catalyse additional technical partnerships and funding to support conservation activities in the priority transboundary landscapes.

IUCN and Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) have expressed willingness and readiness to support the establishment of the network.

Annual EAC Regional Tourism EXPO

Following a decision of the Extra-ordinary Meeting of the Sectoral Council on Tourism and Wildlife Management of 15th July 2022,  the EAC organized annual regional tourism EXPOs that are hosted by the Partner States on a rotational basis.

The overarching objective of the EXPOs is to promote EAC as a single tourism destination, provide a platform for tourism service providers’ business to business (B2B) engagements, create awareness on tourism investment opportunities and address the challenges affecting the tourism and wildlife sectors in the region.

The EXPOs comprise of exhibitions by the tourism service providers, speed networking and B2B meetings and seminars on tourism and wildlife sub-themes.

The 1st and the 2nd Regional Tourism Expos were hosted by the United Republic of Tanzania and Republic of Burundi in 2021 and 2022 respectively.

The 3rd Regional Tourism EXPO will be hosted by the Republic of Kenya from 20th -22nd November 2023 at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre, Nairobi. The theme of the EXPO will be Tourism for Green Growth.

More information on the Expo can be accessed at https://mkte.co.ke

 

Tourism Marketing and Promotion

The EAC partner States undertake to develop a collective and co-ordinated approach to the promotion and marketing of quality tourism into and within the Community. To this end, the Partner States co-ordinate their policies in the tourism industry and establish a framework of cooperation in the sector that will ensure equitable distribution of benefits.


EAC Tourism Marketing Strategy (2021-2025)

A Regional Tourism Marketing Strategy has been developed through a consultative process. The Strategy is aimed at reinforcing the individual efforts of Partner States and providing a framework for cooperation in the promotion and marketing of tourism within the region and internationally.

The EAC Tourism Marketing Strategy (2021-2025) is pegged on the vision: 'EAC to be the leading sustainable regional tourism destination in Africa’ while its mission is to ‘develop and promote inclusive and sustainable intra-regional and international tourism across the EAC region’.

The Strategy is underpinned by various Strategic Objectives, that is,

  1. Develop regionally and internationally competitive multi-destination tourism products offering high-quality travel experience;

  2. Position and market EAC as a leading regional tourism destination in Africa;

  3. Branding East Africa as a single tourism destination;

  4. Build institutional capacity of EAC Secretariat and Partner States to effectively develop and market the region as a tourism destination of choice; and

  5. Enhance financing for tourism marketing and promotion.

 

Joint Tourism Promotion at International and Regional Trade Fairs

EAC Partner States have been undertaking joint tourism promotion at the World Travel Market (WTM) in London, United Kingdom and International Tourism Bourse (ITB) in Berlin, Germany since 2007/2008. However, this was put on hold in 2019 pending a Return to Investment study.

In addition, the EAC Secretariat participates at tourism expos taking place in the region. This is aimed at projecting and creating visibility of EAC as a single tourism destination.

 

Regional Tourism Campaign

A one-month Regional Tourism Media Campaign was undertaken in November/December 2021. The main objective of the campaign was to support the recovery of the EAC tourism sector following the unprecedented decline in international tourism occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ultimate goal was to increase visitations to key tourist sites and consumption of tourism services by domestic and regional markets. This way, a dedicated media campaign would help sustain tourism businesses within the region and restore confidence in the destination.

The campaign took into account an existing initiative by the East African Tourism Platform dubbed “Tembea Nyumbani” and it was therefore agreed that the EAC campaign be aimed at identifying areas of synergy and address the possible gaps in order to sustain the rallying call for the EAC citizens to travel within the region.

The campaign was launched on 24th November 2021 by the EAC Secretary General who urged tourism private sector players to extend affordable packages to East Africans so as to entice them into taking advantage of the holiday offers. The campaign took a two-pronged approach, that is, use of mainstream media (radio, TV and newspapers) and use of social media platforms (facebook, twitter and Instagram) through selected influencers.

More information: Tembea Nyumbani special packages

Tourism e-Catalogue

The EAC Secretariat in collaboration with the East African Tourism Platform and with support from GIZ is in the process of finalizing an EAC Tourism e-Catalogue that highlights the key tourism offerings in the region including the tourism attractions sites, accommodation establishments, tour operators and travel agent services among others.

The catalogue will be shared through the EAC and EATP websites as well as through National Tourism Boards’ websites.


EAC Tourism Barometer

The EAC Secretariat is in the process of developing an easy-to-use online tool to monitor tourism trends in the region. The tool will guide the Secretariat, national governments and tourism stakeholders in making policy and strategy decisions related to the promotion of tourism into and within the Community. A regional consultative meeting in this connection was held in July 2022 and national stakeholders’ meetings as well as a Regional Validation meeting are planned to take place by December 2022.

 

Regional Tourism Capacity Building

As part of the tourism recovery efforts in the region in line with the EAC Tourism Marketing Strategy and the EAC Tourism Recovery Plan, a capacity building programme was initiated and undertaken from December 2021 to February 2022. The exercise was undertaken in close collaboration with the East African Tourism Platform as a measure to ensure sustainability. It targeted different stakeholders across the tourism value chain in the region including MSMEs, youth, women and local communities.

The EAC Regional Tourism Capacity Building Programme

East Africa has made significant strides in tourism through the concerted efforts of EAC Partner States and the EAC Secretariat, promoting the region as a unified destination. Central to the EAC Tourism Marketing Strategy is the EAC Tourism Capacity Development Programme, available on the atingi e-learning platform. This free programme offers a blend of self-paced learning and live sessions with regional experts, designed to enhance participants' knowledge and skills, thus boosting their competitiveness in the tourism sector. Courses are delivered in engaging modules over four months, with certifications provided upon completion. The program benefits the EAC tourism sector by fostering competitiveness, standardizing practices, and promoting sustainability, while participants gain career advancement, networking opportunities, flexible learning, and cost-free education. Enrollment is straightforward and accessible to all interested stakeholders.

Common Classification Criteria for Tourism Accommodation Establishments and Restaurants

The EAC has developed a Common Classification Criteria for various categories of tourism accommodation establishments and restaurants which were adopted in 2009. The criteria aim at standardizing services offered by the accommodation facilities in the region.

The categories of accommodation that are covered by the classification criteria include:

The EAC Partner States have undertaken classification and 906 establishments are already star rated across the region as highlighted below:

 

PARTNER STATE                 

5*

4*

3*

2*

1*

TOTAL

1.

Tanzania

30

40

151

140

22

383

2.

Kenya

24

67

63

58

3

215

3.

Rwanda

8

17

56

76

19

176

4.

Uganda

5

13

27

36

0

81

5.

Burundi

3

9

15

24

0

51

6.   

South Sudan                

 - -  - -  -

 -

 

TOTAL

      70       

    146       

    312       

     334       

    44       

    906       

 

PERCENTAGE

8%

16%

34%

37%

5%

 

The criteria are currently under review to ensure that they take into account the emerging trends in the tourism and hospitality sector.  Following a directive by the Sectoral Council on Tourism and Wildlife Management, the Panel of Experts on Classification Criteria for tourism accommodation establishments and restaurants supported by international Tourism Expert has commenced the process of review the criteria.

Following a Regional and National Consultative Meetings held in 2022, the panel of experts reviewed and validated the criteria for five categories of tourism accommodation establishments, namely, Hotels; Resorts; Lodges; Tented Camps; and Villas, Cottages and Apartments. In addition, draft Criteria for Motels;  Boutique and Heritage Hotels: and Restaurants have been developed and are expected to be validated by March 2023. 


Training of Hotel Classification Assessors

The EAC Partner States continue to train Hotel Classification Assessors with guidance from the EAC Secretariat. Between April and May 2022, the United Republic of Tanzania trained 42 additional trainee assessors. The marking of the exams has commenced but not finalized. Currently, there are about 100 EAC Certified Assessors. The training is based on an 8-week training programme that covers all the key aspects of service provision in tourism accommodation establishments and restaurants. Review of the programme will also be undertaken in order to be in tandem with the Reviewed Criteria for the Classification of Tourism Accommodation Establishments and Restaurants.


Minimum Standards for Tourism Service Providers

With support from GIZ, the EAC has developed minimum standards for Tour Operators, Travel Agents, Tourist Guides, Community Based Tourism Enterprises (CBTEs) and Tourist Attraction Sites. The Standards were adopted by the 10th Meeting of the Sectoral Council on Tourism and Wildlife Management and will be submitted to the Council of Ministers for final approval.


East African Community
EAC Close
Afrika Mashariki Road
P.O. Box 1096
Arusha
United Republic of Tanzania

Tel: +255 (0)27 216 2100
Fax: +255 (0)27 216 2190
Email: eac@eachq.org