This call, followed the official unveiling of the African Tourism Card (ATC), an initiative of African Festival of Arts and Culture.
Speaking at the unveiling in Abuja Nigerian representative, African Union, Economic, Social and Cultural Council AU ECOSOCC, Dr. Tunde Asaolu identified culture as one of the strong components to integrate Africa by bringing together what polities have separated.
Asaolu said, “it is high time we promote what we have instead of been indirect slaves to the developed world.”
The AU Nigerian representative, who threw his weight behind the new initiative said that the ATC is not a cash card but when presented anywhere, could get one instant discount on goods and services.
He noted that the card which is first in Nigeria is locally manufactured adding also that it would help aid fast integration of Africans.
“ATC is not transferable, it is valid for 5 years. African festival for arts and culture is one of our own and it is an instrument that will aid fast integration of Africa and promote culture and tourism.
“As an African I have been concerned with the unity and development of Africa and I key into any project that is unifying in Africa. It is an initiative that is homemade and locally developed and the first time in this region,” he said.
Also, the head of Technical and Secretary Governing Board African Festival of Arts and Culture, Dr. Kenechukwu Aloefuna said the initiative was borne out of the need to promote indigenous business.
He said; “we sat down to look at what it will take for African transaction to grow and African business people to understand and appreciate themselves, then give back to the society by promoting consumerism and we decided to take it from the point of tourism.
“What we are doing today is launching a tool that will make an hotelier do his business and give back to those who are their customer. What will make flight ticket around Africa to come down affordably by doing this we create a common market and African union system is creating continental free trade zone.
“This is a tool to get into that platform whatever we do as African there is one thing that brings us together it is unique because our tourism and culture will grow, as we speak now there are 28 representatives of the African Festival of Arts and Culture who will pick from this and promote what we do. With this card you earn points to go on local tourism and to give all the local tourism a new life”.