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Date Modified: 10/02/2017 08:11:32
PROMOTING ICT AND SUSTAINABLE TOURISM IN THE COMESA REGION
Tourism is the world’s largest and fastest-growing service industry and has the potential to contribute to economic growth and poverty reduction, in particular in low-income developing countries. The sector’s capacity to generate employment and income owing to its backward and forward linkages makes it important for economic diversification and economic growth. For a number of COMESA member states, tourism has become the most important productive sector in terms of contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP), employment and foreign exchange earnings. In COMESA island countries (Seychelles, Madagascar, Mauritius, Comoros) contributes to at about 25% of their GDP and more than half of their export earnings. In mixed economies like Kenya, Egypt also contributes to approximately 12% GDP and about 20% of export revenue.
On the other hand, backbone services such as Information Communications Technology (ICT) and telecommunications services are gaining an increasing importance in facilitating trade, and have gradually become major determinants of performance and competitiveness of any economy. Evidence shows that network and ICT driven economies have advanced their productivity and improved entrepreneurship, social development and transformation by improving access to basic services, enhancing connectivity, and creating employment opportunities, among other things.