Tourism Devt: FG to train, empower host community women on souvenirs production

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By Palma Ileye

Federal Government through the Ministry of Tourism is set to train and empower host community women on souvenirs production.

This is contained in a press release issued by Joesef Karim, Public Relations Officer, For: National Institute of Hospitality and Tourism, NIHOTOUR.

According to the statement, the Ministry is introducing a sustainable tourism entrepreneurship programme called ‘EcoGenesis Incubator’ for training and empowerment of women and youths that were resident in Nigeria’s tourism host communities across the six-geopolitical zones of the country.

The statement disclosed that the objective was to offer a dynamic platform that will catalyze innovation and drive economic empowerment by helping the participants to develop, articulate, and refine their skills and tourism products adding that this will eventually lift many out of poverty by leveraging on the abundant tourism opportunities inherent in our communities across the Nation.

“The first series of the ‘EcoGenesis Incubator’ programme will be the training and empowerment of women on tourism souvenirs production, specifically, in jewellery making and rhinestone embellishment. It is scheduled to hold in Makurdi, Benue State, on 14th and 15th March 2024. On completion, the trainees will be given tourism entrepreneurial starter-packs to enable them to start their personal jewellery making and rhinestone embellishment businesses targeting visitors and tourists in Benue State,” the Ministry stated.

Minister of Tourism, Mrs. Lola Ade-John, who only last week on International Women’s Day charged women to seize opportunities in the tourism economy to boost their status, disclosed that, “The EcoGenesis Incubator is a tailored Nigerian tourism enterprise development program designed specifically for women and youth residing in the heart of tourist host communities.

“Through targeted training and empowerment initiatives conducted in rural areas across Nigeria, this program aims to facilitate the emergence of local tourism businesses and service offerings, fostering sustainable development in the country.”

Ade-John affirmed that, “We are dedicated to forging partnerships with key stakeholders, including the private sector, state governments, and local communities, to cultivate distinctive Nigerian tourism offerings and elevate Nigeria as a premier tourism destination. As evidenced by the transformative economic impact of tourism, particularly in emerging economies like Nigeria, the sector’s multiplier effects can significantly enhance the quality of life in host communities while fostering revenue generation for investors, operators, and governmental entities alike.”

The EcoGenesis Incubator series will empower people with occupational skills and eventually lift many out of poverty by harnessing touristy opportunities inherent in tourist host communities.

In the coming weeks, the EcoGenesis Incubator programmes will be delivered in a series across the 36 States and the FCT with increasing number of trainees and empowerment packages. Since every State in Nigeria has unique hospitality and tourism potential, the EcoGenesis Incubator trainings will be tailored to the peculiarity of the State’s tourist host community and the general destination offerings.

The maiden EcoGenesis Incubator programme on tourism souvenirs production on jewellery making and rhinestone embellishments will be executed in partnership with the National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism, NIHOTOUR.

The Institute is an agency in the Federal Ministry of Tourism that is established to train, certify, and register all personnel in Nigeria’s hospitality, travel, and tourism sectors.