ion Exploration Travel and Tourism in Africa | Arab Spring | Africa


Dr Jan Mosedale

Physical geography
Aridity; a prevalent character. Oil; the world’s most valuable resource.

Cultural geography
Culture Hearths (cradle of civilization; Mesopotamia, Egypt). World Religions. Religious conflicts.

Population geography
Discontinuous clusters around infrequent water sources. Fast growth rate (young population).

Political geography
Fragmented due to colonial experience. Oil and Non-oil states (“haves” versus “have-nots”).

Resource wars
Conflicts over water:
Regional / national issue.

Conflicts over oil:
Global issue.



Africa's Deserts
The continent straddles the Equator. Sufficiently large to include land in both the northern and southern hemispheres. Dry belts:
Astride the two Tropics - Cancer and Capricorn.

Tropic of Cancer


Receive very little rainfall. Relatively little moisture can accumulate in the air masses that are the sources of the outflow of air.

Tropic of Capricorn


Pre-colonial Africa
Subsistence economies Reliance on the extended family as the basic social unit No private ownership
the unit effectively owned land. land could not be sold. Was passed down through the tradition of partible heritance, as opposed to primogeniture.

European colonial objectives
A port along the West African coast. A water route to South Asia and Southeast Asia. 1500’s:
Looking for resources. Slaves. About 12 million Africans were taken to work elsewhere. Americas and the Middle East.

Under this system, no landed aristocracy developed. Division of Labour
Women were (and are) the primary agriculturalists of Africa. Men did the hunting and gathering.

Industrial revolution occurs in Europe. Increased demand for mineral resources. Need to expand agricultural production.

Berlin Conference (1884)
14 States divided up Africa without consideration of existing cultures. Results of superimposed boundaries:
African peoples were divided. Unified regions were ripped apart. Hostile societies were thrown together. Hinterlands were disrupted. Migration routes were closed off.

Legacy of political fragmentation
Impaired the cohesion of newly formed countries in the 1950s. A constant source of unrest and violence.



Cultural diversity
Numerous political subdivisions. Culturally diverse:
More than 800 languages are spoken in Africa. Many are spoken by only small numbers of people. Nigeria alone has thirty languages in common use.

Many multi-ethnic colonies:
Europeans had little concern about the numerous cultures. Usage of the colonizer’s language as “lingua franca”. Notably French and English.

Early Post-Colonialism
The freedom gained through independence led to a relatively short period of hope for the future However, independence also generally led to a significant withdrawal of the expatriates, and all their knowledge, who had largely been running these countries prior to independence. Expatriates who had been engaged in the exploitation of African resources also often left after independence, leaving the countries with the resources but not the knowledge required to exploit them After independence numerous African nations witnessed an uprising in ethnic tensions as rival tribal groups, thrown together in countries by colonialism, fought for control of governmental apparatus.

New governments were put into place with the departure of the colonial powers (1950s to 1970s) Ethnic tensions Each group wanted to attain power in the central government Possibility of re-drawing boundaries was minimal:
Governments typically don't wish to give up territory

Conflict in African nations since 1945
Algeria Angola Burundi Cameroon Chad Congo Congo D. R. Djibouti Eritrea Ethiopia Ghana Guinea-Bissau Ivory Coast Kenya Liberia Libya Madagascar 1954-62, 19921961-75, 1975-2002 1972, 19881955-60 1980-7, 1990-5 1993-5, 1997 1960-5, 19981991 1998-2002 1998-2002 1981, 1994 1962-74, 1998-9 2002 1952-63, 19901985-8, 1990-6, 20001996 1947-8 Mali Morocco Mozambique Niger Nigeria Rwanda Senegal Sierra Leone Somalia South Africa Sudan Togo Tunisia Uganda Western Sahara Zambia Zimbabwe 1990-5 1953-6 1965-75, 1981-92 199119971956-65, 1992, 1994-5 1960-2001 1991-6, 1997-2001 19881976, 1983-94 1963-72, 19841991 1952-4 1966, 1971-9, 1981-7, 19901975-87 1964 1972-9, 1983-4, 1990-(discontent)

One-party states:
Prevalent in post-colonial Africa Dictatorship Repression of minorities (sometimes Genocides; Uganda, Rwanda) Cult of personality (Idi Amin in Uganda)



Crime & personal safety
Related, at least in part to the economic poverty in which the majority of Africans live “African crime statistics are amongst the worst in the world” (Ritchie., et al. 2003: 238) “Africa’s continuing poor performance in tourist arrivals is blamed on safety fears.” (Sindiga, 1999: 25-26) In 2000 there were 21,683 murders in South Africa “South Africa's tourism minister acknowledged that his country's reputation for crime was keeping visitors away” (, 2007) “Western tourists with their relative wealth are also seen as an obvious target for exploitation [in Africa] by unlicensed guides, vendors and touts of every description.” (Boniface & Cooper, 2005: 315)


International Arrivals in Africa (millions)

Uneven markets for African tourism
Despite these apparently good figures and rates of growth it has been suggested that “Africa as a region for world tourism is rather poorly developed and that the impact of tourism development is relatively small” (Sindiga, 1999: 6) “the majority of tourists travelling to Africa emanate from Western Europe” (Poirier, 2000: 33)

Uneven development of African tourism
International tourism arrivals in Africa are highly differentiated by region and country “Most tourists go to North Africa, southern Africa and eastern Africa…” (Sindiga, 1999: 6) The North African nations border the southern shore of the Mediterranean and have, with the exception of Libya “developed a sizeable tourism industry, based on beach holidays and inclusive tours for the north European market” (Boniface & Cooper, 2005: 314)

Uneven development of African tourism
In contrast, “Middle and West Africa are almost negligible as destinations for international tourist arrivals” (Weaver & Oppermann, 2000: 116) Countries with the least developed tourism industries: Nigeria, Cameroon, Eritrea, Sierra Leone, Angola, and Zambia



Leading international tourist destinations in Africa (2003)
South Africa Tunisia Morocco Zimbabwe Algeria Botswana Kenya Mauritius Namibia Zambia

So what does Africa have to offer?

Visitors (1000’s)
6640 5114 4552 2256 1166 975 927 702 695 578

% share of arrivals in Africa
21.56 16.6 14.78 2.32 3.79 3.17 3.01 2.28 2.26 1.88

Tourism Products
Wildlife tourism – Big 5 Ski tourism (e.g., Morocco – Ifrane, Oukaimeden, and Ketama. Kenya – Mt. Kenya, South Africa – Sani Pass, Lesotho) Adventure tourism (e.g. Paris-Dakar Rally) Wine and food tourism (e.g., Wine tourism in SA) Landscape tourism (Sahara desert, Victoria Falls – Zimbabwe/Zambia, Kilimanjaro, Tanzania) Business tourism (e.g., Nigeria)

Tourism Products
Battlefield tourism (e.g., Zulu war sites in KwaZuluNatal, South Africa) Beach tourism Film induced tourism (e.g., Casablanca - Morocco, Star Wars - Tunisia, The English Patient - Tunisia, Madam Butterfly - Tunisia, Out of Africa - Kenya) Heritage tourism (e.g., World heritage UNESCO sites in South Africa including Robben Island, and the Cradle of Humankind at Sterkfontein, prehistoric rock paintings in Algeria, Pyramids in Egypt)

Tourism Products
VFR tourism Township tourism (de Bruyn, 2003: 221) Slave tourism – Ghana is the prime destination in Africa for this type of tourism

Africa as a source market



Africa as a source market

While the numbers of Africans travelling internationally may look impressive only 2.4% of the global international tourism market originates in Africa Furthermore, the market is dominated by South Africa (responsible for 30% of international tourism expenditure by Africans in 1989 and increasing rapidly since then) The majority of international travel by Africans tends to be intraregional, and with the possible exception of South Africa VFR based Consequently, the impact of Africa on the global tourism industry as a place of origin for tourists is far lower than the size of the continent’s population (approximately 800 million) would suggest should be the case The reason for this is, of course, primarily the low standard of living of most Africans


Modern Africa




Many of the new independent states were failures

• •

Inexperienced governments did not know how to manage their economies and ended up deep in debt Tribal rivalries re-emerged and led to civil wars Brutal dictators seized power and held onto it through violence, while exploiting their natural resources to their own personal benefit

Many African countries are crippled by massive debt, which limits their ability to develop

The Arab Spring
The Arab Spring is the term commonly given to the wave of protests occurring in the Arab world beginning in December 2010 It effectively started with a revolution in Tunisia, which led to similar revolutions in Egypt and Libya Other African countries affected by demonstrations include Algeria, Morocco, Mauritania, Sudan, and Western Sahara Many demonstrations have met violent responses from authorities as well as from pro-government militias and counter-demonstrators

The Arab Spring



Tourism & the Arab Spring

Egyptian Tourism Campaign

There are many great things to see and do in Africa But it’s not somewhere that many people are willing to go Tourism in the worst areas (the horn, central and western Africa) is only for the extremely brave/adventurous/crazy

Problem 1: Political instability
A continent associated with political instability, conflict, and a lack of personal safety = a continent avoided by the majority of global tourists This issue is exacerbated by non-African government’s reaction to the conflicts in the continent

Problem 2: Debt
A continent associated with poorly developed economies and governmental corruption = problems with developing tourism infrastructure and encouraging external inward investment “investors perceive the risks to be higher in Africa than in other regions and that they face greater impediments in identifying and exploiting profitable opportunities than elsewhere ” (Brown, 2000: 275)

Problem 3: Public health
Droughts and starvation – “Around 28 million Africans are dependent on food aid from the international community for their survival” (Plaut, 2002)

UNEP (2005)



Problem 3: Public health

Problem 4: Accessibility
Transport development
In many parts of the world, transport development aims at the integration of national economies. Spokes radiating from the hub to regions of the interior. System built to exploit resources; agriculture and minerals. Not a network per se; the purpose was exploitation. Colonies not well connected to one other.

Limited airline, airport, and air control development; limited number of natural harbours and navigable rivers; inadequate rail and road developments
BBC (2010)

Problem 5: Religious fundamentalism
Particularly associated with North Africa, whose populations are predominantly Muslim In North Africa “poverty, illiteracy and unemployment are widespread… This situation has contributed to the rise of Muslim fundamentalism in Algeria, which has so far been checked in Morocco and Tunisia” (Boniface & Cooper, 2005: 315)

Problem 6: Labour
Given the instability and poverty in Africa it is not surprising that educational systems are poorly developed in the region One result is a lack of the skilled domestic labour required to develop and manage a successful indigenous tourism industry

Core problem: Image
It can be argued that tourism is not so much about the provision of facilities and attractions for tourists, but instead is about the provision of a positive image that attracts people to it Unfortunately, as Ankomah and Crompton (1990) argue ‘Africa as a continent has a negative image’



Suggested readings
Brown, D. 2000. Tourism and foreign investment in Africa. P. Dieke (ed) The political economy of tourism development in Africa. Cognizant Communication Corporation: New York. Inside Africa pt 2 (from CNN) mode=related&search=


Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful