UNESCO Will Continue Capacity Building Efforts to Enhance Tourism Development in Ethiopia: Official of UNESCO


September 27/2022 (ENA) The Director of UNESCO International Institute for Capacity Building in Africa (IICBA), Yumiko Yokozeki expressed commitment to enhance capacity building activities for tourism development in Ethiopia.

In connection with the celebration of Meskel Holiday in Ethiopia, UNESCO IICBA Director Yokozeki told ENA that Ethiopia is one of the oldest countries with amazing and fabulous cultural and traditional heritages including the festivity of Meskel which is inscribed as intangible world cultural heritage for humanity since 2013.

Though Ethiopia is one of the oldest countries of the world, “not all the people know about Ethiopian culture or the beautiful traditions. It is very important for the Government of Ethiopia and UNESCO to let people know what a fabulous and amazing country Ethiopia is. So, that more people would visit Ethiopia,” the director said.

In this regard, UNESCO along with EU, France and many other partner countries are doing a lot to enhance the tourism development in Ethiopia with promoting and renovating cultural heritages in the country, she pointed out.

Yokozeki stated that “we have been doing a lot and countries like EU, France and others are supporting us to do capacity building on tourism, culture, renovation and so on for the heritages. I am sure we want to do more together.”  

Furthermore, she has called on her friends, families and peoples of the world to visit Ethiopia’s cultural traditions such as the celebration of Meskel which is something much more than just ordinary tourism.

“Finding of the true Cross, Meskel is a very special festival. I hope that more and more people will come to visit Ethiopia and celebrate Meskel. I have meant to Meskel celebration here and also in Lalibela. And, wherever you are, it is beautiful,” the director underscored.

Cressida Marcus, a tourist who came from England to celebrate Meskel festival in Ethiopia, said that she is very impressed by all this beautiful event including the choreography of the celebration.    

“I am here to celebrate the finding of the true Cross. I am definitely a super fan. I love the Ethiopian Orthodox Church tradition; and I would like to say happy holiday for all.”

She underscored that the festival is quite beautiful and enjoyable for everyone that the number of people, the beautiful white clothes the people wore and the bonfire make it the event impressive and spectacular.  

“I invite peoples of the world to come and enjoy this wonderful UNESCO recognized day, the finding of true Cross here in Ethiopia. I think the number of the people, the beautiful white clothes the people wore and the bonfire make it look impressive,” Marcus said.   

Demera, an annual bonfire lighting ceremony on the eve of the Meskel festival- the finding of the true Cross was celebrated on Monday evening in Addis Ababa and other parts of the country.

The official day of the feast of the finding of the True Cross, Meskel has been celebrated today nationwide with various religious and traditional ceremonies.