JUBA, Jan. 26 (Xinhua) -- The South Sudan ministry for wildlife conservation and tourism has signed a partnership agreement with the African Tourism Board to boost the country's tourism prospects after years of insecurity.
The deal, signed Thursday by Rizik Zakaria Hassan, minister for wildlife conservation and tourism, and Cuthbert Ncube, president of the African Tourism Board, aims to support funding and technical know-how and promote South Sudan's tourism sector.
James Wani Igga, vice-president in charge of the economic cluster, said South Sudan is ready to attract tourists traveling to the country, adding that they will be safe and protected.
"We need to involve the local communities in the tourism sector. The protection of animals needs the involvement of all, especially those in rural areas," Igga said during the signing of the partnership agreement in Juba, the South Sudanese capital.
He said that South Sudan, though often viewed as a place of conflict, boasts unique attractions, from the confluence of the Blue and White Nile rivers to ancient temples and pyramids.
Hassan said that the partnership agreement will help promote South Sudan's nascent tourism sector.
"What we have inked is about the silence diplomacy, how to change the narrative of South Sudan. What we have inked is about promoting tourism, funding and technical know-how," the minister said.
He said the deal would connect and market the country to the outside world and portray South Sudan positively.
Ncube said that they have joined hands with authorities to present a positive image of South Sudan internationally.
"No matter how they tried to paint us (Africa) negatively, there is not a continent that can surpass what God has endorsed upon this beautiful continent," Ncube said. ■