Published on : Friday, April 21, 2017
Zimbabwean Tourism and Hospitality Industry minister Walter Mzembi paid a courtesy visit on African Union Commission deputy chairperson Kwesi Quartey on Tuesday for getting support for the upcoming election for the secretary general’s post of the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO). The election for the successor of the current chief Dr. Taleb Rifai will take place in Madrid, Spain on May 10 and 11.
Mzembi will contest with Armenian Vahan Martinosyan, Márcio Favilla (Brazilian), Jaime Alberto Cabal Sanclemente (Colombian), Zurab Pololikashvili (Georgian), Young-shim Dho (South Korean) and Alain St. Ange from Seychelles to head the organisation from 2018 to 2021.
The AU Commission said Mzembi briefed Quartey about Africa’s potential in the tourism sector and explained the challenges facing the continent’s tourism sector and insecurity issues. He especially stressed the fact that for many African countries, tourism was a chief export and a recognised development tool.
Mzembi pleaded that his candidature for the post rests on three pillars — to restore Intergovernmental agency of the organisation, resource mobilisation and business development; and enhancing the diplomacy status of the organisation.
Mzembi was endorsed by the African Union for the top post in June last year. Before then, he had already secured the support of the Sadc bloc.