Zimbabwe Tourism and Hospitality Minister, Engineer Walter Mzembi will this week officially launch his candidature for the United Nations World Tourism Organisation Secretary General post.
The event to be held in Madrid, Spain on the 19th of January 2017 is being organised by the Zimbabwe Embassy in France, eight months before the 22nd General Assembly to be held from 4 to 9 September 2017 in Chengdu, China, the venue of the elections.
Mzembi has the backing of African Union heads of states and will battle it out with Zurab Pololikashvili from Georgia, Márcio Favilla from Brazil and Seychelles’former Tourism Minister Alain St.Ange.
Last year, he outlined his 10 Point Plan underpinned by his vision for a UNWTO that is responsive to member States’ aspirations for global tourism.
Global tourism analysts believe it’s time for Africa, and if this happens it will be the first time ever that an African will hold this powerful post since 1975 when it was first occupied.
The new Secretary General will take over from Dr Taleb Rifai from Jordan, whose tenure ends in December 2017. Rifai took over from Francesco Frangialli from France who occupied the UNWTO highest post from 1997- 2009. Previous post holders also include Robert Lonati from France, Willibald Pahr from Austria, Antonio Enriquez Savignac from Mexico among others.