Africa’s choice for the United Nations World Tourism Organisation’s top job, Dr Walter Mzembi successfully launched his official candidature before a capacity audience in Madrid Spain. The event which took place on the sidelines of the ongoing FITUR Tourism and trade expo was attended by Ambassadors of various countries in the UNWTO, leaders of affiliated associations, trade organisations and experts in global tourism among others.
By Sugar Chagonda
Dr Mzembi charmed the global leaders in attendance when he articulated his vision for the organisation underpinned by his 10 point plan hinging around renewal and reform agenda for the Global body and desire to enhance growth of the global tourism business.
“This is a member states subscribed organisation which should see more countries joining its ranks rather than opting out. Such membership growth will only come out of dynamic value propositions and effective response to member’s aspirations and challenges. Equally we must disabuse the notion of an organisation patronised by few States or others overloaded with key developments. We should strive for equity all the time for the sake of inclusivity and ultimately the integrity of the UNWTO”, said Dr Mzembi.
The Zimbabwean Minister also articulated his philosophy on how the greater world need to leverage on tourism for the attainment of Global peace and security which he said are critical for broader development and enhanced tourism growth.
“Whilst on the sensitive area of terrorism targeting tourism, I shall give maximum attention to mobilising governments to protect tourism against this scourge through greater and enhanced security collaboration, intelligence gathering and sharing, standardisation and certification of safety procedures, post crisis management and capacity building of member states. The 1.8 billion travellers forecast by 2030 are potential peace ambassadors and travel will be used to secure peace through greater social interaction tolerance and cultural understanding”, said Mzembi.
The current Secretary General of the UN specialised agency charged with the promotion of sustainable, Dr Taleb Rifai paid tribute to the African Union endorsed candidate describing him as a hardworking and shrewd leader whose exquisite leadership skills should never be doubted.
‘I want to Salute Minister Mzembi whose energy and wisdom has transformed Zimbabwe’s tourism and beyond. Zimbabwe through this man has become a dependable partner for the UNWTO. Walter’s zeal for success, wisdom and extraordinary leadership skills were put to fore when Zimbabwe and Zambia successfully hosted the 20th session of the UNWTO General Assembly, which has remained the best ever attended General Assembly”, said Dr Rifai.
Dr Mzembi’s endorsement by African Heads of State and Government came after a rigorous defence of his candidature and comprehensive presentation of his vision for the future of the organisation before African candidatures Committees, which over sees proposals for the deployment of Africans to multilateral and international systems. This endorsement aptly make him Africa’s man for the World. The race for the UNWTO top job has attracted other candidates from different Regions but many believe its Africa’s time and Dr Mzembi carries the hope of this continent and those who believe in it.