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Mzembi drums up support ahead of UNWTO polls

Tourism and Hospitality Industry minister Walter Mzembi paid a courtesy visit on African Union Commission deputy chairperson Kwesi Quartey on Tuesday as he drums up support ahead of the election for the secretary general’s post of the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).


The election to replace Jordanian Taleb Rifai will be held in Madrid, Spain on May 10 and 11.

Mzembi will fight it out 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 in the period 2018 to 2021.

In a statement, the AU Commission said Mzembi briefed Quartey about Africa’s potential in the tourism sector. Mzembi explained tremendous challenges facing the continent’s tourism sector including insecurity issues and underlined the fact that for many African countries, tourism was a principal export and a recognised development tool.

The Commission said Mzembi implored that his candidature for the post hinged 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.

Tuesday’s meeting was attended by the Ambassador of Zimbabwe to Ethiopia Albert Chimbindi as well as other staff from the Embassy of Zimbabwe in Ethiopia.

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