ZIMBABWE’S DR. ENG. WALTER MZEMBI AIMS FOR AN AFRICAN FIRST
(Posted 09th September 2016)
Here, there and everywhere would be a befitting description of Dr. Eng. Walter Mzembi, Zimbabwe’s Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry, who seeks to become the first African Secretary General of UNWTO when the elections for a successor of Dr. Taleb Rifai are held in mid 2017.
After securing unanimous support from the African Union, but also regional groupings like SADC, has Dr. Walter now expanded his lobbying campaign and was in Lisbon / Portugal, a voting member on the UNWTO Executive Council, to enlist the support of the Portuguese speaking world over and above his endorsements from neighbouring Mozambique, Angola and Sao Tome e Principe.
While meeting with his counterpart from the Portuguese government did Dr. Walter outline his key objectives for UNWTO, if elected by the 157 member countries and used the opportunity to call upon non members like the United States, Britain and Canada among others to join the world tourism body.
He also portrayed the current office holder Dr. Taleb Rifai as a man with a vision who transformed UNWTO and appreciated the massive contributions made by Dr. Rifai to propel the organization into the 21st Century.
Dr. Walter vowed to take the accomplishments to the next level if elected next year.
It is understood that Dr. Eng. Walter Mzembi will be visiting key UNWTO member countries over the next few months to firm up his bid and enlist broader support from around the world and with no credible other candidate in sight can it only be hoped that when the organization meets in Beijing next year for its bi-annual global gathering, that the election outcome will be a foregone conclusion.
(Dr. Eng. Walter Mzembi – left – seen here at the opening of Zimbabwe’s annual Sanganai World Tourism Expo in Bulawayo in June this year)