Zimbabwe and Zambia have promised to utilize their term as co-presidents of the 20th session of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation to ensure that Africa claims its share of the global tourism cake. Zambia and Zimbabwe were elected as co-presidents of the 20th session after successfully hosting the general assembly in Victoria Falls and Livingstone Zambia.
Outgoing Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Walter Mzembi told delegates at the closing ceremony of the UNWTO general assembly in Livingstone last night that the two countries will continue to work together to ensure that all resolutions made at the meeting will be done to promote tourism in Africa.
“We assure you, Your Excellencies, that as co-presidents of the 20th session Zambia and Zimbabwe will do our outmost to ensure that this conference adopts resolutions that will facilitate substantial growth of Africa’s portion of the global tourism cake,” he said.
Minister Mzembi said the reaffirmation by Zambian President Michael Sata on his pledge to continue strengthening bilateral relations for mutual benefit and the call by President Mugabe for a seamless border between Livingstone and Victoria Falls not just for the general assembly, together constitute a very clear vision of African co-operation for the future.
“Your Excellencies, your messages were reinforced by the Special Guest of Honour of our Ministerial Round Table, Her Excellency, the President of the Republic of Malawi and Sadc Chairperson Dr Joyce Banda who undertook to take the agenda of the Sadc univisa to its next level during her tenure of chairmanship,” he said.
His counterpart Zambian Minister of Tourism and Arts Mrs Sylvia Masebo said the two countries will follow up all the deliberations that were made during the event to ensure that they are fully implemented for the benefit of the continent.
She said work has only begun to ensure that the benefits of tourism cascade to the ordinary person.
“I challenge all of us to make it work,” she said.
Minister Masebo said Africa needed to improve a lot of other services to ensure that tourism grows on the continent. She said there was need for the African countries to improve their visa regime without compromising other important issues like security.
Minister Masebo said the international community must help Africa in implementing its tourism visions because although in some cases the will was there, capacity remained a challenge. She said institutional structure inadequacy continued to be a major challenge among many African countries.
Mrs Masebo said Africa also needs to grow intra-tourism to ensure that its people are the major beneficiaries of the beauty of the continent.
Date: 29 August 2013