The Corporate Council on Africa (CCA), a leading United States business association focused solely on connecting business interests in Africa, has endorsed Zimbabwe’s Tourism Minister, Walter Mzembi, for the post of secretary general of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), which is set to fall vacant next year.
CCA president and chief executive officer, Stephen Hayes, says Mzembi is more than qualified for this position as he has a proven track record in tourism.
“So, Walter is not only your tourism minister, but also head of the Tourism Commission of the African Union. He is also the head of the tourism U.N. (United Nations) on tourism.”
Hayes, who is the Africa America Institute’s U.S business leader of 2016, further said, “… He (Mzembi) is also very much qualified and so we are supporting the Africa candidate and the AU (African Union) has endorsed him so clearly he is the candidate for Africa and I think it is time an African and especially one who is qualified for that position be given serious consideration.”
African nations have already endorsed Mzembi’s candidacy for the post currently being held by Dr. Taleb Rifai. Since its inception in 1975, no African has held the position of secretary general of the UNWTO.
Mzembi says one of his objectives, if elected as UNWTO secretary general, is to bring the United States of America back into the fold of the organization.
“One of my visional thrusts is on the universality of the UNWTO, which should reflect the entire membership of the United Nation's current membership of 192 countries against the 157 of the Global Tourism. I seek going forward to bring the USA into the fold together with other key missing members: Austrialia, Canada, the United Kingdom, amongst others. Universal membership brings with it inclusivity in decision making. There are key decisions that we cannot conclude without the USA on the table, and just to cite one contemporary threat, terrorism. .”
On the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, USA, Mzembi was this week appointed chairperson of the newly-formed Council of Ministers on Tourism, which will act as an advisory board to the Africa Travel Association.