TOURISM and Hospitality Industry minister Prisca Mupfumira says there is need to nurture youths in order to get them to develop society through different platforms such as tourism.

BY TATIRA ZWINOIRA

Mpfumira was speaking at the official commencement for preparations of the second edition of the Africa Youth in Tourism conference in Harare yesterday. She said youths were important in social economic development.

“Youths with a sense of belonging and responsibility are more constructive citizens. The government does not just realise the potential of young women and men as leaders of tomorrow but is also cognisant of the role for socio economic development. We need to nurture our youths to play a critical role in eradication poverty and participating fully in the development of societies through different platforms including tourism,” she said.

“My ministry, together with the ministry of Youth, Sports, Arts and Recreation, has recognised the potential of our youths in driving the social and economic wellbeing in our societies, job creation as well as poverty alleviation.
Gone are the days where our youths used to solely depend on their parents in terms of sustainability.

“With a young vibrant generation well educated and equipped with new innovations, there is no doubt we can have a bright and prosperous future. Tourism policies and frameworks are already in place to support and encourage youth participation in tourism projects.”

The Africa Youth in Tourism conference is expected to run from September 19 to 24 later this year in Bulawayo which was an initiative meant to bring together youth in tourism in Africa to exchange ideas and collaborate.
This year’s edition will run under the theme ‘Sponsoring Tourism Development and Innovation in Africa through Youth Participation’.

Zimbabwe Youth in Tourism director general Stuart Mutizwa said the conference was a brainchild of the ministries of Tourism and Hospitality Industry and Youth, Sports, Arts and Recreation last year when the first edition was held.
“This will be the second time hosting this Africa Youth in Tourism conference. As the director general in the Zimbabwe Youth in Tourism, I want to assure all of you that Zimbabwe Youth in Tourism is more than convinced that if the youth are given an opportunity to express their innovation and ideas they can forge and advocate for effective change in the tourism industry,” he said.

More participants are expected at this year’s edition of the Africa Youth in Tourism conference which is expected to draw both local and foreign tourism players .