By Isdore Guvamombe in Medellin, Columbia
Zimbabwe has been unanimously re-elected to chair, for the second consecutive term, the African Commission of the United Nations World Organisation.
The UNWTO is the world’s most powerful tourism organisation with equivalent status as the World Health Organisation.
At the start of the UNWTO general assembly on Saturday, Zimbabwe’s representative, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Engineer Walter Mzembi was re-elected unopposed in an apparent show of confidence in his leadership.
The re-election to the commission is an added advantage to the Minister who is set to contest the position of UNWTO Secretary General in 2017′ when the incumbent, former Jordanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Talib Rifai, ends the constitutional second term of office.
The re-election to the powerful commission is an endorsement of the faith African countries have on Engineer Mzembi’s leadership as it coincided with the launch of Zimbabwe’s campaign to have Eng Mzembi take over the reins as UNWTO Secretary General in 2017.
Minister Mzembi, who has been chairing the African Commission since 2013, was re-elected for another two years running until 2017.
The UNWTO general assembly is running in the resort town of Medellin from September 12 to 17, 2015.
After the re-election, there seemed to be an air of agreement that the position of Secretary General, the highest office in the world tourism family should go to. Africa.
“I believe the re-election to the Commission is an endorsement of our leadership brand premised on the thinking that I should leverage that position with President Mugabe chairmanship of the African Union.
“Everyone in the industry is talking about factors stifling growth of the industry and they are happy with the direction we have driven the commission in particular and UNWTO in general.
“The fact that I was not opposed gives me pleasure and confidence that I can take tourism to greater heights, of course wit the support of everyone and my government. We will now be focusing on the future, which lies in our ten points project that I have articulated to the industry today,” said Minister Mzembi.
Zimbabwe Tourism. Authority Deputy Board Chairman Mr James Muzangaza, said the re election of Eng Mzembi was an endorsement of the Brand Zimbabwe.
“It shows our acceptability as a brand in Africa. It informs us that we have done well as a country to articulate issues that identify with the continent to the point where everyone agrees that we must continue leading them.
“As ZTA we are more than happy to have made such impact on the continent. The brand zimbabwe has proved popular to the continent, ” he said.
The general assembly is set to discuss issues that are effecting tourism, marketing promotion and development such as connectivity, visa regimes, regional integration and poverty, that hamper travel.