Tourism: Zimbabwe Mzembi In Final Push To Becoming UNWTO Secretary General

A formal launch has been made of the candidature of Walter Mzembi, Minister of Tourism and the Hospitality Industry of the Republic of Zimbabwe, for post of Secretary General of United Nations World Tourism Organization [UNWTO].

The African Union-endorsed candidate for the post of Secretary General of UNWTO, Mzembi, Zimbabwe’s Minister of Tourism and the Hospitality Industry, and the current Chairperson of the UNWTO Regional Commission for Africa, is set to formally launch his candidature at a landmark reception event to be held in Madrid, Spain, on January 19, 2017.

The UNWTO has its headquarters in Madrid.

Invited guests include representatives of all UNWTO Member States, the Secretary General of the UNWTO, and all Executive Directors of the organization, as well as senior representatives of the Spanish Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Tourism.

The reception will take place at the prestigious Torre de Cristal, in the Four Towers central business district of downtown Madrid.
Unanimously endorsed by African Heads of State and Government at the AU Summit held in Kigali, Rwanda, in July, 2016, Mzembi thus assumed the mantle of Africa’s candidate for the top UNWTO post – a position which has never before been held by an African.

In its confirmatory letter of endorsement, addressed to the Secretary General of the UNWTO, the African Union Commission stated that:

“It is the firm conviction of African Heads of State and Government – as evidenced by their unanimous endorsement of Mzembi’s candidature – that he has the qualifications, skills and competence; the vision; and, equally as important, the drive and passion to successfully build on the remarkable legacy bequeathed to global tourism by Rifai, and to lead the organization and global tourism to new heights of relevance, recognition, and results –tourism being an effective vehicle for sustainable development, the building of deeper understanding between peoples and cultures, and for the reinforcement of the quest for greater global harmony and peace.”

Mzembi has served as Zimbabwe’s Minister of Tourism and the Hospitality Industry since 2009. Prior to that, he held various positions in both the public and private sectors in Zimbabwe and internationally, including heading the Zimbabwe delegation to the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly for three consecutive years.

He has represented his country on the UNWTO Executive Council and is currently serving his second consecutive term as Chairperson of the UNWTO’s Regional Commission for Africa.

Mzembi has a long-standing, deep, and abiding passion for tourism in all its many facets, as well as a well-defined and clearly articulated vision for the future development of the global tourism industry under the umbrella of the UNWTO.

The launch event in Madrid will provide an appropriate opportunity and platform for Mzembi to outline his vision and to provide an overview of how, if elected Secretary General, he intends to lead the UNWTO to those “new heights of relevance, recognition, and results.”

Carnival Calabar Is The Melting Point Of African Hospitality – Ayade


Ben Ayade , Cross River State Governor has described the Carnival Calabar as the melting point of African hospitality and the beginning of unity.

Ayade who made the disclosure on Wednesday at the Millennium Park, venue for the flag off of 2016 Carnival Calabar said it was the beginning of a new dawn and growth for Africa.

“Cross River is at it again, you are all welcome to Calabar Carnival 2016, the melting point of African Hospitality where warmth is the order of the day in the state”.

Cross River state is welcoming Africa and indeed the entire world to Calabar. I want you to recognize the fact that this Carnival is the true vitality, unity and harmony of Africa”.

Flagging off the 12th edition of the Carnival Calabar, the winner of the maiden edition of Miss Africa 2016, Miss Neurite Mendes said the Calabar has been in the eyes of the world for years for organizing the biggest street party in Africa.

Mendes, who lauded the effort of the state government in its awareness about climate change, said it was pivotal for everyone to come together in the fight and awareness.

“It is an honour to represent my country in this year’s edition of Carnival Calabar, the Carnival this year is about sustainable development in climate change.

According to Miss Climate Change Ambassador, it is important to let the world know that we can combat climate change together.

Mendes from Angola won the maiden edition of Miss Africa Climate change organized by Cross River state government in November 2016.
The theme for the 2016 Calabar carnival is `Climate Change’.

The five carnival bands – Seagull, Master Blasta, Passion 4, Freedom and Bayside were colourfully dressed in different costumes to reflect the colour of their bands. Mr Gab Onah, the Chairman of Calabar Carnival Commission, said that 13 countries were in attendance for the street party.

According to Onah, some of the countries included Brazil, Croatia, Turkey, UK, Spain, Kenya, Ghana and others.

He said that the carnival, the 12th edition in a row had united the state and Nigeria in general. “We have in Cross River today 13 countries worldwide. The attention of the world is in Cross River today.

Dignitaries at the event include, Mr Donald Duke, former Cross River governor, Senator Godswill Akpabio, former governor of Akwa Ibom, Nollywood actors and actresses, captain of industries, among others.

NTDC Will Push Tourism Sector Forward–Eboka

The acting Director General of the Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation [NTDC] Boniface Eboka has commended the efforts of a private sector, Rapok Production Ventures, Prof Osmond Onyeka who seeks collaboration with the Corporation on its Tourism book launch titled “Redefining Tourism in Nigeria; The Real Issues and Challenges” and has pledge the Corporation’s support of the Tourism book launch.

The NTDC Boss who made this assertion recently during a courtesy visit by the Rapok Ventures Led by Professor Osmond Onyeka said that the Corporation is ready to assist any private sector who is willing to partner with the corporation in the area of tourism development to diversify the Nigeria Economy, and move away from the total dependence on the oil sector.

“I look at the book as going places; NTDC will do everything possible to ensure that the book will be a success story. We at NTDC are working hard to make sure that the tourism industry takes over from the oil industry” he said.

The author, Prof Osmond who has recently paid courtesy call on the Ag DG to explain to him the role the book would play toward the promotion of the tourism sector in the country as well as seeks for assistance in launching the book.

He said, “the book would go a long way to educate the youth on the potentials of tourism which hopefully would take the sector to a greater level in the next five years, if embraced”.

He further said that the book will be presented to the public on February the 14th 2017 . He also explain that there would be mass production of the book which would be sold at a cheap rate or given out to people and children who according to him were the prime target.

In response, The Acting DG reiterated that the Corporation would do everything within its power to ensure that the presentation and launching of the book becomes a success.

He however set up a committee comprising the Management staff of the corporation to liaise with the Rapok venture delegates to work out the modalities and logistics for the successful launching of the book, “the Corporation will ensure that the stakeholders are aware of this development and the existence of this book, he added.

Earlier, the leader of the delegation Professor, Onyeka applauded the Federal Government for the appointment of the current NTDC boss,describing it as timely and most appropriate based on his antecedents as a carrier civil servant.

Furthermore, Prof. Onyeka also expressed his gratitude to the agency and the ministry identifying this creative industry as one sure sub-sector that can drive the economy of the Country.

CRMBG Queen, Anie Releases Stunning Photos At Christmas

[By OBAJI AKPET, Calabar]

Cross River Most Beautiful Girl [CRMBG] queen, Christy Anie on Christmas day lent herself to exclusive stunning photographs to wish her numerous fans and the general public merry Christmas.

CRMG pageant is popular for releasing themed photographs in auspicious occasions.

Last year, under the reigns of Queeneth Onyeduma Awukam the state pageant led a climate change photographic campaign outing that kept the world agape talking about Cross River State, but this time the event decided to go a little mild while their numerous fans awaits the shocker of the current reign.

The sultry photo vixen turned beauty queen also took the center stage of the season of special Christmas wishing to urge the public to take Christmas for what it is supposed to be and spread the appropriate love as exemplified by our Lord and savior Jesus Christ from birth till he paid the supreme prize for humanity that through him all can be saved.

UNWTO Strengthens Its Relationship With The European Union

During a recent visit to Brussels, Belgium, the Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization [UNWTO], Taleb Rifai, has discussed how to reinforce the collaboration of the Organization with the European Union [EU].

Rifai met the EU Commissioners for Education, Culture, Youth and Sports, Tibor Navracsics; for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella; and for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica. Issues such as the links between culture and tourism, the EU Blue Growth Agenda, namely in the areas of oceans and biodiversity, the 2017 International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development and the Sustainable Tourism Goals [SDGs] were in the agenda.

During the visit, Rifai also met the Deputy-Prime Minister of Belgium, Kris Peeters, and, Ben Weyets the Flemish Minister of Mobility and Public Works, the Vlaamse Randa, Tourism and Animal Welfare. Under the auspices of Minister Weyets, UNWTO signed an agreement with the Flanders Department of Foreign Affairs to jointly develop a set of guidelines for tourism on war-related historical sites.

UNWTO welcomes EU-China Year of Tourism

Rifai has also welcomed the EU-China Year of Tourism during his recent participation at the 1st anniversary of the Europe China OBOR Culture & Tourism Development Committee of the Europe-China One Belt One Road initiative.

The event held in Brussels, Belgium, stressed the relevance of tourism and culture in strengthening the links between the European Union and China.

“The Committee works to ensure that the tourism sector within the European Union responds with a unified voice to the immense potential of the Chinese tourism market and the One Belt One Road initiative, one of the largest ever investment plans. The support of UNWTO to the Committee and to the EU-China Year of Tourism in 2018 is of critical value” said István Ujhelyi, President of the Committee.

On the occasion of his visit to Brussels, Rifai also signed an agreement with the Network of European Regions for Competitive and Sustainable Tourism [NECsTouR] to work on several issues including the promotion of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017.

“Bearing in mind UNWTO and NECSTouR common priorities and considering the fruitful cooperation between our organizations, including NECSTouR intention to join UNWTO as an Affiliate Member, this agreement is a natural step. We trust it will generate many valuable opportunities” said the President of NECSTouR, Octavi Bono.