By Byron Mutingwende
The Africa Youth in Tourism Conference to be held from the 19th to the 24th of September 2018 in Bulawayo seeks to foster tourism development and innovation on the African continent.
The Africa Youth in Tourism Conference is the brainchild of the Zimbabwe Youth in Tourism and this will be the second time hosting the Conference by the country.
“As the Director General for Zimbabwe Youth in Tourism (ZYT), I want to assure all of you that Zimbabwe Youth in Tourism is more than convinced that, if the youths are given an opportunity to express their innovations and ideas they can forge and advocate for effective changes in the tourism industry. This will in turn play a significant and positive impact upon global tourism.
“As Zimbabweans, we take pride in the work we have done, and in the progress we have made: and we take pride in the clean bill of travel health enjoyed by destination Zimbabwe and in our unbroken 33 year tourist-safety record,” said Stewart Mutizwa, the ZYT Director.
The ZYT offers a youth pioneering environment and tourism and sustainability tourism and seeks to develop sustainable youth business that aids in the empowerment, employment creation and poverty eradication in Zimbabwe and eventually Africa at large.
It is creating opportunities for the young people of Zimbabwe in the Tourism sector by participating in matters of sustainable development and environmental conservation.
The institution coordinates and fosters the activities of all youth groups and individuals involved in the afore-mentioned industries.
The Africa Youth in Tourism Conference intends to address issues to do with Youth funding for tourism projects, visa restrictions and poor inter-departmental collaboration regarding licences and challenges faced by the student bodies across the country and Africa.
“Univisa is the way to go in African countries. Zimbabwe is Open for Business, we need people to invest in Youth. Investment opportunities must also be availed to the youth.”
Priscah Mupfumira, the minster of tourism and hospitality industry said the importance of young people cannot be over-emphasized in any given economy.
“Globally, youths are regarded as special vehicles to both social and economic development. Recently, I attended the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Commission for Africa (CAF) in Abuja, Nigeria, where the emphasis was on empowering women and youths to ensure sustainable development. At the same meeting, the Secretary General of the (UNWTO) also stressed the need to have a culture of hosting mega events, as an important aspect of tourism development, and the forthcoming Youth In Tourism Conference is just but one of such mega events,” Mupfumira said.
The Africa Agenda 2063 speaks of expanded horizons where full potential for both women and youths should be realised for the development of nations. In that regard, there is need to empower young men and women accordingly, across all sectors of the economy, including tourism.
Recently, President Mnangagwa launched the Youth Empowerment Bank barely a week after the launch of the Zimbabwe Women Micro Financing Bank.
“This is a clear indication that the Government of Zimbabwe is seriously committed to empowering both young men and women of this country. It is, indeed, the vision that His Excellency, the President, has set for us as a nation going forward.
“Creating a platform for young men and women across the entire Continent to dialogue, share ideas and experiences, should be commended. Youths with a sense of belonging and responsibility are more of constructive citizens. The Government does not just recognise the potential of young people as leaders of tomorrow, but is also cognisant of their role as positive change agents for socio-economic development. We need to nurture our youths to play a critical role in eradicating poverty and participate fully in the development of societies through different platforms,” Mupfumira added.