Today’s cabinet shuffle in South Africa may also shuffle cards in the upcoming election for the UNWTO Secretary General.
South Africa is a key member of the United Nations World Tourism Organization Executive Council and is known as an influencer on the African continent. This very much also counts for the travel, tourism, hospitality, and the aviation industry.
The UNWTO Secretary General election is decided by the members of the UNWTO Executive Council. From Africa, members of the UNWTO Executive Council are the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Mozambique, Seychelles, South Africa, Tunisia, and Zambia.
There are currently two very capable and widely-liked candidates from Africa competing for the highest post in the United Nations World Tourism Organization. One is Alain St.Ange, the former Minister of Tourism from the Seychelles, and two is Walter Mzembi, the current Minister of Tourism and Hospitality from Zimbabwe.
One is from a country with a message to the world: “We are friends of all, enemies of none,” and the other candidate has a global mindset and is well liked, has an excellent reputation, but comes from a country with big current challenges, but possibly excellent opportunities tomorrow.
The Hon. Walter Mzembi from Zimbabwe was endorsed by the African Union as Africa’s choice for UNWTO before Alain St.Ange entered the race.
Former South African Minister of Tourism Derek Hanekom, a white South African, had an excellent relationship with UNWTO candidate Alain St.Ange, a white African from the Indian Ocean island nation, the Republic of the Seychelles.
Today, in a South African cabinet shuffle, Tourism Minister Mr. Hanekom was replaced with Mrs. Tokzile Xasa, a black South African. According to eTN sources, Mrs. Xasa is very much respected in Zimbabwe, and she is known to have a good relationship with UNWTO candidate Walter Mzembi from Zimbabwe.
The shift created by this South African cabinet posts may very well have an influence in sympathies for the upcoming election to the UNWTO Secretary General post, and may hae an impact on Africa and beyond.