President Nana Akufo-Addo and Robert Mugabe
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has obviously fallen in love with Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo.
Interacting with journalists in Accra moments before his departure from Accra after attending Ghana’s 60th Independence anniversary celebration, President Mugabe said, “Here is the man I could relate to.”
After listening to him [Akufo-Addo] deliver his speech during the independence parade at the famous Black Star Square in Accra Monday, President Mugabe said he could not but tell President Akufo-Addo, “Thank you for making Nkrumah great.”
According to him, he saw in Akufo-Addo the spirit of Ghana’s first President – Dr Kwame Nkrumah, whose “strong and revolutionary ideas” led to the country’s independence on March 6, 1957.
“It just struck me. That speech goes quite deep into history – the history Nkrumah used to tell us. When he was reading his speech and there was reference to Nkrumah… You don’t refer to Nkrumah if you don’t believe in him,” President Mugabe told journalists.
He considers his personal relationship and that of his country to Ghana, more of brotherhood, recalling with nostalgia, memories of the time he spent in Ghana in his early days as a young man at the Achimota School, from where he came to acquire knowledge and eventually got married to a Ghanaian lady [his first wife], Sally Hayford.
After several years of close relations with Ghana, he said, “I will come for Fufu here. I’m carrying some yam, cassava and plantain with me and I’ve told my present wife to pound them.”
Zimbabwe Eyes UNWTO Post
In another development, Mr Mugabe and his fellow African leaders are pushing for the candidature of Zimbabwean Minister of Tourism, Dr Walter Mzembi, for the Secretary-General position of United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).
Speaking to journalists in Accra, Dr Mzembi said, “My vision is for a UNWTO which is responsive to member states’ aspirations for a global tourism that is inclusive, integrative, tolerant, responsible, empowering, equitable, sustainable and an effective tool for public diplomacy.
“My mission is to achieve universal state, improve affiliate and associate membership to the UNWTO, advocate for greater intra and inter-regional collaboration, safe, secure, seamless travel, and strive for double digit regional tourism growth and equity.”
Mr Mzembi noted that equally important is the need to grow affiliate and associate membership to levels commensurate with sectoral growth.
On the issue of inclusivity, the Zimbabwean Minister said he aspires to embark on a ‘Tourism for all’ campaign; for the right of every individual to enjoy barrier-free travel and product access around the globe, regardless of physical challenges, age, gender, colour or creed.
He also aims at developing a value proposition that meets member states’ aspirations beyond the current technical policy functions, giving emphasis to networking and partnerships for tourism resource mobilisation and developmental needs.
Mzembi is a firm believer in sensitivity to emerging contemporary challenges that include inter alia; security, terrorism, political conditions, pandemics, epidemics, climate change, human trafficking, child sexual abuse and embracing ICT solutions, promoting policies that foster growth with equity, equal treatment and equitable resource allocation to member states, sign posting tourism contribution to Global GDP from 10% to 15% during his tenure.
Should he win the position, the man intends to lobby and advocate for intelligent taxation, safe, secure and seamless travel through Open Skies, Open Borders and security sensitive policies while leveraging on tourism as a tool for sound inter- and intra-state relations, tolerance, citizen engagement and deployment of soft power in the resolution of contemporary challenges to promote peace, social harmony and understanding.
By Charles Takyi-Boadu, Presidential Correspondent