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July 28, 2017

UNWTO Africa Chair Mzembi reaches out to Italy’s minister of cultural heritage and tourism


The earthquake today was very much a shock and strike against the travel and tourism industry in Italy during the peak of their high season travel period.

The outspoken candidate circling the Earth to become the next UNWTO secretary general is showing global leadership again today. Walter Mzembi, who also is the current chair for the UNWTO Commission for Africa (CAF) took the initiative while attending an event in Kenya to reach out to the people of Italy and their tourism industry leaders.

He had a letter delivered to His Excellency Dr. Dario Franceschini today, following the devastating earthquake claiming more than 120 lives in Central Italy.

The letter reads:

His Excellency Dr Dario Franceschini
Minister of Culture and Tourism
Ministry of Culture and Tourism
Via dell Collegio Romano
27 Roma 00186
ITALY

Your Excellency,

I write, on behalf of all members of the UNWTO Commission for Africa (CAF) – which I have the honour to Chair – to extend to you our collective heartfelt sympathy and most sincere condolences for the tragic loss of life and terrible injuries inflicted upon the Community of Amatrice and many other towns and villages within the Umbria region of Central Italy, following the devastating earthquake of 23 August.
No words can bring adequate comfort to those who have lost loved ones or whose homes and livelihoods have been destroyed by this disaster, but please know that you are all in our thoughts and prayers at this most challenging and difficult of times.

You will recall, Excellency, during the 60th Regional Commission for Europe, I highlighted, on behalf of Africa, the need to expand the definition of insecurity to include natural disasters of different kinds prevalent in our different regions – which often claim more lives than conventional threats such as terrorism – and, in this regard, the need for us to adopt a holistic mitigation strategy.

In the hope of meeting you again in the near future and of continuing our discussion on the search for effective mitigation solutions, I once again extend my deepest condolences and sympathies to all those affected by the recent earthquake.

Please also accept, Excellency, my most sincere best wishes.
Yours faithfully,
Walter Mzembi (Phd)

Minister of Tourism and the Hospitality Industry
Republic of Zimbabwe
Chairperson

UNWTO Commission for Africa
c.c. Her Excellency Dr Dorina Bianchi
Deputy Minister of Culture and Tourism
Ministry of Culture and Tourism
Rome – Italy

c.c. His Excellency Dr Enrico de Agostini
Ambassador of the Republic of Italy
Harare – Zimbabwe

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