First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa

First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa has been appointed the patron of Women in Tourism, an organisation that seeks to increase women’s participation in the tourism and hospitality industry.

Yesterday, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Mr Munesuishe Munodawafa said the ministry was excited to bring on board the First Lady as the patron of Women in Tourism.

“She brings a wealth of experience. She is not knew in the tourism industry. She will bring the much-needed depth and vision to give women a bigger and meaningful stake in tourism.

“The formation of the Women in Tourism National Chapter was long-overdue. Women in Zimbabwe are known to be hard working and given the opportunity, they can do wonders and make a difference.

“What was required is to get organised and have a standing structure to proffer an effective channel of communication in order to promote and inspire entrepreneurship in the tourism sector,’’ said Mr Munodawafa.

The First Lady is expected to officially launch a Women’s Desk in the ministry on Monday, as she hits the ground running.

Globally, Women in Tourism has been escalated to a higher level whereupon member states are being encouraged to come up with defined structures by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).

A Women Empowerment Initiative for Africa was tabled at the UNWTO Commission for Africa Meeting, which was held in Abuja, Nigeria in June 2018, where African ministers responsible for tourism were in attendance.

As Zimbabwe, and in line with the pronouncement by the Constitution of Zimbabwe Chapter 18, which seeks to promote gender equality and encourage women’s participation in the national economy, the Ministry of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry decided to assist women who are into tourism and its value chain to come up with an association to represent them.

These would then be distributed to provinces to add their inputs before coming up with the final constitution. The interim committee, together with the ministry was tasked to come up with provincial chapters for the Women in Tourism Association.herald