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August 11, 2020

UNWTO Secretary General election: African Union urges Alain St.Ange to withdraw

One African Candidate is the message for the African Union to the upcoming election for a UNWTO Secretary General. Questioning the move to have a second candidate by the Seychelles has caused great confusion. It triggered an urgent call fir the African Union to appeal to the Republic of the Seychelles to withdraw the candidature of Alain St.Ange.

Her Excellency, Dr Amani Abou-Zeit, the African Union Commissioner for Infrastructure, Energy,and Tourism  from Ethiopia submitted this urgent letter to the ministers in charge of tourism from the following African countries: Congo, Uganda, Ethiopia, Cameroon, Sierra Leone, Zambia, Ghana, Morocco, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Niger, Kenya, Gambia, Benin, Burkina Faso, Sudan, Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo. They met on the sidelines of the 59th UNWTO Regional Commission for Africa in Ethiopia from 18-19 April 2017, to deliberate on the candidature and deployment of Hon. Dr. Walter Mzembi to contest the post of Secretary General of the UNWTO.

The Ministers noted the importance of Africa voting as a bloc through its representatives in the Executive Council constitutes by Angola, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Seychelles, Tunisia, Morocco, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa, and Zambia.

In order to maximize Africa’s chances to win this important post, Africa should remain united behind the candidature of Hon. Dr. Walter Mzembi, whose candidature was unanimously endorsed by the Southern African Development Community and African Union Summits in March 2017 in Gaborone, Botswana, and in July 2016 in Kigali, Rwanda, respectively.

The Minsters are concerned with emergence of Mr. Allen St.Ange from Seychelles as a candidate cognizant of the fact that Seychelles participated in all the processes of SADC and the AU to reach the decision for a single African candidate in the person of Hon. Dr. Walter Mzembi.

At our meeting with your esteemed self as the African Union Commissioner for Infrastructure, Energy, and Tourism, on 20 April 2017, we agreed to escalate the matter to the Chairperson of the AU Commission in order for him to raise the matter officially with the Government of the Republic of Seychelles, and share with it the disadvantage of having another candidate coming from Africa contrary to the consensus decision of the African Union Heads of States and Governments. It is envisaged that with support from the other regions, and a solid vote by African countries in the Executive Council, the African Union candidate stands a better chance to win this position.

By this letter, we are therefore appealing to the Chairperson of the African Union Commission to approach the Republic of the Seychelles to put the interest of Africa first and to withdraw their candidature and work with Hon. Dr. Walter Mzembi in order for Africa to enhance its chances of winning this position.

We thank you in advance for your urgent attention to this matter in view of the fact that the election are to take place in Madrid, Spain from 11-12 May 2017.

Signed by C.R. Banda,
Minister of Tourism and Arts of the Republic of Zambia
Authorized signatory on behalf of the Ministers responsible for Tourism listed above.


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