Good relations and investment with Zimbabwe: One man triggered change

Good relations and investment with Zimbabwe: One man triggered change
Published: 31 October 2017 (3605 Views)
HARARE - Tourism has a lot to do with it. There is more than one good reason why the world should rethink foreign relations with Zimbabwe? The time window for safe investments in Zimbabwe with big returns on the horizon may be the next insider opportunity.

This is what can happen to a country when a highly educated man with a global view and a background on world tourism is put in charge of the foreign ministry. This man is Dr. Walter Mzembi, and the country is Zimbabwe.

As the former Minister of Tourism and Hospitality, he narrowly lost the election for Secretary General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) this year, and despite all the stumbling blocks his country faces which have put it on sanction lists in Europe and North America, this man with his humbled and forward-looking attitude, with his refreshing way of resolving problems, has been able to make friends all over the world.

Instead of denying western concerns, he is going about addressing and correcting issues one by one and effectively.

Zimbabwe is an important player in international relations. This peaceful African country could play a big role in global security. A stable Africa is important to help in the European refugee crisis. Despite Zimbabwe's extreme economic challenges, it has untapped resources and motvated people ready to be part of a better future.

Dr. Walter Mzembi, the new Foreign Minister of Zimbabwe was just appointed - and this may be a blessing for this often deeply religious dominant Christian country.

Mzembi showed his qualifications to the world when, for the last year, he tirelessly traveled the globe spreading a message of openness and friendship. Mzembi understands the role tourism can play in world politics, in a world economy, and in maintaining stability and peace. His single-handed approach has helped his country to slowly re-position itself in a positive light.

Mzembi was one of the longest-serving and most respected Ministers of Tourism for 10 years and understand geopolitics.

It is more important than anything for Zimbabwe to overcome its challenging past. Dr. Mzembi is a global citizen, but he is also a patriot.

He already managed through his UNWTO campaign to slowly change the way his country is seen, and he has been on this mission non-stop. His wife, who is originally from Cuba, has been standing by his side throughout it all.

Mzembi is a youthful-looking man who understands global politics and is very well aware of the perception his country has in the world. He understands the history and what the world thinks about human rights abuses in his country, and the many other challenges.

Dr. Mzembi wants to move forward. He has made friends in high places and was a welcome guest during his tourism term in countries that don't view Zimbabwe as a friend.

He told eTN yesterday, "I am very relaxed but extremely busy."

This must be an understatement. The recent conflict when the World Health Organization (WHO) appointed Zimbabwe's controversial President Mugabe to become their ambassador, reminded the world again of everything negative Zimbabwe went through, and WHO quickly reversed this honor.

Instead of getting upset, Dr. Mzembi managed this crisis quietly, professionally, and is moving forward. This is what he should do. The world has no time to dwell on such petty issues.

Last week, Dr. Mzembi welcomed five new ambassadors to Zimbabwe: Mr. Cho Jai-Chel of South Korea, Mrs. Barbara Van Hellemond of the Netherlands, Mr. George Marcantonatos of Greece, Mr. Rene Cremonese of Canada, and Mrs. Janet Bessong Odeka of Nigeria.

He told the ambassadors, "I have been mandated, going forward, to seek and open new frontiers.

"We will be in the global marketplaces, and we can only succeed with the diplomatic thrust if we put our citizens on the agenda and integrate them. They are vibrant and an essential element for turning around the economy." Dr. Mzembi said the country boasted a vibrant diaspora that was critical to the country's economic development.

Mzembi told local media: "We will be seeking to reconnect with them and facilitate their participation in the economic activities that will be taking place in the country, and if you add up the three thrusts - rapprochement, re-engagement, and opening new frontiers - they are going to integrate into an economic diplomacy that seeks to unlock value for the future."

Dr. Mzembi said he would be embarking on a dynamic public diplomacy thrust where citizen diplomacy would play an active role. "As Foreign (Affairs) Minister, I will keep an open-door policy in all our engagements," he said.

"Please feel free to call on me before dispatching your reports to your respective capitals," he told the ambassadors. It is imperative, said Dr. Mzembi, to outlaw hate speech if the country is to build bridges with other countries. "Hate speech is disastrous for nation-building," he said, adding, "We need to cultivate and inculcate a culture of love by bringing our people as close to each other as possible."

Diplomacy entails dialogue, hence there is the need to keep a dialogue going at all times, said Minister Mzembi. All the new diplomats have pledged to continue nurturing bilateral relations between their countries and Zimbabwe.

"Zimbabwe has heightened economic and diplomatic efforts to make the country the most attractive foreign investment destination while keeping an open-door policy for engagements." These are the words and most likely the vision of the newly-appointed Foreign Affairs Minister, Dr. Walter Mzembi.

The feedback is: Dr. Mzembi is the best hope and best man Zimbabwe has to re-introduce this country back to the entire global community, to secure investments needed to bring stability, and to bring prosperity to Zimbabwe and the region as a whole.

- EINPresswire


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