The Forum will be held in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, on 26-28 July 2024. Hosted under the patronage of the First Lady of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Her Excellency Dr. Auxillia C. Mnangagwa, and co-organized with Basque Culinary Center, it aims to harness the transformative power of gastronomy tourism for the benefit of local communities and territories in the African continent.

Developing a strategy for African Gastronomy

With gastronomy tourism as one of the pillars of the UN Tourism Agenda for Africa – Tourism for Inclusive Growth, the Forum aims to build towards a roadmap for a common agenda for African Gastronomy Tourism. African Tourism Ministers and the FAO Representative in Zimbabwe will take part in discussions on developing a strategy to propel African gastronomy onto the global stage, how to build adequate polices to enhance gastronomy tourism and enhance its role as a driver of development. In addition to forum discussions, the event will include organized technical visits to various locations throughout the region.

Highlighting the importance of innovation, the Forum will include a pitch challenge where entrepreneurs will present scalable solutions to address regional challenges in the gastronomy and tourism value chains. Additionally, keynotes and panel discussions will emphasize sustainable practices in gastronomy tourism, exploring topics such as local sourcing and minimizing food waste.

Supporting rural development and progressing skills and education

At the Forum, Experts and chefs, including Chef Fatmata Binta, UN Tourism Ambassador for Responsible Tourism, representatives from the Ghana Food Movement, Chef Adenike Adefila from Nigeria, Chefs in Africa (Rwanda), and Chef Mounir El Arem from Tunisia, will present their initiatives and discuss their impact on local communities, emphasizing their role in fostering positive change and progressing education and skills.

On the sidelines of the Forum, the UN Tourism Youth Photo Contest titled "A Journey through Zimbabwe´s Gastronomy" will offer Zimbabwean communities a unique opportunity to express their perspective and capture the essence of Zimbabwe's gastronomic heritage. The call for participation will open from 10 June to 1 July.

Highest level support for tourism in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe’s engagement towards positioning gastronomy as a key pillar for the sustainable development of tourism in Africa has been showcased through the launch of several initiatives endorsed by Zimbabwe’s First Lady as the National Tourism Patron, such as the Regional Traditional Gastronomy Festival taking place every year since 2019. Zimbabwe has also been an active participant in previous editions of the World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism.

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The World Tourism Organization (UN Tourism) is the United Nations agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism.

As the leading international organization in the field of tourism, UN Tourism promotes tourism as a driver of economic growth, inclusive development and environmental sustainability and offers leadership and support to the sector in advancing knowledge and tourism policies worldwide.

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Mainstreaming tourism in the global agenda: Advocating the value of tourism as a driver of socio-economic growth and development, its inclusion as a priority in national and international policies and the need to create a level playing field for the sector to develop and prosper.

Promoting sustainable tourism development: Supporting sustainable tourism policies and practices: policies which make optimal use of environmental resources, respect the socio-cultural authenticity of host communities and provide socio-economic benefits for all.

Fostering knowledge, education and capacity building: Supporting countries to assess and address their needs in education and training, as well as providing networks for knowledge creation and exchange.

Improving tourism competitiveness: Improving UN Tourism Members' competitiveness through knowledge creation and exchange, human resources development and the promotion of excellence in areas such as policy planning, statistics and market trends, sustainable tourism development, marketing and promotion, product development and risk and crisis management.

Advancing tourism's contribution to poverty reduction and development: Maximizing the contribution of tourism to poverty reduction and achieving the SDGs by making tourism work as a tool for development and promoting the inclusion of tourism in the development agenda.

Building partnerships: Engaging with the private sector, regional and local tourism organizations, academia and research institutions, civil society and the UN system to build a more sustainable, responsible and competitive tourism sector.

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Members: An intergovernmental organization, UN Tourism has 160 Member States, 6 Associate Members, 2 Observers and over 500 Affiliate Members.

Organs: The General Assembly is the supreme organ of the Organization. The Executive Council take all measures, in consultation with the Secretary-General, for the implementation of the decisions and recommendations of the General Assembly and reports to the Assembly.

Secretariat: UN Tourism headquarters are based in Madrid, Spain. The Secretariat is led by the Secretary-General and organized into departments covering issues such as sustainability, education, tourism trends and marketing, sustainable development, statistics and the Tourism Satellite Account (TSA), destination management, ethics and risk and crisis management. The Technical Cooperation and Silk Road Department carries out development projects in over 100 countries worldwide, while the Regional Departments for Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific, Europe and the Middle East serve as the link between UN Tourism and its 160 Member States. The Affiliate Members Department represents UN Tourism's 500 plus Affiliate members.

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