Zimbabwe Takes Gastronomy Tourism to New Heights: Honorable Minister Rwodzi Unveils Visionary Plans

In a stirring address at the Community Provincial Traditional Cookout Competitions, Honorable Minister Rwodzi heralded Zimbabwe’s burgeoning gastronomy tourism sector, setting forth a vision of culinary excellence and economic empowerment. The event, a cornerstone of gastronomy tourism development, served as a platform to showcase Zimbabwe’s rich cultural heritage and culinary diversity to the world.

Honorable Minister Rwodzi commenced by extolling the visionary goals articulated by His Excellency, the President of Zimbabwe, to propel the nation towards an empowered upper middle-income economy by 2030. Integral to this vision is the recognition of Zimbabwe’s unique heritage, encompassing its rich tapestry of minerals, plants, animals, water, and climate. Minister Rwodzi emphasized the pivotal role of gastronomy in harnessing and celebrating this heritage, underscoring its potential as a catalyst for societal well-being and economic growth.

Acknowledging the instrumental role played by Her Excellency, the First Lady, Dr. A. Mnangagwa, Honorable Minister Rwodzi credited her visionary leadership for the inception and expansion of the Traditional Cookout programme. What began as a modest initiative has blossomed into a national spectacle, spanning from grassroots community events to prestigious international forums. The Minister lauded the First Lady’s tireless efforts in championing Zimbabwean cuisine on the global stage, which have earned the nation accolades and invitations to prominent gastronomy tourism events worldwide.

Building on this momentum, Zimbabwe recently hosted its inaugural SADC Regional Gastronomy competitions, attracting participants from eight countries across the region. This milestone event showcased Zimbabwe’s culinary prowess and cultural vibrancy to a diverse international audience, further solidifying its position as a hub for gastronomy tourism in Africa.

Looking ahead, Honorable Minister Rwodzi unveiled ambitious plans for Zimbabwe to host the first-ever UN Tourism Africa Gastronomy Showcase in Victoria Falls. Scheduled for July 26 to 28, 2024, this landmark event will provide a platform for African nations to spotlight their traditional cuisines and foster cross-cultural exchange. Honorable Minister Rwodzi expressed confidence that the showcase would catapult Zimbabwe onto the global gastronomy tourism map, opening new avenues for economic growth and cultural exchange.

In tandem with these initiatives, Honorable Minister Rwodzi announced groundbreaking collaborations with UN Tourism to establish a dedicated academy in Victoria Falls. The academy will offer scholarships to 100 students in tourism-related disciplines, equipping them with the skills and knowledge to excel in Zimbabwe’s burgeoning tourism sector.

Furthermore, Honorable Minister Rwodzi underscored the importance of inclusivity in gastronomy tourism, unveiling plans to introduce new competition categories to accommodate students, professional chefs, and community participants. By fostering a spirit of inclusivity and accessibility, Zimbabwe aims to ensure that all segments of society can partake in and benefit from the country’s gastronomic heritage.

In closing, Honorable Minister Rwodzi extended gratitude to all stakeholders involved in organizing the event and commended the participants for their dedication and creativity. As Zimbabwe gears up for the National Finals Cookout Competitions, Honorable Minister Rwodzi urged continued commitment to excellence, affirming that gastronomy tourism will play a pivotal role in realizing Zimbabwe’s vision of prosperity and growth.

With bold initiatives and visionary leadership, Zimbabwe stands poised to emerge as a global leader in gastronomy tourism, captivating the world with its rich culinary tapestry and cultural heritage.

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