High Level Technical Meeting on Cultural Tourism Brings Region Together
The UNESCO Office in Harare, in collaboration with SADC and AU engaged members states in the Southern Africa region to facilitate the exchange of information on cultural tourism opportunities prevailing in the region ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
On 30 – 31 July 2009, UNESCO, in collaboration with the AU and SADC, held a high-level joint Technical Meeting on Culture and Development at the Rainbow Towers Hotel in Harare. The event was hosted by the government of Zimbabwe and co-ordinated by the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA).
Some 120 government officials, regional economic communities representatives, arts and culture experts and practitioners and other stakeholders from Zimbabwe and the region attended the meeting. The technical meeting was held within the context of 2010 World Cup to be hosted by South Africa, which is expected to attract tourists and world media attention and provide a unique window of opportunity for Africa, particularly the Southern African region to promote and market itself.
In the two day meeting delegates at the AU-SADC-UNESCO Technical Meeting on Culture Tourism and Development accomplished the following:
- Exchanged information on cultural tourism opportunities and creative/cultural industry items during the 2010 World Cup among the SADC Member States to avoid unnecessary competition among the member states and promote their collaboration and cooperation
- Identified concrete communication strategies that would attract public participation and networking in the marketing of cultural/creative industries, and had developed specific cultural/creative industry items or programmes that can be marketed during the World Cup
- Proposed strategies that could develop mid- and long-term strategies to promote the concept of culture for development in both national and sub-regional levels in relation to its close link to the UNESCO Conventions and activities in the field of culture (handicraft, cultural industries, cultural tourism) and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in particular the objectives of poverty reduction (MDG 1), gender equality (MDG 3), environmental sustainability (MDG 7) and economic development of the Member States and of the sub-region.