Mnangagwa opens wildlife summit in Victoria Falls

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By Matabeleland North Correspondent

Victoria Falls: President Emmerson Mnangagwa is this Monday expected to officiate at the inaugural Africa Wildlife Economy Summit where some 500 delegates from across the continent and beyond are expected.

The first ever three-day conference, which is sponsored by the African Union (AU) and United Nations (UN), started Sunday in Victoria Falls and is being held under theme: “Communities for Conservation, Harnessing Conservation Tourism, and Supporting Governments”.

About 13 Heads of State are expected to attend the conference in which President Mnangagwa will be guest speaker.

The President arrived in Victoria Falls on Sunday afternoon where he was welcomed by Environment and Tourism Minister Prisca Mupfumira, Minister of State for Matabeleland North Richard Moyo and other government officials.

Proceedings started with a presidential golf tournament where about 130 participants took part.

President Mnangagwa was supposed to tee-off and was represented by Energy and Power Development Minister Fortune Chasi.

The conference is meant to discuss ideas on the conservation of Africa’s natural environment particularly human and wildlife conflict where most countries have experienced a high rate of attacks on human by wildlife.

Communities in wildlife areas have expressed concern that they lose livestock, crops and their loved ones to wildlife from which they were not benefiting.

A recent wildlife summit of the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA TFCA) in Victoria Falls resolved that countries should adopt a scientific wildlife management system in national parks to be able to harvest or move wildlife without hindrance by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites).

Africa is seeking to consolidate a position on wildlife management ahead of Cites conference in September.

Environment Minister Muchinguri said “all is set for the big conference which puts Zimbabwe on the world map in wildlife and tourism.”