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President to launch Great Zimbabwe tourism project

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President to launch Great Zimbabwe tourism project


President Mnangagwa is today expected to launch the three million euro Great Zimbabwe Development Project for the rehabilitation and development of the World Heritage Site in Masvingo.

This will see the country accruing maximum benefit from the tourism spectacle by creating inter-linkages with the national economy.

The project is a partnership between Government and the French Development Agency (AFD) and will seek to promote sustainable and inclusive tourism development and cultural heritage of Zimbabwe through improving conservation and capacity to manage the World Heritage Site.

It will be implemented by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS).

The development dovetails with targets set by President Mnangagwa’s administration under the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS 1) to expand benefits from the tourism sector by moving beyond traditional tourism.

Key components of the development project expected to be rolled out over three years are documentation and conservation, development of interpretation and visitor facilities, commercial management and marketing of the site together with community-based and territorial level management solutions.

National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe (NMMZ) Masvingo regional manager Mr Lovemore Mandima yesterday said President Mnangagwa will launch the project at Great Zimbabwe Monuments at an event that will also be graced by French Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Laurent Chevallier.

“The Great Zimbabwe Development Project will run for three years and can even be extended depending on the availability of additional funding.

“There are possibilities for more funding, but so far the French Development Agency is sponsoring to the tune of €3 million,” said Mr Mandima.

In a Press release yesterday, UNOPS said that a cultural hub will be developed under the project to highlight the Shona culture through empowerment of women and youths.

UNOPS added that the Great Zimbabwe Development Project will also upgrade visitor experience at the World Heritage Site to international standards.

Under the project, UNOPS and NMMZ will be closely working with UNESCO, the custodian of the Great Zimbabwe World Heritage Site.

It is hoped that the history of Zimbabwe’s cultural heritage will be preserved for the benefit of future generations by rolling out the Great Zimbabwe Development project.

Tourism development at Great Zimbabwe is also expected to accrue positive spin-offs to other tourist attraction sites within the World Heritage Site’s immediate environment.

Great Zimbabwe was granted World Heritage Site status by UNESCO in 1986.

Zimbabwe draws its name from the historic citadel of the country’s civilisation, which is believed to have been built at the peak of the Munhumutapa Empire around the 11th and the 12th centuries.Herald



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