UN Tourism to Host First Gastronomy Tourism Forum in Africa

UN Tourism to Host First Gastronomy Tourism Forum in Africa

The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) will host its first Regional Forum on Gastronomy Tourism for Africa. This event aims to promote gastronomy tourism as a catalyst for sustainable and inclusive growth in the region. The forum will take place in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, from July 26 to 28, 2024.

Under the patronage of Zimbabwe’s First Lady, Dr. Auxillia C. Mnangagwa, and co-organized with the Basque Culinary Center, the forum will focus on leveraging gastronomy for community and regional development. This event will bring together African Tourism Ministers, FAO representatives, and other key stakeholders.

Developing a Strategy for African Gastronomy Tourism

The forum will align with the UNWTO’s agenda of “Tourism for Inclusive Growth.” Discussions will center on creating a roadmap for African Gastronomy Tourism. Topics include developing strategies to elevate African gastronomy globally and crafting policies to boost gastronomy tourism as a development driver. The forum will also feature technical visits to various regional locations.

Innovation will play a significant role. Entrepreneurs will present scalable solutions during a pitch challenge to tackle regional gastronomy and tourism issues. Keynotes and panel discussions will highlight sustainable gastronomy practices, focusing on local sourcing and reducing food waste.

Supporting Rural Development and Advancing Skills

Prominent chefs and experts, such as Chef Fatmata Binta, UNWTO Ambassador for Responsible Tourism, will showcase their initiatives. Representatives from the Ghana Food Movement, Nigerian Chef Adenike Adefila, Chefs in Africa (Rwanda), and Tunisian Chef Mounir El Arem will discuss their impact on local communities. Their presentations will emphasize fostering education, skills, and positive change through gastronomy tourism.


On the forum’s sidelines, the UNWTO Youth Photo Contest, “A Journey through Zimbabwe’s Gastronomy,” will take place. This contest will allow Zimbabwean communities to share their unique culinary heritage. The call for participation runs from June 10 to July 1.

Zimbabwe’s Commitment to Sustainable Tourism

Zimbabwe’s dedication to promoting gastronomy as a key tourism pillar is evident through initiatives endorsed by the First Lady. Since 2019, the Regional Traditional Gastronomy Festival has been an annual event. Zimbabwe has also actively participated in previous World Forum on editions, demonstrating its ongoing commitment to this sector.

This Regional Forum will be a landmark event, setting the stage for future growth and development in the region’s gastronomy tourism industry.