Lai Mohammed Appointed As Special Advisor To UNWTO Secretary-General
Lai Mohammed's Historic Appointment as UNWTO Special Advisor Marks a Milestone for African Tourism Development
In a historic move aimed at harnessing Africa’s vast tourism potential, Zurab Pololikashvili, the secretary-general of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), has appointed Nigeria’s former minister of information, Lai Mohammed, as his special advisor.
The momentous announcement was made during the opening session of the 66th UNWTO Commission for Africa (CAF) currently taking place in the beautiful island nation of Mauritius.
With this appointment, Lai Mohammed assumes a pivotal role in supporting the secretary-general’s vision of elevating Africa to a prominent position in the global tourism economy, driven by the transformative “Agenda for Africa program.”
Overwhelmed by the honor bestowed upon him, Lai Mohammed expressed his gratitude and acknowledged the significance of being the first Nigerian to hold this prestigious position. In his speech at the CAF event, he stated, “I stand before you, deeply touched and inspired by your generous words of confidence and trust.
“With so much gratitude for the confidence placed in me by the Secretary-General of the United Nations World Tourism Organization, Mr. Zurab Pololikashvili, and with an unswerving resolve to honor that trust, I humbly accept the appointment as the Special Advisor on Tourism to the Secretary-General of this great organization.”
“I am deeply honored to become the first Nigerian to serve in this capacity. Nigeria is dynamic and diverse in terms of natural and human resources in the areas of tourism, culture, creative industries, technology, and other aspects of our national economy.
“Having come so far and rising still, the Nigeria and Africa region, in general, is living and shaping the full range of achievements and challenges of our current times. It is therefore inspiring to take on more responsibilities that will guide the development of tourism in a more responsible and sustainable manner.”
Zurab Pololikashvili, the visionary leader of the UNWTO, expressed his confidence in Lai Mohammed’s capabilities to play a pivotal role in realizing the organization’s ambitious goals for the continent.
Pololikashvili believes that Mohammed’s wealth of experience and dedication to public service will be instrumental in driving Africa’s tourism agenda forward and fostering fruitful collaborations between nations.
The appointment of Lai Mohammed comes at a crucial juncture when the global tourism industry is rebounding from the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. With Africa poised to take a leading role in the post-pandemic tourism revival, the appointment sends a strong message of unity and determination to leverage tourism as a catalyst for sustainable development on the continent.
As the UNWTO Commission for Africa continues its deliberations, stakeholders are eagerly anticipating the implementation of transformative initiatives that will propel Africa to the forefront of the global tourism landscape.
With Lai Mohammed assuming his new role as the Special Advisor on Tourism, Africa looks forward to a brighter, more inclusive, and sustainable future for its tourism industry.