Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA)’s National Convention Bureau executive director Tesa Chikaponya has hailed the strong ties that bind Zimbabwe and India through cultural exchange programmes that enhance business exchange between the two countries.
Chikaponya, who is the head of the Zimbabwean delegation at the 2017 edition of the on-going 10-day Sangani Festival in Imhal, Manipur State, hailed Indian ambassador to Zimbabwe, Rungsung Masakui, for his efforts to build ties between the two countries.
She said such cultural exchange programmes attracted investment in the leisure and tourism sectors.
“Cultural exchange programmes bring a lot of advantages to countries, among them the improvement of the way we do business, as we share notes that help to develop lines of business, be it in the arts or tourism sector and any other sectors which can, therefore, improve our economy,” she said.
“For our artistes, it gives them the much-needed exposure and opportunities to share notes with international artistes, which also helps them to grow their careers as professional performers who are good ambassadors in the communities.”
Chikaponya said cultural exchange events help to market destinations, which helps to grow the economy, adding that they also benefit communities.
“If we attend more of such festivals, it will help us in terms of organising our own events such as the Harare International Carnival, among others,” she said, calling on government and the corporate sector to bankroll such events.
Traditional dance troupe, Hwamanda, a beneficiary of the cultural exchange programme, was invited to participate at the festival, which is an annual cultural extravaganza hosted by the government of Manipur.
The outfit will tonight stage their second performance at the Sanganai Festival after performing at a two-day international dance festival in Ahmedabad, which was part of the World Heritage Week commemorations.
Meanwhile, ZTA has withdrawn Barbra Mzembi’s licence over a long-running dispute over the Miss Zimbabwe pageant whose finals were scheduled for December 9.
The pageant has been postponed indefinitely.