The inaugural African Union (AU) United Nations (UN) Africa Wildlife Economy Summit in Victoria Falls has kicked off with the presidential gold tournament which attracted 22 teams.

The Minister of Energy and Power Development, Advocate Fortune Chasi, who had the pleasure of officiating at the ceremonial teeing-off ceremony, highlighted the importance of harnessing sports tourism in creating jobs and boosting earnings for the tourism sector.

“Today’s event is a landmark in as far as the drive to promote sports tourism is concerned. The government will continue to come up with innovative products for the tourism sector,” he said.

Zimbabwe Golf Association President, Mr Mufaro Chiwoniwoni said with magnificent golf courses such as the Elephant Hills course, Zimbabwe should leverage on sports tourism in order to promote the destination and ensure increased tourists’ traffic into the country.

“We need to invest in development of competitive facilities as part of efforts to unlock the potential of sports tourism,” he said Mr Chiwoniwoni.

The inaugural Africa wildlife summit presidential golf tournament was graced by ministers, captains of industry, junior golfers, environmentalists and diplomats from different parts of the continent.

Proceeds from the golf tournament, which was played on a four better ball stableford format, are set to be channeled towards the Kavango Zambezi (KAZA) schools golf development programme.

The tournament was also meant to promote sustainable tourism and environmental stewardship.