Awards Committee

Awards Co - Chair persons

Devota Mdachi

Lecturer, Ag. Head Of Events Department, National College of Tourism, Tanzania

Givemore Chidzidzi

Co-Chairperson Africa Tourism Leadership Awards, Zimbabwe

Awards Auditor

Christelle Grohmann

Christelle Grohmann

Director, BDO Advisory, South Africa

Awards Committee members

Tshepiso Mganga

Chief Executive, City & Safari International, Botswana

Susan Ongalo

Chief Executive, Kenya Tourism Federation, Kenya

Yasmine Fofana

Communication Consultant, Culinary Content Creator, Cote D'Ivoire

Barry Clemens

Group Chief Executive Officer - Hospitality EQ

Gumbo Mbelwa Mhandeni

Founder and CEO, Experiential Travel Africa, Tanzania

Naledi K. Khabo

CEO, Africa Tourism Association, USA

Devota Mdachi

Lecturer, Ag. Head Of Events Department, National College of Tourism, Tanzania

Devota Kasanda Mdachi is a name which is well known in Tanzania, especially in the Tourism Industry for the role she played in seeing that Tanzania is placed high on the list of the world’s best African destinations.

With more than 28 years experience of working in the Tourism industry, Ms.   Mdachi has held a number of positions both in the Public and Private sectors.

She started working with Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB) in 1994 and was first employed as a Tourist Information Officer. Over the period of 10 years she  rose high up the organisation’s ladder to the positions of Senior Tourist Information Officer ; Principal Tourist Information Officer and Head of the Tourist Information Centre , Dar-es-salaam  and Principal Marketing Officer. In June 2011,Ms.Mdachi was appointed  Director of Marketing of the Tanzania Tourist Board and later was appointed as  the Managing Director of the Tanzania Tourist Board in 2015. Ms. Mdachi is the first Tanzania woman to hold the positions of Director of Marketing (2011-2015) and Managing Director of the Tanzania Tourist Board (2015-2021).

Ms. Mdachi worked with Abercrombie and Kent (Arusha) as a Tour Manager  (1993-1994)) and at The College of African Wildlife Management (CAWM,Moshi, Mweka) as a Lecturer in Tourism Marketing and Events Management (2021-2023). Currently, Ms. Mdachi is teaching at the National College of Tourism, Dar –es-salaam and the Ag. Head of Department of the Events Department.

Ms. Mdachi has also worked as an Intern at the Regional Tourism Organization of Southern Africa (RETOSA), under the Marketing and Communications Department. 

Ms. Mdachi has also been a Board member of The Tanzania Women’s Bank, Tanzania National Parks and Tan Roads.

Through her position and undertakings over the years, Ms. Mdachi has been able to be a great role model to young girls and women in Tanzania , especially in the tourism sector. She is a member of The Association of Women In Tourism in Tanzania (AWOTTA) and Guardian and Advisor of the newly formed Tanzania Association of Women Tour Operators (TAWTO).

She has received a number of awards and was nominated as one of the recipients of the ‘Nyerere Golden Awards’ by The Mwl. J.K Nyerere Golden Awards in Science and Technology Achievements (2014 and 2015). 

 In 2016 , the CEO Global (Pty) LTD a South African based company, awarded Ms.Mdachi an award as Tanzania’s Country winner in the category of “Government Employed Official Sector of CEO Global’s Africa’s Most Influential Women in Business and Government”

Women in Management Tanzania, recognized her as one of the Top 50 Women in Management in Tanzania in 2019 and was also recognized by the AKWAABA African Travel Market and ATQ News as one of the recipients of the African Travel 100 Women Awards in 2019. In 2021 she was recognized by Coca Cola Beverages Africa and awarded as one of the recipients of the The Mwanamke Shujaa Leadership Award.

Ms. Mdachi holds a BA degree in International Relations and Advanced French Language from the University of Dar-es-salaam (1991); M.A in Tourism from the Open University of Tanzania (2008) and a Post Graduate Certificate in Tourism from the International School of Tourism, Rome Italy (2000).

 

Givemore Chidzidzi

Co-Chairperson Africa Tourism Leadership Awards, Zimbabwe

Mr Givemore Chidzidzi is the Chief Operating Officer of the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA), the National Tourism Organization of the Republic of Zimbabwe under the Ministry of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry. Established through the Tourism Act (1996), the ZTA is responsible for tourism marketing and development.

Givemore has 36 years’ experience in the tourism industry. He holds an MBA in Marketing from the City University, Bellevue, Washington, USA and a Bachelor of Business Studies Degree in Tourism and Transportation from the University of Applied Sciences, Worms, Germany.

Christelle Grohmann

Christelle Grohmann

Director - Advisory Services / BDO South Africa

Christelle has more than 23 years’ consulting experience and carries out and heads project teams for macro research, economic impact assessments, valuations, marketing and organisational strategies, market feasibility studies, financial viability assessments, business case assessments and transaction advisory assignments. 

Christelle has also facilitated numerous workshops and large meetings and is proficient in using a range of facilitation approaches and tools.

Tshepiso Mganga

Chief Executive, City & Safari International, Botswana

Tshepiso Mganga holds position of Chief Executive- City & Safari International, a Destination
Management Company, which she co-founded in 2017.

Tshepiso has a cumulative and diverse 15 years experience serving in different portfolios mostly in the
areas of tourism marketing, destination management & consultancy.

Tshepiso previously served as Marketing Executive – Local and Africa Markets at Botswana Tourism
where she led market development of the Botswana tourism product in the Domestic and African markets. Prior to that, she held position of Marketing Manager at Cresta President Hotel.

Tshepiso is seated on several regional and International Tourism Associations & Committees; Society for Incentives Travel Excellence (SITE) Africa chapter, Africa’s Eden MICE committee to name a few. She also adjudicates in some of the prominent local and international fairs and exhibitions, and has been invited as a speaker, panelist and as a presenter to various academic and business events.

Tshepiso volunteers some of her time to mentoring youth tourism operators as well as aspiring entrepreneurs who wish to establish businesses in the tourism sector. She is founder of the Tourism Business Coaching & Mentorship Programme, to date the Programme successfully mentored over 70 Tourism businesses in Botswana.

Tshepiso holds educational qualification in Business Project Management from the University of Cape Town, and in Marketing from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology.

Her favorite quote “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” – Harry S Truman

Susan Ongalo

Chief Executive Officer, Kenya Tourism Federation, Kenya

Susan Ongalo is the Chief Executive Officer at Kenya Tourism Federation (KTF) since 2015 to date) – the umbrella body for the private sector in tourism charged with advocacy for a conducive business environment for the tourism sector. She bags a wealth of work experience, with over 12 years in tourism and hospitality.

Professional Achievement

Mrs. Ongalo is a Public Relations and business manager by training. She has over the years added to her knowledge feathers in Advocacy, Management, Customer Relations, Disaster Management, Marketing and Leadership acumens.

She was instrumental in the setting up of the Secretariat/Administrative department at the Kenya Tourism Federation, as well as oversee the operations of the Safety and Communication Centre at KTF.

She serves on a number of committees and boards in the tourism sector:

  • Tourism work permit vetting committee – 2015 – to date
  • Tourism Fund board – 2019 – to date
  • Kenya National Convention Bureau – 2019 – to date
  • East Africa Tourism Platform (EATP – 2015 – to date


Academic Qualifications

  • Bachelor in Leadership & Management – International Relations
  • Advance Diploma in Public Relations
  • Champions (Diploma) in Occupational Health – Association of British Travel Agency (ABTA).
  • Ongoing Masters in Ethics in Organizational Leadership.

Professional Engagements

Has been a participant, presenter and panelist in various forums with a focus to tourism, travel and hospitality which included:

  • Response to Covid-19 for African Tourism 3 December 2020.
  • Ad Hoc Group Expert meeting (AEGM) 23 November 2020.
  • Africa Tourism Leadership Forum 25 – 26 October 2020.

Yasmine Fofana

Marketing and communication professional

A highly polyvalent marketing and communication professional with over 15 years of experience, Yasmine Fofana is a culinary content creator and a communication consultant from Côte d’Ivoire. Her professional background includes working for companies such as Microsoft and LG Electronics. While she is equally passionate about women empowerment issues, Yasmine is a culinary and travel enthusiast who believes in uniting food and tourism to drive the economic development in Côte d’Ivoire. For the past 10 years, her mission has been to shift the African narrative through its cuisine and promote Gastronomy tourism on the continent.

Yasmine is a pioneer when it comes to promoting the culinary scene of Côte d’Ivoire. She did not only launch the 1st food blog of the country in 2012: “Journal d’une Foodie” now rebranded as “Afrofoodie”, but she also launched the 1st Restaurant week of Côte d’Ivoire: “Abidjan Restaurant Week” in 2017. Thanks to her continuous efforts in sharing Côte d’Ivoire culinary scene with the world, Yasmine was selected as a Mandela Washington Fellow 2016 under President Obama’s Young Africa Leaders Initiative (YALI), a Chevening Scholar by the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office of the United Kingdom for the year 2017/2018 and as an 2019-2020 African Women Entrepreneurship Cooperative (AWEC) beneficiary.

Currently on a mission to promote Gastronomy tourism in West Africa, Yasmine is now partnering with the non-profit organization Africa No Filter as one of their Narrative Champion and recently became a World Food Tourism Association Ambassador for Côte d’Ivoire. Yasmine holds a Bachelor of Science in International Business from Mansfield University of Pennsylvania in the US and a Master in International Tourism Development from the University of Surrey in the UK.

Barry Clemens

Group Chief Executive Officer - Hospitality EQ

Barry Clemens is a seasoned hospitality and tourism professional with a passion for start-ups and technology. With a strong background in hospitality management, he has excelled in delivering exceptional service and implementing cutting-edge technologies. As an advisor and board member, Barry has guided numerous start-ups, leveraging his expertise to drive innovation and digital strategies. His impactful contributions have earned him prestigious awards, highlighting his leadership and commitment to fostering entrepreneurship. Barry’s diverse skill set and unwavering dedication make him a valuable resource in both the hospitality and start-up industries.

Elected executive member of the DCCI Tourism forum. Proven track record in successfully developing financially distressed businesses’ into profitable units, ICF accredited Business & Live skills coach, and building winning teams.

Gumbo Mbelwa Mhandeni

Founder and CEO, Experiential Travel Africa, Tanzania

Gumbo has captivated dozens of projects and engagements around the world. His engagements in Experiential Travel ,Strategic Management ,commercial strategies, Sustainability Leadership, Management Consulting and humorous hands-on experience
are crafted and empowered with an uplifting authentic message about the power of a growth mindset and how to live life at peak performance levels.

He has gained experience in research, strategic management, corporate negotiation, travel and tourism, marketing, aerospace strategy consulting and conservation. Gumbo’s mission is to implement objectives and goals as well as setting expected performance standards for the workforce . He helps to re-energize the human spirit so as can transform negativity to envision new possibilities, build stronger teams and create ripple effects of lasting personal and professional success in developing competences within trade, including product development, marketing activities and building relationships with airlines and travel brands as well as Tourism Boards.

Gumbo engages with the audience with real-life & practical examples allowing him to communicate and appeal to a culturally-diverse public. He had worked, partnered and consulted with the world acclaimed brands in strategic research, conservation, aerospace, travel and tourism such as ICURA-International Community University Research Alliance, Related, Aviareps, University of New York-School Centre for Global A 1 airs, Global Explorers, East Africa Community, UNDP, TRAFFIC International, USAID, BBC London, World Travel Market-Africa, Jane Goodall Institute, Wildlife Conservation Society, Best Ever Food Review Show, Lost Creator Academy, The hunt Management, Wilderness Medical Associates International, Zimbabwe Tourism Board, Kenya Tourism Board, Tanzania Tourism Board, South African Tourism, Air Tanzania Corporation Ltd, Auric Air, Serengeti Safari Marathon, Africa Tourism Partners, Rwanda Development Board, Association of Tanzanian Travel Operators and Tanzania Private Sector Foundation.

He is the Founder and CEO of Experiential Travel Africa and currently a Regional Director-East Africa at Africa Tourism Partners Gumbo is a firm believer that service skills are transferable and essential to both your personal and professional life.

Naledi Khabo

CEO - Africa Tourism Association, USA

Naledi K. Khabo is a global strategy leader with 25 years’ experience across Operations, Marketing & Technology. Naledi’s has a professional background in management consulting and digital marketing. Naledi began her career as analyst at Accenture, specializing in implementing global business and technology solutions, along with re-engineering business processes. Naledi later joined ICED Media, a pioneer agency in the digital space. At ICED Media, she was responsible for marrying technology
and innovation with comprehensive integrated marketing strategies to deliver measurable results for their clients. She also developed proprietary analytics reporting tool which was the first of its kind quantifying the effectiveness of digital campaigns. Following her tenure at ICED Media, in addition to serving as a strategic consultant and product development lead for a number of technology startups, she served as Chief of Staff at the United States Small Business Administration My Brothers Keeper Millennial Entrepreneurial Initiative. My Brothers Keeper was former United States’ President Barack
Obama’s national initiative to increase the awareness of millennial entrepreneurship in the areas of music, fashion, film, and sports.

In her role as CEO of the Africa Tourism Association, she drives the organization’s mission to promote travel and tourism to Africa and strengthening intra-Africa partnerships. During her tenure at ATA,

Naledi has led the organization through significant operational changes including a complete re-branding of the organization and launching several new digital platforms to serve the hospitality and tourism industry. Most recently, Naledi has made driving inclusive engagement and DEI initiatives across the travel and tourism industry a priority. She is co-founder of Travel Is Better In Color – a platform celebrating diverse storytelling and storytellers across the travel industry – and The Collective, a global group of Black travel writers and reporters, lifestyle and hospitality publicists, magazine owners, TV personalities, and industry leaders.