Women in Leadership Award

The most inspiring and influential leading woman who has and continue to make and outstanding contribution to changing the course of tourism development in Africa.

Eco Africa Digital

Reason 1: Lizanne du Plessis: Illuminating African Tourism as an Exemplar of Women in Leadership In the realm of Africa's travel, tourism, hospitality, and aviation sector, a luminary has emerged as a trailblazer in leadership. Meet Lizanne du Plessis, the visionary CEO behind Eco Africa Digital, an agency that has redefined marketing as a catalyst for positive change. With an unwavering dedication spanning over a decade to illuminate Africa's beauty and promote sustainable tourism, Lizanne embodies the essence of leadership excellence, positioning her as a compelling nominee for the esteemed \Women in Leadership\" award at the Africa Tourism Leadership Forum and Awards. 1. Visionary Leadership and Values: Pioneering Sustainable Tourism Lizanne's journey began during her Master's research in Kenya where she bore witness to the profound effects of tourism on local communities. This experience ignited her vision to leverage marketing for transformative purposes. Thus Eco Africa Digital was born driven by a resolute commitment to sustainable tourism. Recognized with a Cum Laude Master's degree and selected as one of South Africa's 100 Brightest Young Minds Lizanne's belief in her agency's potential is a testament to her vision. Beyond her accolades lies a journey marked by visionary leadership. Her roots in Kenya's landscapes Lizanne's belief in her agency's potential is a testament to her vision. Beyond her accolades lies a journey marked by visionary leadership. Her roots in Kenya's landscapes where she recognized marketing's potential for change have evolved into a narrative of industry recognition and global influence. Lizanne underscores that when curiosity and confidence converge transformation becomes inevitable. This transformation isn't just confined to her agency—it permeates the very fabric of how tourism can leave a positive imprint on the destinations it touches."

Reason 2: Team Building and Dedication: Forging Success through Collaboration Eco Africa Digital's evolution from a one-person venture to a thriving agency reflects Lizanne's leadership acumen. Her adeptness at assembling a diverse team of professionals, united by their passion for authentic experiences, has been pivotal in scripting success stories. Their approach transcends conventional marketing; it's about generating tangible results. Collaborations with partners like TrueAfrica and Mbano Manor Hotel showcase their knack for achieving significant reach and conversion rates. The metamorphosis of The Salene Boutique Hotel exemplifies their capacity to craft narratives that resonate deeply and yield substantial returns on investment. Amid the numbers lies Lizanne's dedication to team cohesion—an exemplar of her belief that collective effort fuels remarkable achievements. Her ability to harness varied talents into a harmonious unit has propelled not only the agency's growth but has also set a benchmark for the industry at large.

Reason 3: Agility and Innovation: Navigating Challenges with Ingenuity Lizanne's prowess in adaptation and innovation shines brightly in a perpetually evolving digital landscape. Rather than shying away from challenges, she embraces them as stepping stones to growth. The COVID-19 pandemic is a prime example, with her agency's pivot towards diversification yielding a remarkable 200% increase in turnover. Lizanne's innovative spirit isn't confined to crises; it's the compass guiding ongoing evolution. The agency's ability to extract insights from experiences and weave them into strategies is emblematic of her adaptable leadership. This approach translates into an impressive success rate in client retention, as Eco Africa Digital consistently delivers results that improve over time. Lizanne's nimble response to challenges and unwavering commitment to perpetual learning haven't just fortified her agency's standing; they've set a new standard for the industry's adaptability. In Conclusion: An Exemplar of Women in Leadership in African Tourism Lizanne du Plessis encapsulates the essence of a woman leader who's illuminated the path for African tourism. Through Eco Africa Digital, she's woven a narrative of campaigns that celebrate Africa's allure while advocating for responsible tourism. Her steadfast dedication, collaborative spirit, and innovative mindset make her a compelling nominee for the \Women in Leadership\" award at the Africa Tourism Leadership Forum and Awards. Lizanne's legacy speaks volumes about the impact of women in leadership roles guiding the sector towards a prosperous and sustainable future."

Website - www.ecoafricadigital.co.za

Somali Minority Development Organization (SOMDO)

Reason 1: Awareness rising among the IDP camps in kismaayo Somalia on prevention. Kindly find the Somali minority development organization (SOMDO) is a protection working partner, we are active with our regional office located in kismaayo Somalia, Our area of commitments includes, minority communities at the IDP camps, child protection cases, Women right activism, relief and response to influxes. Our recent activities we implemented independently with the awareness of the line ministry and the protection cluster lead includes- of watery diarrhea by providing awareness raising with hand washing exercise face mask.

Reason 2: Distribution, among the first aid we could urgently respond to the ailing patients was Emergency fluid infusion before hospital arrival. As a national development organization, we hope to get your consideration as a partner to reduce the consequences of the natural disaster.

Reason 3: Our main appeal is to see on your consideration to give us capacity building promotion by assisting us easily pay the office rent, secretaries payment, security allowances and other office requirement that you may see as a necessary to our office development.

Profile - Somali Minority Development Organization


Reason 1: She is a Spa Manager that has done so well in the Safari Spa across the Tourism Industry.

Reason 2: Well knowledgeable and have Academic Qualifications within her industry that are highly recognised by Spa Associations. Well experienced in her leadership skills and have a very good employee retention.

Reason 3: She has accolades under her leadership that proves she has been doing well in the Spa Industry under Tourism and for Xigera Safari Lodge&Spa. World Spa Awards 2021- Botswana's Best Safari Spa- WINNER, World Spa Awards 2022- Botswana's Best Safari Spa- WINNER, Les Nouvelles Esthetiques Awards 2022- Africa's Best Safari Spa- WINNER, Africa Spa Awards 2022- Best Safari Spa- FINALIST, World Red Carnation Hotels Awards 2022/23- Best Spa Manager 2022/23, World Spa Awards 2023- Botswana's Best Safari Spa- NOMINEE

Website - www.xigera.com

Agnes Mucuha - Kenya Association of Travel Agents

Reason 1: Agnes Mucuha championed leveraging data and research in informing decisions for the travel industry in Kenya during the Covid19 pandemic, contributing to the growth and recovery of Kenya's travel business to the pe-pandemic period by January of 2023.

Reason 2: Agnes Mucuha participated in developing Kenya's strategic implementation plan for the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), focusing on trade in services - The tourism industry. Promoted the intra-Africa travel agenda and implemented a memorandum of collaboration with the Rwanda Development Board and Kenya Association of Travel Agents, leading to the growth of tourist arrivals from Kenya into Rwanda in 2021-2023.

Reason 3: Agnes Mucuha championed the Servant Leadership Program training for the Permanent Secretaries in Kenya under the Green Leaf Center of Servant Leadership, the United Nations Development Programme, and the Head of Public Service - Government of Kenya in 2023.

Website - www.katakenya.org

Mrs. Alisa Osei-Asamoah

Reason 1: As the CEO of a private travel and tour company in Ghana, Mrs. Alisa Osei-Asamoah leads an all-female team at Riali Consult providing cutting edge travel and tour solutions to multiple clients, including corporate and individual. The company through her remarkable leadership quality has grown from its humble beginnings to household name within Ghana's travel and tourism space and has gained both international and local recognitions.

Reason 2: Since assuming the role of President of the Tour Operators Union of Ghana (TOUGHA), Mrs. Osei-Asamoah has demonstrated an exceptional leadership in building the once dormant Union into a recognisable and vibrant unit that continues to play crucial role in driving Ghana's tourism agenda. She's been instrumental in driving the country's domestic tourism campaign which has seen a resurgence of local tourism as Ghana makes giant stride towards full recovery from the effects of COVID-19. Through her sterling leadership, TOUGHA is now arguably the fulcrum of the private sector tourism trade association in Ghana.

Reason 3: Not only has Mrs. Osei-Asamoah shown an impressive leadership in running her private business or leading TOUGHA, but even beyond her home country, she'd excelled in creating strategic partnerships that are aimed at invigorating intra-Africa travel. Since being elected as the Union's president, she has collaborated with entities and organisations to help increase knowledge, build capacity and create opportunities for business linkages. Through such partnerships, TOUGHA and its counterparts from Nigeria with the support of South African Tourism, organised the first-ever NANTA-TOUGHA Conference of promoting intra-Africa travel and tourism in Johannesburg in May this year. Mrs. Osei-Asamoah led over 70 members of TOUGHA to attend the event, after which they also attended the 2023 Africa's Travel Indaba in Durban. It was the first time a large number of tour operators from Ghana was participating in Indaba. Time and time again, Mrs. Alisa Osei-Asamoah has demonstrated an uncommon ability to lead and get things done in a her chosen field travel and tourism and it will be great for her to be recognised for her efforts.

Website - www.rialiconsult.com

Duduzile Nxumalo - Park Inn by Radisson Polokwane

Reason 1: Dudu leads with integrity and transparency.

Reason 2: Duduzile empowers her management team to be exceptional leaders in their own right and allow them to make positive and productive decisions.

Reason 3: Increased the hotel market share and profitable to the business and owners. Duduzile Nxumalo is a game changer and always striving for excellency.

Website - www.parkinn.com

Taifa teule leadership experience

Reason 1: Building bridges has been the major impact and as a leader was eble to minimize and help my people in achieve what they aim for.

Reason 2: Resilient being a leader help me to look forward and not backward this simply means that everyday life has challenge so we should never step backwards on what we pass through but rather way forwards to out setting goals to make them realistic.

Reason 3: As a leader you have to be on other people foot this will help in realizing that whatever my people are facing am also facing it and find a better way to bring positive changes that help in their life.

CocoTours PTY

Reason 1: CocoTours PTY Ltd is a company specializing in the promotion of responsible tourism within South Africa , Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands, our company started during the pandemic after being retrenched from a very DMC Tourvest Destination Management, i have remained resilient my passion for the industry and exceptional work ethic is what I strive for, my company has been selected amongst various Incubator programmes namely, Department of Tourism Women in Tourism top 5, SME Tradelinks, Young African Leaders Initiative, Tony Elumenlu Foundation, Academy for Women Entrepreneurs. I love what I do my main objective is to see more women in Tourism taking the lead in top positions.

Website - www.cocotours.co.za


Reason 1: Vixen Excursions (Pty) Ltd is a 100% female owned company that was registered in April 2021 and its main focus has been mostly to use their work through the Vixen Photography brand, to raise awareness on issues relating to culture, conservation, human\/wildlife conflict, climate change. They do minimalism, creative, portraiture, corporate, events and landscape photography. Their work is aimed at marketing Botswana and Africa to local and international tourists and they hope to inspire women and young girls to venture into nature and wildlife photography, which is a male-dominated industry globally. Vixen Excursions (Pty) Ltd is also the 2022 ATLF Awards 2nd Runner-up: Outstanding Marketing and Media award as well as an official Botswana brand ambassador, allowing them to use the Pride Mark on their services and products. The company intends to create employment in the near future, as soon they have acquired the capital to operate. Amongst their services are:- Photography and videography services. - Annual exhibitions. - Selling crafts/curios. - Travel Agency. - Travel & Tours. - Photographic safaris and guiding. - Photographs- digital and prints (framed or unframed). - Photographic mentorship programmes for young girls, women and youth.

Reason 2: To show commitment to their work, the Director of Vixen Excursions (Pty) Ltd has is a qualified and licensed professional safari guide, through which, she will use her knowledge of nature's fauna and flora to guide her clients during the excursions. The other benefit will be that while on the safari, her guests who might be interested to learn photography, will have a chance to be resourced to capture the great memories to return home with. Those experiences for the guests will be completely aligned with the company's tagline that says "We Keep The Memories Alive!".

Reason 3: Vixen Excursions (Pty) Ltd as Vixen Photography, has hosted two solo exhibitions in the past two years, the first one was in 2022, titled GRATITUDE and the one in 2023 titled IKIGAI, which is part of the 2023 Botswana Tourism Organisation's calendar of events. As a way to carry this momentum forward, Vixen Photography's exhibitions will be hosted annually in the coming years. To encourage the spirit of women empowerment and collaboration, the event in 2024, will feature three female photography enthusiasts, who will be mentored by different photography and filmmaking experts, including the Vixen Photography lead photographer, to resource them in preparation for the exhibition in 2024. The initiative is meant to provide a platform for other female photographers, as a way to pave the way for the other women that will hopefully be inspired to also explore their creativity through photography, for the benefit of their mental. emotional and spiritual well-being and hopefully for them to reap its economical benefits.

Profile - Vixen Wildlife Photography

Tes Proos

Reason 1: Chapter President for SITE Africa , Tes has been instrumental in the development of a Pan African chapter for the global association SITE society for Incentive Travel Excellence. The aim is to foster a greater understanding and ability for African member to attract a greater share of the global incentive business to Africa.

Reason 2: Tes has done this on a volunteer non paid basis for more than 8 years bringing education and leadership development to many African members. Working with DMO's Tourism Boards and private business to achieve these goals. All while running her own woman own and lead business though the recent challenging Covid years.

Reason 3: Tes is a master at her discipline and leads selflessly willing to share and engage across the continent. She has and continues to build a strong board or other incentive focused leaders around her and the fruits of the SITE Africa chapter will be harvested for many years into the future.

Website - www.crystalevents.co.za

Yoadan Tilahun - Flawless Events

Reason 1: I am honored to nominate the Yoadan Tilahun, CEO and Founder of Flawless Events for the Outstanding Entrepreneurship Award. Her remarkable achievements in the travel, tourism, hospitality, and aviation industry truly exemplify excellence in entrepreneurship. Under her visionary leadership, Flawless Events has emerged as a premier event management agency, specializing in international conferences, trade fairs, expos, and corporate events. Her commitment to delivering impeccable attention to detail and translating clients' visions into unforgettable experiences sets them apart.

One of the Yoadan's notable achievements is her instrumental role in professionalizing the events industry in Ethiopia. She established the events association and advised and contributed to the founding of the country's first convention bureau. Her strategic advisory services have been invaluable in promoting Ethiopia as a destination for international events.As a mentor and teacher, the Yoadan has nurtured and inspired numerous colleagues and teams over the course of 15 years. Her dedication to sharing knowledge and expertise has had a lasting impact on the industry, fostering a culture of growth and excellence. Flawless Events' reach extends beyond Ethiopia. Under the her leadership, the company has established a strong presence in multiple countries, including the United States, Rwanda, and Ethiopia. Her ability to seamlessly operate in international markets and deliver exceptional events across the globe is a testament to her leadership and strategic acumen. During the challenging times of the pandemic, the Yoadan played a vital role in advising cautious recommendations to the government, contributing to the safe reopening of the industry. Her guidance ensured the survival of not only Flawless Events but also the entire value chain of organizations associated with the industry.

In her pursuit of international standards and competitiveness, Yoadan has consistently invested in the value chain organization. By bringing in high-quality materials and resources, they have elevated the industry and ensured that Ethiopia remain as a prime destination and Flawless Events at the forefront of delivering exceptional experiences. In conclusion, the CEO and Founder of Flawless Events is truly deserving of the Africa Tourism Leadership's Women in Leadership Award. Her achievements in professionalizing the events industry, her mentorship and leadership, her international expansion, and her contributions during challenging times exemplify her exceptional entrepreneurship in the travel, tourism, hospitality, and aviation sector. Thank you for considering this nomination, and I am confident that recognizing her remarkable achievements will inspire others in the industry to strive for excellence.


Manahat Thomas

Website - www.flawlessevents.net

Clare Akamanzi (Rwanda)

Reason 1: Clare Akamanzi has played a crucial role in transforming Rwanda's tourism sector through her visionary leadership. Under her guidance as the CEO of the Rwanda Development Board, she has implemented innovative strategies to promote sustainable tourism and enhance the country's image as a premier tourist destination. She has been instrumental in developing Rwanda's unique selling points, such as its rich wildlife, cultural heritage, and eco-tourism offerings.

Reason 2: Akamanzi has shown a deep commitment to conservation and community development. She has actively promoted responsible tourism practices that prioritize the protection of Rwanda's natural resources and wildlife. Her efforts have helped in preserving endangered species, such as mountain gorillas, and in improving the livelihoods of local communities through initiatives like community-based tourism and revenue-sharing schemes.

Reason 3: Akamanzi's contributions to tourism development in Rwanda have gained international recognition. She has successfully positioned Rwanda as a leading destination for business and leisure tourism, attracting significant investments and partnerships. Her leadership has led to Rwanda hosting major international events and conferences, boosting its global reputation and contributing to its economic growth.

Profile - Clare Akamanzi

Lilly Ajarova (CEO - Uganda Tourism Board Uganda)

Reason 1: Lilly Ajarova has been at the forefront of promoting sustainable tourism practices in Uganda. She has focused on developing community-based tourism initiatives that empower local communities and preserve the country's natural and cultural heritage. Ajarova's efforts have led to the establishment of eco-lodges, community tourism projects, and conservation programs that have contributed to the socio-economic well-being of local communities while safeguarding Uganda's unique ecosystems.

Reason 2: Ajarova has been instrumental in fostering collaboration and partnerships within the tourism industry. She has actively engaged with various stakeholders, including government agencies, private sector entities, and local communities, to develop and implement tourism policies and initiatives. Ajarova's collaborative approach has strengthened the overall tourism ecosystem in Uganda and facilitated sustainable growth in the sector.

Reason 3: Ajarova has successfully positioned Uganda as a must-visit destination through effective destination branding and marketing campaigns. She has showcased Uganda's diverse attractions, including its wildlife, national parks, and adventure tourism offerings, to attract a wider range of international tourists. Ajarova's strategic marketing efforts have resulted in increased visitor arrivals and tourism revenue for Uganda.

Profile- Lilly Ajarova

Winnie Muchanyuka (CEO - Zimbabwe Tourism Authority)

Reason 1: Winnie Muchanyuka has been a driving force behind the tourism policy reforms in Zimbabwe. She has worked towards creating an enabling environment for tourism development by streamlining regulations, improving infrastructure, and promoting investment opportunities. Muchanyuka's efforts have helped attract both domestic and international investors, leading to increased tourism activities and job creation in Zimbabwe.

Reason 2: Muchanyuka has focused on promoting Zimbabwe as a top tourist destination through targeted marketing campaigns and international collaborations. She has successfully showcased Zimbabwe's diverse offerings, including its iconic wildlife, natural wonders like Victoria Falls, and rich cultural heritage. Muchanyuka's strategic promotional activities have resulted in heightened international interest and visitor arrivals to Zimbabwe.

Reason 3: Muchanyuka has emphasized the importance of capacity building and skills development within the tourism industry. She has implemented training programs and initiatives to enhance the skills of tourism professionals and empower local communities to participate in the tourism value chain. Muchanyuka's efforts have contributed to the overall professionalism and quality of service in Zimbabwe's tourism sector, leading to improved visitor experiences and positive reviews.

Profile - Winnie Muchanyuka

Nonnie Kubeka (Guateng Tourism)

Reason 1: Nonnie Kubeka has played a pivotal role in the development of tourism infrastructure in Gauteng, South Africa. She has spearheaded initiatives to enhance the region's tourism offerings by investing in the development and maintenance of key infrastructure, such as transportation networks, accommodation facilities, and tourist attractions. Kubeka's efforts have resulted in improved accessibility and visitor experiences, making Gauteng a more attractive destination for both domestic and international tourists.

Reason 2: Nonnie has been a strong advocate for the preservation and promotion of Gauteng's rich cultural and heritage assets. She has supported initiatives that highlight the region's diverse cultural communities, historical sites, and heritage landmarks. Kubeka's focus on cultural tourism has not only contributed to the preservation of Gauteng's unique identity but has also provided opportunities for local communities to benefit from tourism-related activities and initiatives.

Reason 3: Nonnie Kubeka has fostered collaboration and partnerships between various stakeholders in the tourism industry. She has worked closely with government agencies, local communities, tourism businesses, and industry associations to develop and implement tourism strategies and initiatives. Kubeka's collaborative approach has led to the alignment of efforts, effective resource utilization, and the establishment of sustainable tourism networks in Gauteng.

Profile - Nonnie Kubeka

Sthemiso Dlamini (CEO - Gauteng Tourism)

Reason 1: Sthemiso Dlamini has been instrumental in marketing and promoting Gauteng as a vibrant and diverse tourist destination. Through innovative marketing campaigns, digital platforms, and strategic partnerships, Dlamini has effectively showcased Gauteng's attractions, including its world-class shopping, cultural experiences, urban landscapes, and historical sites. Her efforts have resulted in increased visibility, visitor numbers, and tourism revenue for Gauteng.

Reason 2: Dlamini has played a crucial role in driving tourism product development in Gauteng. She has encouraged the creation and enhancement of unique and authentic tourism experiences that cater to different visitor segments. Dlamini's focus on diversifying the tourism product offerings has led to the development of niche markets, such as gastronomy tourism, arts and culture tourism, and adventure tourism, thereby attracting a wider range of tourists to Gauteng.

Reason 3: Dlamini has actively advocated for the interests of the tourism sector in Gauteng. She has engaged with policymakers, industry associations, and other relevant stakeholders to influence tourism-related policies, regulations, and funding allocations. Dlamini's advocacy efforts have helped shape a favorable business environment for tourism in Gauteng, enabling the industry to thrive and contribute to the region's economic development.

Profile - Sthembiso Dlamini

Wrenelle Stander (CEO - Wesgro)

Reason 1: Wrenelle has over 28 years of work experience in the aviation and energy industries.She has led multiple large-scale enterprises, including implementing significant capital investment programmes within budget & schedule, navigating the complex matrix of a global listed corporate and managing organisations through periods of intense crisis. She has an acute understanding of the required sensitivity needed to operate effectively in a complex stakeholder environment, including media management and staff.

Reason 2: Wrenelle has extensive experience in both public and private sector. Finding the sweet spot in the nexus between the two is the thread that strings together her various roles. Prior to joining Wesgro, Wrenelle held three other enterprise leadership roles, including that of Chief Executive Officer of Comair Limited, Managing Director of Sasol Gas Limited and Managing Director of Air Traffic and Navigation Services Company.

Reason 3: She has extensive Board experience both as an Executive Director, as well as a Non-Executive Director. She currently serves as an independent, Non-Executive Director of Sishen Iron Ore. Wrenelle holds an MBA from Oxford Brookes University in the United Kingdom, as well as a BA (Hons) degree from the University of Cape Town.

Profile - Wrenelle Stander

Susan Ongalo (CEO - KTF)

Reason 1: She is a leading expert on tourism in Kenya. 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.

Reason 2: She has published extensively on the topic of tourism development in Kenya.

Reason 3: She has worked with the government of Kenya to develop and implement tourism policies and programs. 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.

Website - Kenya Tourism Federation

Lindiwe Sangweni-Siddo (Chief Operating Officer of City Lodge Hotel Group)

Reason 1: She is a highly experienced tourism executive with over 20 years of experience in the industry.

Reason 2: She has held senior leadership positions at several leading hotels and tourism organizations in South Africa.

Reason 3: She is a passionate advocate for gender equality in the tourism industry.

Profile - Lindiwe Sangweni-Siddo

Rosemary Mugambi (Regional Sales and Marketing Director at Serena Hotels East Africa)

Reason 1: She is a visionary leader who has been instrumental in developing and implementing tourism strategies for Serena Hotels East Africa.

Reason 2: She has a strong track record of success in attracting visitors to the region and increasing tourism revenue.

Reason 3: She is a visionary leader who has been instrumental in developing and implementing tourism strategies for Serena Hotels East Africa.

Profile - Rosemary Mugambi

Prof Nellie Swart (University of South Africa)

Reason 1: She is a leading expert in tourism development in Africa.

Reason 2: Nellie has authored and co-authored accredited journal articles, book chapters and conference proceedings related to business tourism and tourism education. She has published extensively on the topic of tourism development in Africa.

Reason 3: She has worked with governments and organizations across Africa to develop and implement tourism policies and programs. The training of tourism teachers is amongst her community engagement projects. Nellie has organised national and international conferences and is often an invited speaker at business events.

Profile - Nellie (Magdalena P) Swart

Adele Hartdegen (CEO - Rand Show)

Reason 1: She has conceptualized, secured and executed events for the Group with well-known entities such as the United Nations, UFI, BRICS, Tata, and a range of public entities.

Reason 2: She has successfully transitioned staff members into management roles and integrated small, medium and micro enterprises into the events hosted by Dogan giving them access to market, training and funding. Adele believes that the development of talent and small enterprises are the growth catalysts to any economy and she is passionate about contributing to this cause.

Reason 3: Adele aims to facilitate growth in all levels of the organisation she heads up, focusing on the development of existing talent and upliftment of the immediate communities in and around the businesses she manages.

Profile - Adele (von Well) Hartdegen

Naledi Khabo (CEO - ATA)

Reason 1: 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 a proprietary analytics reporting tool which was the first of its kind quantifying the effectiveness of digital campaigns.

Reason 2: She has worked to increase the participation of women in the tourism industry. Naledi has made driving inclusive engagement and DEI initiatives across the travel and tourism industry a priority.

Reason 3: 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.

Profile - Naledi K. Khabo

Agnes Mucuha (Chief Executive Officer | Kenya Association of Travel Agents)

Reason 1: She is actively involved in the National Strategy Team for the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and has made extensive contributions to the Intra-Africa travel agenda. She is a technology-led leader who leverages data analytics and research in rebuilding and repositioning the travel and tourism industry.

Reason 2: Agnes was nominated as a Tourism Heroe in 2020 by the World Tourism Network for her extensive contributions to rebuilding the travel industry during the Covid19 pandemic. She was awarded the I Change Nations Award in 2021 for her leadership and dedication to the travel and tourism industry in Kenya.

Reason 3: She is a servant leader of the Ignatian Spirituality, Contemplative Leadership Action centered on the call to serve for the common good of all.

Website - Kenya Association of Travel Agents

Rica Rwigamba (CEO - Mastercard foundation, Rwand)

Reason 1: She is a visionary leader in the tourism industry in Rwanda. For more than ten years, she has been active across the tourism and hospitality sector as an independent consultant, a leader within non-profits, and an entrepreneur.

Reason 2: She has been instrumental in developing and implementing new tourism products and services in Rwanda.

Reason 3: Rica was the Head of Tourism and Conservation at the Rwanda Development Board where her responsibilities included tourism investment promotion, tourism marketing, and stakeholder coordination. She has served on multiple national and regional boards within the sector and has a deep network across Rwanda and the region.

Website - Rica Rwigamba

Judy Kepher-Gona (STTA)

Reason 1: Judy is a sustainability coach with over 20 years experience working with sustainable tourism and travel qualification systems, community integration, and progressive conservation approaches.

Reason 2: As an assessor she has designed certification schemes and awards. She has also undertaken assignments for World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) as on-site assessor for Tourism for Tomorrow Awards, National Geographic as assessor for Unique Lodges of the World and World legacy Awards, judge for Tourism Resilience Council IIPT Awards, Co-chair of Africa Tourism Leadership Awards since 2018.

Reason 3: In 2019, she was awarded the Sustainable Citizen Award by Forbes Woman Africa in recognition of outstanding contribution to awareness and knowledge of sustainability in tourism in Africa and beyond.

Profile - Judy Kepher-Gona

Dr. Niki Glen (CEO - Africa! Ignite, South Africa)

Reason 1: As an engineer by training with a deep passion to bring about change and empower people, Niki has developed and implemented sustainable tourism models, strategies and plans for southern African towns and communities.

Reason 2: She is recognized within the tourism industry as a leader in research and programme development and for her ability to stimulate collaboration amongst tourism stakeholders. She works close to the coal face to identify blockages and barriers which prevent people from adopting change.

Reason 3: Her key strengths lie in working across complex structures and translating complex concepts into simple, practical and implementable actions, thus bringing sustainable tourism principles to grassroots levels.

Profile - Dr. Niki Glen