Maiden Alex-Ibru, Akinbile-Yusuf, others bag top ‘100 Tourism Personalities in Africa’ award
Lady Maiden Alex-Ibru, Publisher, Guardian Newspapers, and the Lagos State Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf, among other African women have bagged the top ‘100 Travel and Tourism Personalities in Africa’ award.
The awards were presented on Monday at the ongoing 18th AKWAABA Africa Travel and Tourism Market held in Lagos.
Other recipients included: Dr Memunatu Pratt, Sierrra Leone Minister of Tourism; Maimuna Mohammed, Corporate Account Manager, Heritage Hotels, Kenya; and Leah Assenga, Founder, Kitamu Africa, Arusha Tanzania.
Dr Keziah Odemba, Director of Tourism, Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife, Kenya and Justina Okpanku, Thisday Editor, were also among the awardees.
Mr Ukechi Uko, organiser of AKWAABA, during the awards presentation, said that the awardees had ensured travel and tourism businesses thrive across Africa, against all odds.
He said the women had also shown exemplary leadership qualities in their various offices and were worthy of emulation by upcoming practitioners.
One of the award recipients, Pratt, said, “This award signifies hard work, commitment and the vision of ensuring one gets to the highest level.
“It also signifies inspiration and appreciation of work done, this means more work, more commitment and it is about the need to embrace leadership qualities.
“This is a very important event in promoting the interest of women in tourism and I must doff my hat for this wonderful work that helps in recognising the women that are actually doing the work.
“I want to thank the people of Nigeria and Lagos State Government for supporting AKWAABA, we in the rest of West Africa can see this wonderful work.
“We are contemplating that Sierra Leone will host this expo soon,” she said.
Pratt urged Africans to visit Sierra Leone for tourism purposes as she described Sierra Leoneans as friendly and hospitable individuals.
According to her, the country is well endowed with exotic beaches, historical sites and other forms of attractions.
“We really appreciate Nigerians, there is a strong bond between Nigerians and Sierra Leoneans, we want to recall the period we had the civil war, Nigerians stood by us and we will never forget that, we want that bond between the two countries to be stronger,” she said.
Also, Akinbile-Yusuf, said, ” I feel so honoured to be a recipient of this award, there are many women doing great things in the tourism industry, I appreciate the AKWAABA platform for this.”
Earlier, Oba Adeyemi Obalanlege, the Olota of Ota, commended the appreciable improvement in the tourism industry, being a practitioner in the industry for years.
“The organiser of this travel market, Ikechi Uko, is a blessing to the tourism industry, we have recorded much improvement in the industry over the years.
“Before now, we used to have low patronage in events like this and I am happy with the turnout now.
“You can always count on me, I will always support you and I pray that the country will continue to move forward,” he said.