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Bauwah, Govindjee, Wilson, others to speak at African Sports Tourism Summit

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Ahead of the 2019 edition of the African Sports Tourism Summit & Olympic Roundtable opening on September 19 in Accra, Ghana, the organising committee has unveiled the list of speakers for the two-day event that will bring together stakeholders in the sports and tourism sectors in the continent.

Holding at the Oak Plaza Hotels, Accra, the event will witness the convergence of sports Federations/Commissions/Councils, Olympic committees, tourism boards, tour operators and other stakeholders from both sports and tourism landscapes. They will be crossbreeding ideas and exchange a hand of fellowship, towards an Africa where the sport is seen and approached as tourism.

On the list of confirmed speakers for the session are Juliet Bauwah, Dev Govindjee, Geoff Wilson, Tafadzwa Mapanzure and Abi Ijasanmi.

A renowned sports journalist, broadcaster and founder of African Women Sports Summit, Juliet Bauwah is a contributor on a number of popular sports media including BBC and Goal.com. Dev Govindjee, on the other hand, is a South African cricket legend, who played in 45 first-class matches for Eastern Province between 1971 and 1983. Currently an international match referee, he worked with International Cricket Council for more than a decade.

A member of the board at Tourism Northern Ireland, Geoff Wilson runs his own marketing and communications consultancy business, with a focus primarily on the sport.  Previously Head of Marketing and Communications (Irish FA), he was responsible for public relations, commercial programs, brand development and communication to fans. Geoff works with the likes of FIFA, UEFA, AFC, FIBA and other global sports organisations in a wide range of areas from strategic planning, marketing and communications, digital, fan engagement, public affairs, and knowledge sharing/exchange programmes. 

In addition, Geoff consults with a number of sports tech companies in the CRM, eSports, wearable and fans engagement space. He is a part-time lecturer in marketing at Queen’s University Belfast and is Chair of Netball Northern Ireland. Tafadzwa Mapanzure, another speaker for the event, is a sports industry consultant with years of experience in sports marketing in Southern Africa region.

Abi Ijasanmi was one of the first female agents negotiating salaries, endorsements and media deals for US Basketball players in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. A commercial lawyer with over 10 years of business development experience, she joined Trans-Atlantic Sports marketing as an intern in 1998 and in 2001 became responsible for representing talent in markets as diverse as Lebanon, Italy, Lithuania, and France. Overseeing player, team and media relations, and her efforts made it possible for players to venture into unknown territories and command professional fees. Abi spearheaded the women’s division for TASM, the first of its kind in Europe.

A confident negotiator, Abi is an accomplished closer with demonstrable experience of building partnership and constructive relationships within international markets. Her legal/commercial skill set enables her to operate at both the strategic and operational levels to help clients focus their resources and expand their revenue base.

With an ability to identify new opportunities and a passion for the potential of African basketball, Abi has positioned herself as an intermediary for international investors focusing on basketball on the African continent. In 2006, Olympic Gold Medalist, Tessa Sanderson called upon her expertise and marketing consultancy to her newly created sports academy for the London’s 2012 games to provide legal. She’s currently Director for Africa at DiamondAir International.

Speaking on the event, Deji Ajomale-McWord, President of African Sports Tourism Week, said, “our goal is to increase the gross domestic products of African nations, through better delivered sporting events and sports holiday. Sports can only be best commodified through experiences that only hospitality and tourism can tailor. We will be moving to different African nations, year in year out, conduct the marriage of sports and tourism, and watch over their romance to ensure it produces offspring of socioeconomic gains.”

He continued: “Our theme for this year is Aligning Sports Tourism with Sustainable Development Goals and we shall be discussing other topics bordering on the bidding process, why Africa isn’t attracting enough sporting events and commodifying sports holiday in Africa.”  


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