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Oscar Ibru, AMAA Founder, Air Peace Boss, others for Africa Travel 100 Global Personalities Award


A cross section of winners at the 2018 edition of Akwaaba African Travel Market in Lagos

Ahead of the 15th edition of the Akwaaba African Travel Market Billed to open on September 22 and run through September 23, at the Eko Hotel & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, African Travel Quarterly, (, organisers of the event, has unveiled the first shortlist of the winners of the Africa Travel 100 Global personalities awards for 2019.

The initiative aims at honouring personalities in the travel and tourism sector that have exemplified themselves in the industry and contributed to the growth of the sector in Africa and in the Diaspora. To be presented on day-two of Akwaaba, the event will be part of the First African Tourism Diaspora Conference for 2019, which will bring together top tourism personalities from around the world to Lagos.

The Africa Travel 100 global Personalities awards initial shortlist of Winners includes Rohan Vos, owner of Rovos Rail (South Africa) and Frank Nneji of ABC Transport (Nigeria) for Transport Category.


The Aviation Category has Tewolde GebreMariam, GCEO of Ethiopian Airlines, Rahel Assefa, VP Ethiopian Airlines, Chief Allen Onyema, Chairman Air Peace, Africa’s biggest Privately Owned Airline, Captain Solomon Quianoo, Africa’s Top A380 Pilot (Ghana) and Chief Togbe Afede, Chairman Africa World Airlines.

Nominated for the Past African Legend of Travel category are Waturi Wa Matu, travel professional (Kenya), Captain Desta Zeru, first African captain of B787 Dreamliner (Ethiopia), Captain Irene Koki Mutungi, Africa’s Top Female Pilot (Kenya) and Kumnegger TeKel, MICE Promoter and event Organiser (Ethiopia). The tourism category has Wolfgang Thome, the online publisher from Uganda and Jason Njoku, publisher and promoter IROKO TV, Nigeria.
The Tourism Administration category has Najib Balala, Tourism Minister Kenya and CAF UNWTO President, Elcia Grandcourt, Africa Representative UNWTO (Seychelles), Alain St. Ange, former Minister of Tourism Seychelles and Ambassador Dr Eriaka Bennett, Head of Mission AU Diaspora office.

Listed in the Hospitality/Facility Owners category are Ato Tadiwos Belete, Kuriftu Resort (Ethiopia), Tony Elumelu, Chairman Transcorp Hotels (Nigeria), Oskar Ibru, Ibru Organisations and leading hospitality investor (Nigeria), Professor Nzamujo, proprietor Songhai integrated Agricultural Centre and Samih Sawiris, proprietor El Gouna Resort (Egypt).
Travel Business category has Julie Dably Scott, Kenya Travel Business Executive (CWT), Femi Adefope, Nigeria Travel Business Owner, Richard Akerele, logistics and airlines support services and Taiwo Afolabi, chairman SIFAX Airport Logistics. Also nominated in the Tour Operations category are Zainab Anseil, Zara Tours Tanzania, Uloma Egbuna, Tour Brokers International and Amos Wekesa, Ugandan tour operator.


Shortlists for MICE promoter category include Peace Anyiam Osigwe, convener Africa Movie Academy Awards, AMAA, Ben Murray Bruce, Silverbird Galleria and Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria, Governor Ben Ayade, organiser Carnival Calabar, Rick Taylor, MICE expert (South Africa), Rabbi Kohan, Executive Director, Panafest (Ghana)
and Tom Kunkler, organiser Kilifair and SITES (Tanzania).
Heritage & Culture category has Professor Zahi  Hawass, Egyptologist and Former Curator of the Heritage of the Pharaohs, Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, King of Yorubas and Promoter of Olojo Festival, Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, custodian of Kano Walls and Durbar Festival, Oba of Benin, Eheneden Erediauwa Ewuare II, custodian of Benin Moat and Igwe Festival, Obi of Onitsha, Nnaemeka Alfred Achebe, Ofala Festival, King Mswati, Swaziland Reeds Dance Umhlanga Festival and Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, AKwasidae Festival, Kumasi, Ghana.
African Tourism Diaspora Conference 2019 is to mark the 400 years of slavery. Slavery is a very sensitive topic that has created an uncomfortable relationship between Africa and its diaspora. The conference is an opportunity to celebrate the merging of Africans, Americans, Caribbean’s and the rest of the world during this memorable gathering expected in Lagos.

Africa with 54 countries and a population of 1.2 billion has unbelievable tourist attractions. The Caribbean and African diaspora have a unique culture, rich heritage and beautiful destinations for tourists, hence the need to connect and combine these wonderful cultures and population together, creating a huge global market.

The conference, therefore, presents a platform to discuss, initiate, dialogue and celebrate this new relationship. However, the recognition of Africa as a beacon of hope for African people living on the continent and in the Diaspora to explore, relate and live using the African Diaspora Tourism Conference as the African Platform for the foundation of this long-lasting relationship. Posterity will remember that the improvement was earned not by coincidence but by conscious efforts to validate the struggles, strengths and linkages between African descendants on a Pan-African scale.


The African diaspora and Africa have a same unique culture, rich heritage and beautiful destinations for Tourism and Trade, therefore, there is a need to connect and combine these wonderful cultures and population as a market for mutual benefit.

Now in its 8th year, the Africa Travel 100 Awards has recognised over the years leaders, industry practitioners and governments official who have promoted tourism and improved travel using unique platforms and new information.

Some of the past award targeted at bringing the African Travel and Tourism Practitioners together projects include Africa Travel 100 for Top 100 Travel Companies in West Africa 2016, Africa Travel 100 Women 2017,  Africa Travel 100 Tour Operators 2018 and African Legend Awards, a prestigious category given to exceptional Industry and thought leaders won by past president of Gambia Sir Dawda Jawara, 1st Female African Airline Captain, Capt. Irene Koki Mutungi, Danny Jordaan of South Africa for World Cup 2010, Capt. Desta Zeru -1st Capt. of B787 Dreamliner and the latest was by Kumneger Tekel, an Ethiopian pioneer of M.I.C.E. in Africa.
For the past 15 years, AKWAABA Africa Travel Market has been the major international and largest marketing platform to meet with airlines, Travel Agents, Hotels, Tourism boards both foreign and local, the media and the general travelling public in West Africa. The event has grown to become the most important travel-marketing platform in the region drawing attendance from over 7,000 to 10,000 Visitors from 20 Countries.

A vibrant must attend 3-day business to the business event presenting a diverse range of destinations to Africa and international travel professionals, it is a unique opportunity for African travel trade market to meet, negotiate, network and conduct businesses with top players in Travel and Tourism.

Meanwhile, the 3rd Edition of the West African Jollof rice War will be on Sunday, September 22, the opening day of Akwaaba 2019, while the Aviation day and the Youth Tourism Panels will hold on Tuesday, September 24. Dubai and Gambian day will be on Monday, September 23, while Ghana Day and Nigeria Day will be on Sunday, September 22.


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