April 26, 2021
My guest today is the Chairperson of the Kenya Tourism Federation, Mohammed Hersi. The East African country in the last two weeks has seen a resurgence of covid-19 and as a result, the reimposition of some stringent measures to curtail the chain of infection. This new development seems to be chipping away the efforts by stakeholders to restart tourism which is a major economic pillar of Kenya. Mr. Hersi in this conversation discusses a raft of measures the federation has taken to guarantee the safety of staff and guests as well as updates on Kenya’s vaccination program for the tourism industry players.
Mohammed is also the Director of Operations at Pollmans Tours & Safaris, Baobab Beach Resort & Spa, Diani
April 24, 2021
In today’s episode, African Aviation Expert and Managing Director of ZA Logics Ogaga Udjo takes a deep look at the state of Africa’s aviation sector and its ability to bounce back post the pandemic. He throws the spotlight on South Africa’s troubled flag-carrier South African Airways and the latest happenings at the airline. Ogaga is of the belief that the continent’s national tourism boards and their aviation counterparts need to collaborate in order to grow Africa’s share of international tourist arrivals. Ogaga is a commercial strategist and Managing Director of ZA Logics, an advisory business based in Johannesburg.
He has a wealth of experience across commercial and strategy functions. Having worked on projects in close to 30 countries around the world, he has planned and implemented core business solutions for the aviation and logistics industries. Prior to his current position, he worked across several markets for airlines including Comair Limited, Qatar Airways, and South African Airways. At Comair Limited he was Head: Network Planning, Alliances & Regulatory Affairs.
Ogaga qualified Cum Laude from the University of Pretoria with a Bachelor of Commerce Honours degree. He also holds a Master’s in Business Leadership from the University of South Africa. He specialised in strategic management and international business.
A regular media voice, he has had several appearances across global platforms including YahooFinace, Quartz, ChinaGlobal TV Network, and Turkish Radio & TV Corporation (TRT World). Ogaga is passionate about network planning and route development, with a deep understanding of this ecosystem, across all role players and stakeholders.
Connect with Ogaga Udjo
April 21, 2021
Exclusivité avec le Chef Comorien Ahamada Binali basé en France qui s'est entretenu avec Franck Olivier Kra sur le Podcast VA Tourism et a exposé comment nous pouvons utiliser la gastronomie pour promouvoir les destinations.Né dans l’archipel des Comores et ayant grandi à Marseille, c’est en région parisienne que le Chef Ahamada Binali exerce son art.
Issu d’une formation classique, il se dote d’une solide expérience et gravi les échelons jusqu’au rang de chef cuisinier dans des grands établissements et restaurants de renommées nationales et internationales de la place Parisienne. Animé par une forte envie d’indépendance, de transmission de son héritage, de ses compétences, et paré de son expérience managériale, il fonde en 2013 : Massiwani Traiteur, pour une gastronomie valorisant les terroirs des îles Comores et ceux du reste du Continent Africain.
Massiwani traiteur met un point d’honneur à accompagner et proposer un service personnalisé à sa clientèle de particuliers et de professionnels, en apportant sa touche de modernité aux cuisines d’Afrique tout en conservant l’authenticité des produits : surprendre par le goût et la présentation sans pour autant tout dénaturer
Il a su mobiliser ses compétences autour de trois prestations de services : traiteur événementiel, chef à domicile et consultant culinaire.
April 19, 2021
In today’s episode, the founder and Chair of the African Association of Visitor Experiences and Attractions (AAVEA) Sabine Lehmann delves into Africa’s attraction scene and how visitor attractions can respond to the needs of guests in the time of Covid-19.
Sabine Lehmann has first-hand insight into the challenges and opportunities facing the attractions industry – especially on the African continent. Having held leadership roles in some of South Africa’s most iconic tourist attractions Sabine understands from the inside out how difficult it is to run a profitable and sustainable attraction in a world that is constantly changing.
Sabine is committed to building African attractions and is the founder and Chair of the African Association of Visitor Experiences and Attractions (AAVEA) and a government relations committee member of the IAPPA (The Global Association for the Attractions Industry). She holds an MBA from the University of Cape Town and an MPhil (Futures) from the Stellenbosch University.
April 13, 2021
In today’s episode, Founder of US-based Monkey Initiative Anne- Marie Mascaro opens up on her motivation for the support and protection of primates. She believes countries need to have the right legislation to support conservation efforts.
Anne-Marie’s love of primates was ignited in early childhood after a chance encounter with a chimpanzee used in entertainment. She recognized the exploitation of animals from a young age and felt drawn to change the fate of other primates. After college, she moved to New York city where she would connect with her future mentor, Linda Koebner. Linda was a chimpanzee behaviorist and co-founder of Chimp Havenchimpanzee sanctuary in Louisiana.
Anne-Marie used her background in marketing to do volunteer publicity and fundraising for the sanctuary, gaining them a coveted spot in the famous annual “Blessing of the Animals” event at the Cathedral of St John the Divine in NYC. She was part of grassroots brainstorming sessions for the chimpanzee sanctuary, so she understands the power of small groups working towards a common goal.
Volunteer work opened doors to a stint in Uganda, working with captive chimps, followed by a Master's of Science, Primate Conservation (With Merit) from Oxford Brookes, and an MBA in London. Anne-Marie is the “ideas” person of Monkeyfriendy, Inc.-leveraging ideas from around the world into project ideas for Red Rocks Monkeyfriendly Initiative in Rwanda.
April 11, 2021
In today’s episode, the Chairperson of the Rwanda Tours and Travel Association Bonita Mutoni sheds light on the state of preparedness of the Association for the tourism restart. Bonita whose niche is in the area of luxury-high-end tourism believes building back better will mean African Destinations should rethink their models when pitching for business to the region.
Bonita is currently the Sales and Marketing Director of both One&Only properties in Rwanda and Founder of Uber Luxe safaris, one of the leading Destination Management companies in Rwanda. She is Incredibly passionate about luxury travel and is keen to play a role in Rwanda’s development into the leading eco-luxury travel destination.
April 6, 2021
My Guest today is the Director of Program, Innovation and Planning at the Africa Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD) Mrs. Estherine Fotabong. Mrs. Fotabong sheds more light on her agency’s Post Covid-19 African Tourism Recovery Strategy launched in the midst of the pandemic to support member states. She believes the time has come for Africa to pay more attention to innovation in building a sustained and resilient tourism sector.
Before her appointment as Director at the AUDA-NEPAD, Mrs. Fotabong was the UNEP Country Liaison Officer for South Africa and the Senior Environment and Tourism Adviser to the NEPAD Secretariat. She has a Master’s Degree in Law and another Master’s Degree in International Affairs, specialising in International Policy and Practice. Mrs. Fotabong has co-authored several publications relating to Climate Change Adaptation, Environmental Law and Development Policy. She has extensive global travel experience, through serving in various portfolios.
In May 2014 and July 2016, Mrs. Fotabong received Honorary Awards from the Governments of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and Republic of Cameroon respectively, for her passion, dedication, and leadership towards advancing equality and empowerment of African women.
April 5, 2021
In today’s episode, CEO and Managing Director of IKAZE PCO Brenda Nyakira Anderson shares her story on how the Rwandan-based Professional conference organizers had to shelve major events as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Over 12 months into the pandemic, Brenda has led the team to adapt their business model to the new normal and introduce some novelty to the market.
Prior to founding Ikaze PCO, worked within the Commercial Department at the High Commission, and was responsible for attracting Foreign Direct Investment to Rwanda and expanding Rwanda’s export base; advising the Rwandan Diaspora about various business opportunities in Rwanda and the UK; generating new Investor leads for Foreign Direct Investment in Rwanda and advising on all areas related to the Investment Code of Rwanda.
Ikaze PCO targets inbound tourism, and in particular MICE Tourism with a strong focus on Conference and Incentive travel to Rwanda. They offer a single point of contact solution for event planners. This includes venue and accommodation sourcing, event website design and online conference registration, function planning and theming, audio visual and technical requirements.
April 3, 2021
Today’s episode is a fascinating conversation with the Director of Investments and Product Development at the Ghana Tourism Authority Ben Anane-Nsiah. He tells me Ghana is looking to diversify its source market with a focus on the African Market. He was the leader of the Delegation of Ghana’s trade and tourism mission to Rwanda which was facilitated by the Rwanda High Commission in Accra and the Rwanda Development Board.
March 25, 2021
La session d'aujourd'hui du Tour de la Gastronomie Africaine est une conversation fascinante sur la culture alimentaire Comorienne. Hanane Saif Sohun est née á Médine en Arabie Saoudite de parents Comoriens. Elle fait ses études primaires et secondaires à Moroni dans la capitale des Comores avant de partir poursuivre ses études supérieures en Tanzanie où elle s’est formée en anglais et dans le secteur de l’aviation. De retour aux Comores, elle devient agent de voyages dans une grande compagnie de la place avant d’être recrutée comme hôtesse de l’air. Elle travaille tout d’abord pour une compagnie nationale Comorienne avant d’être recrutée pour une compagnie aérienne Sud-Africaine pendant des années.
La passion d’Hanane Sohun pour la cuisine date de sa plus tendre enfance sous le joug familiale en regardant sa mère qui reste une référence indéniable pour elle jusqu’à nos jours, même si le côté autodidacte est ce qui l’a emmené à être chef gastronomique. Elle est donc fondatrice de Yummy Cuisine et Pâtisserie et un service traiteur qui lui permettent de faire connaître la gastronomie Comorienne tant au niveau national, continental qu’à l’international. Hanane Sohun est mariée à un Mauricien et est mère de trois garçons qui font d’elle une mère et épouse comblée.
March 22, 2021
Episode 67 of the VA Tourism Podcast is an exclusive with Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary of Tourism & Wildlife Hon, Najib Balala. He discusses how Kenya's tourism sector managed the effects of the coronavirus Pandemic and identifies 3 pillars as essential for a sustained tourism sector recovery.
Hon. Najib Balala, EGH, assumed the position of the Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife in the 2015 government reshuffle. He moved from the Ministry of Mining where he was appointed as Kenya’s first Minister in May 2013 and is credited with delivering the Draft Mining Bill in 2014, the first policy and institutional framework review of Kenya’s mining sector since 1940. Having also served as Minister for Tourism from April 2008 to March 2012, Hon. Balala holds the record of being the longest-serving Minister in the docket.
During that tenure, Hon. Balala delivered the Tourism Bill and gave the sector a policy and legal framework geared towards maintaining sustainability. Hon. Balala has been elected Chairman of the United Nations World Tourism Organization twice, in 2011 and 2019, where he currently holds the position of Chairperson of UNWTO Executive Council.