The VA TourismPodcast
Mozambique Culture and  Tourism Minister Eldevina Materula talks making country an Active and visible African Tourism Player

Mozambique Culture and Tourism Minister Eldevina Materula talks making country an Active and visible African Tourism Player

July 1, 2021

My conversation today is with Mozambique’s Minister of Culture and Tourism Eldevina Materula. The Minister who has been attending the Brand Africa Conference in Windhoek, Namibia has been sharing with me a detailed plan to make Mozambique a top-of-mind destination for, particularly African travellers.

Madam Materula was however not amused by the spin placed on reportage regarding the instability in the north of the country.

Eldevina Carla José Materula has been Minister of Culture and Tourism since 17 January 2020.

Eldevina Materula was born on June 29, 1982, in the city of Maputo. She did her primary education at the Luta Continua Complete Primary School. She then did her high school at Escola Secundária da Polana, in Maputo city. She continued her studies in the music area, at the Superior School of Music in Lisbon, Portugal, and then joined the Malmo Academy of Music, in Sweden, where she obtained a Bachelor's and Master's degree.

Oboist musician by profession, Eldevina Materula was a teacher in the “Neojibá project” in Brazil, between 2007 and 2017. She founded Xiquitsi Project in Maputo and assumed the position of Artistic Director, from 2013 to 2019. She was a member of the Symphonic Orchestra of the Porto, Casa da Música – Portugal, between 2009 and 2020.

Eldevina Materula won the “Young Musicians Award” in 2001, and in 2016 she was awarded the Dom Infante D. Sousa Order of Merit Medal in Maputo by the President of the Portuguese Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, for her work with Mozambican Youth Musicians (Xiquitsi ).

In 2019, Eldevina Materula was elected cultural figure of the year by the Mozambican Newspaper Jornal Savana.


Sherin Francis: We’ll make sure restrictions do not affect visitor experience in Seychelles

Sherin Francis: We’ll make sure restrictions do not affect visitor experience in Seychelles

June 28, 2021

In today’s episode, the CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board Mrs. Sherin Francis gives an update and measures the archipelago island has put in place to help visitors travel with confidence. The Island has received 10,000 visitors since the opening of its borders on March 25 and hoping for an accelerated tourism restart in q4.

Prior to joining the Seychelles Tourism Board, Mrs. Francis was formerly the Principal Secretary at the Department of Tourism within the Ministry of Tourism and Culture.  She has also headed the Seychelles Investment Board for four years whereby she has been instrumental in broadening the marketing arm of the board and raised the Seychelles’ profile internationally as an investment destination.

The Previous position she also occupied before rising to an executive position includes Director of Investment Promotion at the Ministry of National Development, where amongst her many duties, she carried out research on market trends and promote investment opportunities.  Mrs. Francis holds a Bachelor of Arts joint Degree with Honors in Business Studies and Economics, from Manchester University and an M.Sc. in Finance with the University of London. 

During her tenure at the Tourism Board, a position which she is still currently serving, she has been instrumental in developing the digital marketing strategy of the board amongst other achievements.

CEO of AUDA-NEPAD Dr Ibrahim Mayaki opens up on Partnership Renewal with UNWTO

CEO of AUDA-NEPAD Dr Ibrahim Mayaki opens up on Partnership Renewal with UNWTO

June 25, 2021

Episode 84 of the VA Tourism Podcast is an exclusive interaction with the CEO of the Africa Union Development Agency- NEPAD Dr. Ibrahim Mayaki. Dr. Mayaki has been explaining the reasons behind the renewal of AUDA’s partnership with the World Tourism Organization. The Former Prime Minister of Niger who has had an accomplished career as a Politician, international statement, and author gives a sneak peek into what he will be doing when he bows out as the head of AUDA in September this year.

Dr. Ibrahim Assane Mayaki of the Republic of Niger is the Chief Executive Officer of the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD). He was appointed to this position in March 2009. 

He started his career as Professor of Public Administration in Niger in 1975, then in Venezuela; he has been a guest professor at the University Paris XI and led research at the Research Centre on Europe and the Contemporary World within that university. 

He was Minister in charge of African Integration and Cooperation and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Niger in 1996 and Prime Minister of Niger from 1997 to 2000. 

He equally served as Executive Director of the Rural Hub Think Tank, based in Dakar, Senegal from 2004 to 2009. 

He is « Commandeur de l’ordre du mérite national » of Niger , «Commandeur de l’ordre du mérite agricole » of France and decorated in the « Orden Isabel la Católica ( Encomienda de Número) of Spain. 

He was rewarded the highest distinction of the State of Japan, the "Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun", by Emperor Naruhito, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to promoting friendly relations and mutual understanding between Japan and Niger as well as Japan and the African Union. 

Marketing Manager of Accra City Hotel, Yaw Mamphey talks navigating through Covid-19 and remaining relevant to Ghana’s Hospitality Industry

Marketing Manager of Accra City Hotel, Yaw Mamphey talks navigating through Covid-19 and remaining relevant to Ghana’s Hospitality Industry

June 9, 2021

My conversation today is an insight with the Marketing Manager of Ghana’s Accra city Yaw Mamphey. He beliefs the pandemic has offered the hospitality sector an opportunity to build a sustainable market with the domestic market as its main pillar.

Yaw has over 10 years experience as a Top–Performing hospitality and guest-oriented professional, steering business development, operational efficiencies and strategic sales and marketing initiatives for hotels and resort properties. He had always provided leadership for the teams he works with. Execute a “clear vision and voice” to align with high ethical standards and cultures of discipline that value integrity and transparency in the core business.

He played a key role in sales & marketing in leading countryside and city hotel properties to unprecedented market share, revenue and profit. Increased revenue within the first year at the Accra City Hotel property. Developed a high-performing team that led Accra City Hotel to the highest market share and profit in the last few years of operation. This helped in aiding the hotel to earn 20 Awards & Accolades for Excellence in the first 2 years of assignment at Accra City Hotel. Yaw in the course of his career been bestowed with the awards below

o “Most Admired Hospitality Professional” 2020 – Hospitality Awards Ghana

o “Best Marketing Director - Africa” 2019 - Haute Grandeur Global Hotel Awards

o “Most Admired Sales & Marketing Director” 2019 - Hospitality Awards Ghana

o “Excellence in Marketing Management” 2018 – The Bizz Awards

Road to Recovery; A Conversation with South Africa’s Minister of Tourism Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane

Road to Recovery; A Conversation with South Africa’s Minister of Tourism Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane

June 4, 2021

In today’s episode, South Africa’s Minister of Tourism Honourable Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane outlines a number of initiatives her outfit is leading to bring about transformation in the rainbow nation’s tourism sector. The Minister also shed light on the e-visa rollout, priority for tourism stakeholders in SA’s vaccine program and SAT’s impending merger.

Mmamoloko “Nkhensani" Kubayi-Ngubane is, a Member of Parliament of the Republic of South Africa and a member of the National Executive Committee of the African National Congress. 

Prior to her current role, Kubayi-Ngubane previously served as a Minister in three portfolios, Science and Technology, Communications, and Energy respectively. She has held several leadership roles both within the ANC and as a deployee of the ANC in various spheres of government. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Johannesburg (formerly Vista University), a Postgraduate Diploma in Project Management from Damelin College, a Masters Degree in Public and Development Management from the University of the Witwatersrand and completed a Programme for Leadership Development at Harvard Business School. 

Kubayi-Ngubane is an outgoing member of the Global Artificial Intelligence Council established by the World Economic Forum's Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. She joins other global leaders as a member of the Forum’s newly established Global Future Council on Sustainable Tourism, a multi-stakeholder knowledge network tasked to advance innovative thinking for a more resilient, inclusive, and sustainable future. 

Kenya Convention Bureau launches Brand Logo and aims at becoming  a Major MICE Destination in Africa

Kenya Convention Bureau launches Brand Logo and aims at becoming a Major MICE Destination in Africa

May 31, 2021

My Conversation today is an exclusive with the CEO of the Kenya National Convention Bureau, Ms. Jacinta Nzioka. Jacinta believes Kenya is well-positioned to be a major MICE Destination in Africa and its conservation history will help endure the Harambee nation to many who wants to have a seamless event. She said the covid-19 pandemic compelled them to think outside the box to be adequately prepared for the future.

Ms. Nzioka was appointed in October 2019 as the National Coordinator/ Chief Executive Officer heading the secretariat setting up the Kenya National Convention Bureau, as a brand new entity.  Under her leadership, KNCB has been able to develop a 10-year roadmap destination Strategy for MICE and a destination Brand identity to position and market the destination.  Through the one year that KNCB has been in operation, various industry engagements and frameworks to engage the value chain, professionalize and coordinate the sector in Kenya as well as collaboration regionally and global awareness of Kenya has a MICE destination has been palpable.

Before her appointment, she had served as the Director of Marketing at the Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) for 6 years where she was charged with the responsibility of leading Kenya's global tourism marketing strategy.  In 2016, she was the Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the KTB for 11 months.  With over 20 years of experience in Destination Marketing & Management at the KTB, she has been involved in several projects and initiatives to turn around the sector during previous crises through implementation of global recovery strategies. While at the Tourism Board,  Jacinta has overseen implementation of tourism projects in all the source markets having been a Regional Manager for America, Europe and Emerging Markets during this period and has overseen development of a strategy to penetrate the African market and Domestic markets in later years. 


Ms. Nzioka is serving as an Advisory Board member of the World Tourism Forum, Lucerne and the UNESCOs International Tourism & Cultural Committee (ICOMOS), Board Member at the Ecotourism Kenya and is ICCA Africa Chapter Deputy Chair elected in 2020 for the next two years.

President of SITE Africa, Tes Proos looks at Africa’s readiness for Incentive Travel

President of SITE Africa, Tes Proos looks at Africa’s readiness for Incentive Travel

May 30, 2021

In today’s episode, the President of the Africa Chapter for the Society of Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE)  Tes Proos delves into the state of the continent’s Incentive travel market and looks at what can be done to quicken the MICE recovery. Tes who has an accomplished career in the meetings sector believes recent events in FITUR and the Arabian Travel Market should signal a gradual restart of business events in Africa.

Tes is currently serving as President of the SITE AFRICA Chapter (Society of Incentive Travel Excellence) and Immediate Past Chair of the South Africa Events Council.

Her career started in hotel operations in 1985.  She gained vast experience in hotel operations over the next 10 years, including opening a new convention center in Johannesburg in 1993.

She spent time at both Gallagher Estate and Sun City where she was involved in running groups and events up to 10 000 guests.

She became a DMC in early 2000 and thoroughly enjoys what she does, being able to bring her operational, sales, and marketing experiences together in creating magic for international incentive programmes.  She is also a proud recipient of a SITE Crystal Award for Best Motivational Programme in Africa/Middle East.



An Exclusive with CEO of Namibia Airport Company,  Bisey Uirab

An Exclusive with CEO of Namibia Airport Company, Bisey Uirab

May 27, 2021

In today’s episode, the CEO of the Namibia Airport Company Bisey Uirab tells me how the airport company is positioning its self  to attract the required investments to the country’s aviation sector. He is confident the newly refurbished Hosea kutako international airport will not only enhance travel experience but also act as another layer for non-aeronautical revenues

The Seychelles Gastronomy Story with Flavien Joubert

The Seychelles Gastronomy Story with Flavien Joubert

May 20, 2021

Today’s episode is a special program dubbed ‘’ Tour of African Gastronomy Talk Series’’ where featured chefs of UNWTO’s Tour of African Gastronomy Journal speak to us on their culinary journeys.My guest today is Mr. Flavien Joubert, former head of the Seychelles Tourism Academy and a seasoned chef. Mr.. Joubert takes us on a tour of the very spicy and tasty Seychelles culinary. He points to collaboration and partnerships as ways to help bring out Africa’s diverse culinary offerings.

Flavien Joubert is married and have two grown-up daughters. He had his culinary studies/hotel management studies in Cyprus, England, and France. He's had professional culinary chef posts in England, France, Singapore, Seychelles, Switzerland. Flavien also served as a hotel General manager at a 5-star hotel in Seychelles.

He's been in pedagogical and teacher training in Seychelles, England and Germany.He has also held principal teaching and lecturing posts in culinary and hospital management in Seychelles, La Reunion, France, Mauritius, Germany.Flavien is the author of several books which include: -Exotic seafood recipes from the Seychelles published in France in 2000

-Exotic cocktails from the Seychelles published in England in 2014
-Fish and seafood recipes published in England in 2017
-Refugee: A Seychelles boy's story published in 2019


Mohammed Hersi on Kenya’s Tourism Restart Plan

Mohammed Hersi on Kenya’s Tourism Restart Plan

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


Talking African Aviation with Ogaga Udjo

Talking African Aviation with Ogaga Udjo

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

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