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Uganda misses out on first continental tourism leadership awards

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The finalists in all nine categories of the inaugural Africa Tourism Leadership Awards have been announced by the Co-chairpersons of the awards committee, Prof. Marina Novelli and Ms. Judy Kepner-Gona, following criteria and process verification by Grant Thornton but the Ugandan government and private tourist agencies and individuals are nowhere to be seen.

According to the orgainsers, winners of the different categories will be announced at the Awards Ceremony to be held on August 31, 2018 in Accra, Ghana. And Uganda’s neighbours-Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania appear in some of the categories, with Rwanda dominating, showing how that country is determined to bolster its tourism industry.

“The Awards seek to recognize and celebrate countries, governments, organizations and individuals for their innovation and outstanding accomplishments in tourism development across Africa,” said Professor Marina Novelli, Co-chairperson of the Awards Committee.

The efforts of the finalists will continue to empower local communities, according to Ms. Judy Kepner-Gona, Co-chairperson of the awards committee.

The 3 short-listed finalists for each of the nine categories:

1. Leading in Progressive Policies’ Award
• Namibia Ministry of Environment and Tourism
• Rwanda Development Board
• Seychelles Tourism Board/Tourism Ministry Responsible for Tourism

2. Outstanding Entrepreneurship Award
• Ikechi Uko, Akwaaba Travel Fair – Nigeria
• Lipian Bongani Mtandabari – Phezulu Safaris (PRIVATE) Limited Zimbabwe.
• Kehinde, Michael Oluwadamilare – Discoveria

3. Women in Leadership Award
• Carmen Nibigira – Burundi
• Rosette Chantal Rugamba – Rwanda
• Jacinta Nzioka – Kenya

4. Most Innovative Business Tourism Destination Award
• Kigali City – Rwanda
• South Africa
• Western Cape and Cape Town – South Africa

5. Outstanding Accommodation Facility/Group Award
• & Beyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge -Tanzania
• &Beyond Group – Southern Africa
• SABI SABI Private Game Reserve- South Africa

6. Outstanding Tourism Transportation Award
• FlySafair – South Africa
• South African Airways – South Africa
• Ethiopian Airways – Ethiopia

7. Outstanding Africa Tourism Media Award
• Katchie Nzama – South Africa
• Voyages Afriq Media Limited – Ghana
• Kehinde, Michael Oluwadamilare – Discoveria

8. Championing Sustainability Award
• Botswana Tourism Board/Botswana Ministry Responsible for Tourism
• Seychelles Tourism Board
• Wilderness Safaris – Southern Africa

9. Destination Africa – Lifetime Award
• Late Russel Friedman of Wilderness Safaris – South Africa
• Mandela and Nelson Mandela Foundation –South Africa
• Late Professor Wangari Muta Maathai – Kenya

“The Africa Tourism Leadership Awards provide a novel approach to recognizing change-makers who inspire transformation across Africa’s tourism industry,” highlighted Ms. Christelle Grohmann of Grant Thornton.

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