Tiffanie A.

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Botswana Tourism
25th Africa Tourism Leadership Forum & Awards 2022

WHEN: 24-26 OCTOBER 2022

Area Overview

Botswana is a landlocked country in southern Africa. It is bordered by South Africa to the south and east, by Namibia to the west, and by Zimbabwe to the east. The massive Kalahari Desert covers more than 70 percent of Botswana, spans about 360,000 square miles, and touches nine African countries.


Africa Tourism Leadership Forum and Awards is the only pan African industry awards of its kind in Africa. It recognizes and celebrates change-makers and innovation pioneered by Africans, in Africa, for African travel, tourism, hospitality and aviation industries.

Day 1: Monday, 24 October 2022
Private Sector & NTOs Roundtable – Closed Session

Botswana is a landlocked country in southern Africa. It is bordered by South Africa to the south and east, by Namibia to the west, and by Zimbabwe to the east. The massive Kalahari Desert covers more than 70 percent of Botswana, spans about 360,000 square miles, and touches nine African countries.


Africa Tourism Leadership Forum and Awards is the only pan African industry awards of its kind in Africa. It recognizes and celebrates change-makers and innovation pioneered by Africans, in Africa, for African travel, tourism, hospitality and aviation industries.

Theme: Uniting for common Intra-Africa Travel shared vision and acceleration

Topic: Establishing an action-orientated & functional Pan-African Private Sector Collaborative Body for the advocacy and promotion of intra-Africa travel.


  • Kwakye Donkor, Chief Executive, Africa Tourism Partners
  • Christelle Grohmann – Director, BDO, South Africa

Invited Guests:

  • AfCTA
  • African Private Sector bodies & associations
  • Researchers, academics
  • Tourism consulting & business advisory firms SADC Secretariat
  • ECOWAS Secretariat
  • EAC/EATP Secretariat
  • SADC Private Sector Forum/ Tourism Business Councils/ Airline Associations
  • Hospitality Associations
  • Travel Agency Associations

It was an honor to attend the Roundtable discussion designed for identifying, discussing and finding a solution for the collective promotion of intra-Africa travel.

The roundtable offered this group of travel professionals the time to identify specific problems in the tourism industry including but not limited to:

  • Logistical concerns with connectivity to African countries
  • Likeliness of an AU Passport
  • Inability for Africans to travel throughout Africa at an affordable rate
  • Identifying excessive fees of airline carriers for Intra-Africa travel
  • Importance of AfCTA and ability to understand the language of the Agreement and how we can use it to benefit from trade Intra-Africa
  • Issue of creating different roadmaps with different agencies instead of working together on one road map
  • Need of support from governmental agencies for African owned SME’s and ‘Hidden Gems’ in the tourism industry
  • Creation of jobs for youth in tourism sector

The floor was open to all participants in the room and speakers from throughout the continent shared their views on the issues and suggestions of how to tackle these problems.

The forum lasted throughout the entirety of the day and during closing remarks Mr. Kwakye Donkor summarized a list of solutions and those who would take the lead of executing these solutions.
Ultimately I loved the fact that we are able to sit in a room of like minded individuals and find a common ground of promoting all tourism experts/professionals to contribute to the conversation and find a mutually beneficial solution.

Day 2: Tuesday, 25 October 2022

Welcome Remarks: Hon. Philda Nani Kereng Minister of Environment & Tourism

Hon. Philda Nani Kereng, is the Minister of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation & Tourism of Botswana. She has brought a new impetus to the tourism industry of her country by revising the tourism policy so as to enhance the participation of the country’s citizens in the tourism industry and to diversify the tourism products across the country.

She has devised strategies to accelerate the recovery of Botswana tourism industry through the networking of its different partners so as to achieve synergy while improving sustainable conservation practices and positioning her country as a tourism and investment regional hub.

She has also been active on the social front since 1995. She held until 2001 the post of Chief of Surveys and Follow ups of the Rural Industries Innovation Center, planning and managing nation-wide sociological research projects to improve industrial and farming activities.

Keynote Address: H.E Dr. Mokgweetsi E. K. Masisi President of the Republic of Botswana

H.E. Dr. Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi was sworn in as the 5th President of the Republic of Botswana on 1st April 2018. Prior to this, he was Botswana’s 8th Vice President from 2014. As Vice President he was responsible for oversight of Government programs including flagship programs such as: Poverty Eradication, Economic Diversification Drive and Employment Creation. He has served in various portfolios including as Minister for Presidential Affairs and Public Administration and Minister of Education and Skills Development. Prior to public life, His Excellency Dr. Masisi had established a career in education.

As president, H.E. Dr. Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masis is keen on eradicating poverty and social exclusion in order to build a society that provides opportunity and dignity for all.

The President is committed to supporting the growth of a modern Botswana and showed great passion for working together with other key players to promote tourism in Botswana.

Marketing the Imagination

Augmenting Africa’s tourism marketing by leveraging metaverse in hospitality, travel, and real estate – an under exploited opportunity.

Hard Talk: Future Focus & Global Readiness Insights

State of Readiness of African States for Tourism Growth – experience and products’ perspective.

In conversation with Forward Keys – African Connectivity Insights and Trends

The State of Play of Intra-Africa Connectivity – An opportunity for accelerating Intra-Africa travel.

Hard Talk – Intra-Africa Travel & Tourism Revolution

Revolutionizing intra-Africa travel through a purposeful Pan-African apex private sector body: An absolute prerequisite for improving connectivity in Africa.


The morning started with dancers and singers welcoming everyone to the Forum. Next we were welcomed by the highly energetic Honorable Philda Nani Kereng, Minister of Environment & Tourism. I had the privilege of meeting the Honorable Philda Nani Kereng on arrival and she was the first introduction to how welcoming the people of Botswana truly are.

Throughout the entirety of the forum the Honorable Philda Nani Kereng laughed, danced and showed all visitors the true hospitality of Botswana. After the Honorable Philda Nani Kereng greeted the crowd, the President of Botswana, H.E. Dr. Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi, welcomed us all.

Having traveled to many tourism expos and forums on the continents, I can wholeheartedly say that it is easy to see the support provided by the President and dignitaries of Botswana. The President urged guests to utilize technology and inclusivity to accelerate Botswana’s tourism sector.

There were many great discussions on various topics based around the tourism industry but two of my favorite panels focused on African Connectivity Insights and Trends and Intra-Africa Travel & Tourism Revolution.

Expert and Market Data Analyst, Mr. Shingai George Mkudu, highlighted the key factors of why intra-Africa travel is important, some factors hindering us from collaborating on a continental scale and what we needed to do to move forward as a unit.

Botswana Cultural Night – Botswana Craft

The Botswana Cultural Night experience was a night that we will always remember. Starting from the traditional ginger drink served on arrival, everything for the evening showcased the culture of Botswana.

We ate traditional food, networked with new and old colleagues and danced all night. Even when the power went out, the energy from the crowd singing in unison could light up villages and communities far away.

When I say we danced, we danced all through the evening and there was not one person who was eager to leave the venue that night.

It was on this evening that we officially fell in love with Botswana; not because of the safaris, not because of the beautiful terrain, rather we fell in love with the beautiful energy of the Botswana people.

Day 3: Wednesday, 26 October 2022

Ministerial & Executives Hard Talk

Ensuring Affordable Regional Air Connectivity – Advocating for African countries to unblock open skies bottlenecks.

TED Talk

Multiplying the value of Small Enterprises in the Tourism value chain and impact in local economies.

Expert Advisory Panel

Exploring and connecting to Africa’s Tourism investors for new capital, funding, and finance solutions from guest houses, lodges to branded hotels and “stay-put” resorts.


The last day of festivities begin with everyone still speaking of the amazing time of the Botswana Culture Night.

As always, the Honorable Philda Nani Kereng welcomed us with high energy as we entered into our last day of activities.

As the activities began to wind down, our favorite panel of the day was the discussion of Ensuring Affordable Regional Air Connectivity – Advocating for African countries to unblock open skies bottlenecks.

With this panel Mr. Aaron Munetsi, the CEO of Airline Association of Southern Africa, moderated and did not hold back on holding the panelists accountable for problems faced with intra-Africa travel.

As with every day, Mr, Miller Matola, the CEO and Director of Millvest, provided in-depth key outcomes and synthesis of the day and all three days of the Forum. To end the Forum we were informed that Botswana Tourism would host the next two Leadership Awards Forum.

Overall this was one of the best Tourism Forums we attended because not only how well organized the forum was but also because of the warm welcome of those hosting from Botswana.

On behalf of Away to Africa, we sincerely thank the team of Africa Tourism Leadership and we look forward to next year’s forum!

Africa Tourism Leadership Awards

Leading in Progressive Policies’ Award

A country, head of state, minister or government organization/team who has shown progressive and excellence in policy-making for sustainable tourism growth and development in their destination.

Winner: Prof. Mouhamed Faouzou Deme

Mouhamed Faouzou DEME is Senegalese world-class emeritus man, an international tourism personality, who has an exceptional career. He has a Diploma of Advanced Studies in Tourism and Hospitality. He is a also Civil Aviation graduate, airport management. He started very young in the world of travel, tourism and hospitality.
Here he is, 30 years later with several other Diplomas and Certificates in the fields of sustainable tourism, ecotourism, e-tourism, air traffic rights, tourism satellite accounts, marketing and tourism promotion.

Outstanding Entrepreneurship Award

An entrepreneur (or a small group of entrepreneurs) who has shown excellence in entrepreneurship in Africa’s travel, tourism, hospitality and/or aviation industry.

Winner: Dr. Patrick Bitature

Dr. Patrick Bitature is the founder of The Simba Group of Companies which owns two hotels in Kampala- Protea Hotel Kampala and Skyz Hotel that directly employ 380 people and indirectly, another 4,000 people along its supply chain. These hotels have been at the forefront of tourism in Uganda since their inception. They have housed dignitaries from the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) as well as entertainment stars such as Adekunle Gold and Costa Tich who came to the country to perform at concerts and in doing so to increase both domestic and international tourism. Both hotels have been recipients of awards such as the Global Tourism Award and the World Luxury Hotel Awards. He was also recently named the most Outstanding African Entrepreneur by the Africa Tourism Leadership Forum.

Most Innovative Business Tourism Destination Award

Most Innovative and Sustainable Business Tourism and MICE Destination in Africa based on destination rating, number of classified hotels, value for money, value chain development, and number of visitors vs. socio-economic benefits to the destination and/or green credentials.

Winner: City of Cape Town

Cape Town is a modern, cosmopolitan city surrounded by nature. Centered around Table Mountain, one of the New 7 Wonders of the world, the Mother City is known for its beautiful beaches, stunning biodiversity, award-winning food and wine, and sheer variety of experiences on offer.

Africa Youth in Tourism Challenge 2022

This is an exclusive platform being provided to innovative African youth in travel and tourism looking for funding, partnership and mentorship opportunities to present their projects to the global marketplace in order to find the required support for their programs.

Winner: Scott Blount

Scott Blount is the founder of TripClip, a world-first travel tech platform that was launched in South Africa in 2021. TripClip has quickly become one of Africa’s quickest growing travel tech companies, spanning across 14 African countries with clients throughout the world.

Within just 12 months the platform has generated in excess of 80 000 itineraries that have amassed more than 1.4 million views/shares across the globe, generating immensely valuable exposure for the African travel industry.

TripClip was named the World’s Best Travel Itinerary Builder in 2021 and have again been shortlisted for this award in 2022.

Runner’s up for the 4th Africa Youth in Tourism Innovation Challenge

1st Runner-Up; Nkululeko Nkosi, Co-founder – Etela Africa, South Africa

2nd Runner-Up; Jeffrey-Takunda Murungweni, CEO – Trafiki Africa, Zimbabwe.