Sports tourism is one of the fastest-growing sectors in tourism. How do destinations position sporting events as powerful tourism attractions? How do we leverage sports as a catalyst for tourism development in terms of destination branding, infrastructure development and other economic and social benefits?
Vice President & Head of Strategy and Operations, Basketball Africa League
John Manyo-Plange was named BAL Vice President & Head of Strategy and Operations in August 2019. Manyo-Plange has more than 20 years of experience in the NBA’s global operations and management and had been working in his previous role as NBA Africa Head of Business Operations since May 2010 when he helped launch the NBA Africa office in Johannesburg, South Africa. Prior to relocating to South Africa, Manyo-Plange spent 14 years at the NBA office in New York City, holding management positions across multiple departments, including international business operations, events and marketing. A native of Ghana, Manyo-Plange graduated from Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) with a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Rutgers University.
Founder & Managing Director: KGL FWD
Autumn Marie is a brand marketing and communications strategist and social entrepreneur with over 16 years experience in the music, film TV and social cause sectors. Originally from Chicago, Autumn developed her professional career in New York City for almost two decades before moving abroad to Mauritius as a marketing lead for African Leadership University. Now residing in Kigali, Rwanda, she is the founder and managing director of KGL FWD (Kigali Forward), a PR & brand marketing agency dedicated to telling the world about Kigali and expanding the narrative of Rwanda.
Shea Peters is a Travel & Lifestyle Writer that specializes in luxury travel, including spa, food, nature/adventure, and sports destinations. As a contributor to Travel + Leisure, Bridal Guide Magazine, Nylon, Just Luxe, and travel ebooks, Shea brings global sights, sounds, and “eats” home for those looking for new destinations to discover. With a 10 year background in Entertainment Marketing & Advertising, Shea sees travel as a form of entertainment coupled with an opportunity to learn about new cultures, while encouraging the preservation of that culture.
Director, QA Venue Solutions
From South Africa, Kyle Schofield Director of QA Venue Solutions, has amassed over 10 years’ experience in the event industry and spent the last 6 years working through Africa, assisting companies like NBA Africa expand their operations into 23 countries on the continent. Identifying venues as a key contributor to the industry’s growth, Kyle has shifted his focus to develop an African focused Venue Management model that seeks to develop, manage and commercialize venues across the continent.
CEO: Africa Business Group
Michael Sudarkasa is the CEO of Africa Business Group (ABG), a South Africa based continentally active, African economic development company. The Group specializes in the areas of private sector development, trade and investment within Africa and between Africa and the global business community. ABG is a strategic advisor to the African World Heritage Fund, an African Union and UNESCO supported body that supports 145 world heritage sites across Africa. A U.S. commercial attorney by training, Michael has lived, travelled, and worked in 50 countries around the world (including 35 in Africa), and is the author of several publications, including: The African Union Commission’s Africa Business Directory: Toward the Facilitation of Growth, Partnership and Global Inclusion (African Union, 2014), A Field Guide to Inclusive Business Finance (UNDP 2012) and Investing in Africa: An Insider’s Guide to the Ultimate Emerging Market (John Wiley & Sons, August 2000). He holds a B.A. degree from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor (High Honors in History), a J.D. degree from Harvard Law School.
CEO: Africa Tourism Association
Naledi currently serves as Chief Executive at the Africa Tourism Association (ATA), a global trade association promoting travel and tourism to Africa and strengthening intra-Africa partnerships. ATA serves both the public and private sectors of the international travel and tourism industry. Naledi is passionate about the intersection of marketing and emerging technologies, and is excited about this intersection and great opportunities within the tourism sector.