Africa Travel Week
Kojo Bentum Williams

Hero of the Decade

Kojo Bentum-Williams: Media maverick on a mission to expand narratives of African tourism

Can dynamic storytelling and meaningful conversations help transform tourism across Africa? Meet the maverick entrepreneur out to prove it, using a decade of collaboration with Africa Travel Week (ATW) to spotlight emerging destinations and spark curiosity globally.

Kojo Bentum-Williams started VoyagesAfriq Travel Media, publisher of Voyages Afriq, with a clear mission: to spotlight Africa’s diverse tourism potential and forge new business avenues. As a UNWTO Senior Expert on Communications in Africa at the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), he recognised the need for a platform that would not only highlight what Africa has to offer but also facilitate critical connections within the tourism, travel, aviation, and arts sectors.

“We started VoyagesAfriq Travel Media from Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire, and we realised that there was a gap around communication and business opportunities for the tourism industry in Africa,” Kojo recalls. The company aimed to fill this vacuum by providing tailored travel packages, a magazine and blog, and a forum for tourism stakeholders to connect.

Alliance for Growth – Forging Stronger Ties at ATW

This led Kojo to establish a partnership with Africa Travel Week (ATW). As the leading B2B trade show, ATW was the perfect platform to further VoyagesAfriq Travel Media’s mission of spotlighting tourism opportunities across Africa and bringing key industry players together. Through this partnership, Kojo has been able to expand VoyagesAfriq Travel Media’s network and open new avenues for business growth, he says.

Kojo remembers his first experience with ATW in 2015 as a great opportunity to connect with people and the industry on the continent. “It was similar to events I’ve attended globally, but this time, it was happening right here on the continent.”

He is impressed by how ATW has evolved, moving from a classic travel show to engaging in crucial conversations about sustainability, inclusion, and access. “ATW gives Africa visibility regarding what people are doing and what they are celebrating. In the past 10 years we’ve seen many innovations that are necessary to change our perspective on Africa and to generally improve how business is conducted within the trade flow.”

On a personal level, Kojo enjoys the networking opportunities at ATW, where he has made friends and business contacts. He describes these contacts as his “tribe” – a network that has been central to his journey in the industry.

Expanding Narratives – Beyond Safaris and Sunsets

Kojo expresses the need for a broader narrative about Africa, one that captures the continent’s multifaceted appeal. He explains, “It’s crucial for us to tell our story in a way that makes people understand it’s not just about coming for a safari. We also acknowledge our challenges, but it’s important to highlight the positives too.

Our rich culture, unique gastronomy, and the people themselves provide experiences that truly define what it’s like to be in Africa. We want to show the world our story, the true essence of Africa.”

He highlights ATW, where he is a regular attendee and participant, as a prime example of a platform that has been instrumental in showcasing Africa’s tourism products and potential to the world.

Vision for the Future – A Continent on the Rise

Kojo is optimistic, noting, “We are good to go in Africa. I believe it’s a continent we need to harness; we haven’t reached our maximum potential yet, but we’re on our way.”

Looking ahead, Kojo eagerly shares plans to commemorate ATW’s 10th anniversary, saying, “We’ve got plans for special coverage and events to commemorate ATW’s 10-year milestone. It’s about telling the stories of those who have been part of the journey from the start. We’re looking to capture these narratives in a way that truly celebrates ATW’s decade-long journey.”

Africa Travel Week

Africa Travel Week (ATW) focuses on inbound and outbound markets for general leisure tourism, luxury travel, LGBTQ+ travel and the MICE/business travel sector as well as travel technology. Shows include: ILTM Africa, WTM Africa, EQUAL Africa, ibtm AFRICA, Travel Forward, Sports & Events Tourism Exchange and African Tourism Investment Summit.