Even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, opportunities remain to invest in African tourism. Our panel of African tourism specialists explored what these investment opportunities in tourism in Africa are.
CEO: Uganda Tourism Board
Lilly Ajarova is a tourism expert and passionate conservationist currently serving as the Chief Executive Officer of the Uganda Tourism Board (UTB). Popularly referred to as “Mama Chimp,” Ajarova has been recognised for contributing to the Uganda’s economic development through tourism marketing and wildlife conservation and management. She is a recipient of the prestigious National Golden Jubilee Award, Tourism Excellence Award, Wildlife Conservation Award, Top Africa 100 Women in Travel, Africa’s most influential women in business and government among other accolades. Lilly has also provided leadership as a member on the advisory committee of Pan African Sanctuary Alliance (PASA) who developed policies, standard operating procedures and best practices for the 22 sanctuaries and wildlife centres in 13 African member countries of PASA. She is a proud Rotarian, mother, mentor, and educator.
CEO: Ghana Tourism Authority
Prior to his appointment in January 2017, Akwasi was a shareholding partner of Global Media Alliance, a Media Consultancy and broadcasting company. As the Managing Director of its broadcasting operations, he was in charge of one TV Station and four radio stations. Until recently, he was the President of the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA). He holds an MBA in Marketing and Information Systems from Tulane University in Louisiana (2003), USA – an MBA Merit Scholarship Recipient. He also holds a Bachelors degree in Social Sciences (1993) and a Masters in Public Administration (MPA -1996) from the University of Ghana. He has over 15 years experience in Project Management, Crisis Communications, PR and Media Relations, Banking, and Relationship Management across Africa and has worked in senior level capacities with Ecobank, Merchant Bank, Stanbic Bank in South Africa. Prior to joining GMA as a founding partner in Ghana, Akwasi was a Business Analyst for Entergy Inc. in New Orleans, USA.
Principal Investment Officer:
International Finance Corporation (IFC)
Ken is based in IFC’ Johannesburg Office where he leads IFC’s Regional Team responsible for originating, structuring, closing and managing portfolio investments in IFC’s Manufacturing, and Consumer Services sectors. At the IFC, Ken has been involved in IFC equity, debt, and quasi-equity investments in East, West and Southern Africa in sectors such as Retail, Commercial Property, Education, Healthcare, Housing, Hotels, Cement Manufacturing, Automotive Components, Food & Beverage & Fast-Moving Consumer Goods. Ken has several years of experience in principal investment, corporate finance advisory, management consulting, in a variety of sectors.
IFC is the Private Sector arm of the World Bank Group (WBG), and a leading Development Finance Institution, operating across emerging markets globally.
CEO: Africa Business Group (ABG)
Founded in 2005, ABG focuses on three key areas, namely: economic and business development consulting; agriculture and renewable energy projects, and capacity development in the areas of private sector development, trade and investment within Africa and between Africa and the global business community. In 2016, under Michael’s leadership, ABG launched the Global African Agribusiness Accelerator Platform as the company’s principal capacity development initiative. A Harvard Law School graduate and commercial attorney by training, Michael has lived, travelled, and worked in 50 countries, 35 being in Africa and is the author of several publications.