Judges

Prof. Keolebogile Motaung

Prof. Keolebogile Motaung

Professor, Biomedical Scientist And Director: Technology Transfer & Innovation At The Durban University Of Technology

Akwasi Obeng Adjei

Akwasi Obeng Adjei

Director Of Audit: Wealth, Investment Management And Insurance, Absa. South Africa

Barry Clemens

Barry Clemens

Chief Executive Officer, Hospitality EQ, United Kingdom

Caroline Amito

Caroline Amito

managing Director of Hotel Pearl Afrique

Dr Kobby Mensah

Dr Kobby Mensah

Senior Lecturer& Coordinator, MSc. Hospitality And Tourism University Of Ghana

José Ricardo Díaz Ardila

José Ricardo Díaz Ardila

Senior Specialist Department Of Innovation, Education And Investments World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)

Miller Matola

Miller Matola

CEO, Millvest And Director, Africa Tourism Leadership Forum

Netumbo Velile Nashandi

Netumbo Velile Nashandi

Social Entrepreneur

Kojo Bentum-Williams

Kojo Bentum-Williams

UNWTO Communication Expert On Africa And Founder And Publisher Of Africa’s

Prof. Keolebogile Motaung

Prof. Keolebogile Motaung

Professor, Biomedical Scientist and Director: Technology Transfer & Innovation at the Durban University of Technology

Prof. Keolebogile Motaung is a Full Professor, Biomedical Scientist and Director: Technology Transfer & Innovation at the Durban University of Technology with more than 23 years’ experience in Higher Education. She is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Global Health Biotech (Pty) Ltd. As a Professor, research scientist and entrepreneur, she trains her postgraduate students not just on how to do research, and become a scientist, but also on how to become entrepreneurs. By becoming entrepreneurs, they can create jobs for themselves after completing their studies at a time, when jobs are scarce, and unemployment is high.

Based on her own scientific exploration into the use of medicinal plants in tissue engineering of bone and cartilage, she founded a company called Global Health Biotech (PTY) Ltd in 2016. Global Health Biotech has developed a natural anti-inflammatory ointment named La-Africa Soother (LAS) from medicinal plants which helps relieve muscle and joint aches, thus offering athletes, sportsmen and women an alternative natural anti-inflammatory ointment. This is the first product of its kind aimed at preventative care, meaning it is applied ahead before and after physical activity to prevent anticipated muscle aches.

 This product, packaged in a green and white tube, is already available on the market. Motaung has also licensed a technology from Stellenbosch University to develop a second product named pump protein shake (vegan friendly plant-based). The product simultaneously leads to decreased muscle inflammation which leads to accelerated regeneration and may be more effective as an anti-inflammatory agent than known non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) and with less side-effect. She is an award winner and has received a number of accolades from far and wide because she has thrown the gauntlet in bridging the gap between science and entrepreneurship.

Akwasi Obeng Adjei

Akwasi Obeng Adjei

Director Of Audit: Wealth, Investment Management And Insurance, Absa. South Africa

He is the Director of Group Internal Audit: Investment Management and Insurance at Absa Bank South Africa and an academic with a vested interest in the Futures as a discipline. He has presented on this subject matter at several conferences and organisations and has received numerous accolades. He is a PhD Candidate (Wits) and holds an MBA (Stellenbosch), MCOM (Wits), BSc Hons Management (UJ), BSc IT & Mathematics qualifications.

With over 25 years of experience in the international Hospitality & Tourism industry, he has been a prominent presence in the field. He is currently leading the commercial activities for Portier Technologies, a company that provides the industry with technology which enhances the guest experience and enhances engagement with the hotel.

Barry was chosen as one of the Global 100 most influential leaders in the industry during the Global Mice Congress in Mumbai this year and has been a regular invited speaker at several international Hospitality & Tourism conferences around the world.

With proven commercial understanding, product, and business development skills, he has also been appointed to the adjudication panel for the Africa Youth in Tourism Innovation competition. And will act as a mentor to one of the winners.

Caroline Amito

Caroline Amito

Managing Director of Hotel Pearl Afrique

Caroline Amito,33 year old Ugandan. As the managing Director of Hotel Pearl Afrique that has existed for exactly 21 years now in Northern Uganda, Offering personalized services to our guests has been one of our greatest strengths in the hospitality business among others. I have worked here for about 7 years now since June 2015. I graduated with a bachelors in business and hospitality management from Nilai University Malaysia in affiliation with an Oxfords Brookes United Kingdom degree in 2013.My first job was at Nilai Springs Resort Hotel and Golf Country Club in Malaysia .Thereafter I worked at a Scicom Msc berhad-Malaysia as the Executive Customer care professional for about 2 years when I returned to work in my Home Country Uganda. I write,blog,vlog,read and sing in my free time .Iam a committed Born again Christian. I celebrate all my wins and this is definitely an opportunity to celebrate another milestone. I look forward to this great experience and opportunity to learn and hope my input makes a difference.

Dr Kobby Mensah

Dr Kobby Mensah

Senior Lecturer& Coordinator, MSc. Hospitality And Tourism University Of Ghana

Kobby Mensah is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Ghana Business School (UGBS). His teaching and research areas are in applied Marketing: Tourism Marketing, Political Marketing, Financial Services Marketing and Social Media. Kobby is the Convener of the Destination Legon Tourism Exhibition Project and the Coordinator for the MSc. Hospitality and Tourism programme at the University of Ghana Business School. He serves on a number of expert panels, including that of African Tourism Leadership Forum and African Youth in Tourism Innovation Summit (AYTIS). Kobby is the editor of the book ‘Political Marketing and Management in Ghana: A New Architecture,’ published by Palgrave MacMillan, UK. He is a leading expert on Political Marketing in Africa and has been responsible for the growing interest in the field. Kobby is a prominent voice globally on creating awareness of Africa’s emergence in the political marketing space. His opinion is engaged by local and international media such as the BBC, Financial Times (FT), DW and SABC amongst other news brands.

Kobby obtained his PhD in Journalism from the University of Sheffield, UK, and holds an MSc in International Marketing from the Sheffield Hallam University, UK. He is a Chartered Marketer (CIM, UK). A member of Political Marketing Specialist Group (PMSG) of the Political Studies Association (PSA), UK; Associate Editor, African Journal of Management Research, UGBS; Member of Palgrave McMillan Board on Political Marketing Management Book Series. Kobby serves as Chair of the Sales and Marketing Compliance Committee of Accra Brewery Ltd (ABL). He consults for corporate and political institutions on political marketing, corporate communications, social media deployment and tourism marketing. Kobby recently developed the FOCAS Software, an innovative data-driven customer feedback system that tracks and evaluates service performance.

José Ricardo Díaz Ardila

José Ricardo Díaz Ardila

Senior Specialist Department of Innovation, Education and Investments World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)

José Ricardo Díaz Ardila currently works in the Innovation and Digital Transformation team of the Innovation, Education and Investments Department of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). During this period, he has been in charge of the UNWTO Acceleration Programme, the UNWTO Rural Tourism Competition and the UNWTO Sustainable Development Goals Global  Startup Competition. 

His experience includes previous work for the Youth Chapter of the Hotel and Tourism  Association of Colombia (COTELCO) and Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts in the Sultanate of Oman. Recently, he has collaborated as Mentor Coordinator for the EUvsVirus Hackathon, a project from the European Commission to find solutions  for COVID-19 challenges. 

Miller Matola

Miller Matola

CEO, Millvest and Director, Africa Tourism Leadership Forum

Miller has a Bachelor of Arts in Education from the University of the North, Miller Matola began his career as a lecturer at Vista University where he worked for four years. During this time, he obtained a BA Honours (Cum Laude) from the University of Potchefstroom. Thereafter he took on a project management course whilst working as a Project Manager at Technikon in South Africa. He was then awarded a scholarship by the United States Agency, for International development, to travel to the US amongst others as part of the USAID South Africa- Namibia Institute. Upon his return to South Africa in 1996, Miller was assigned to design a tourism course, which fueled his interest in the tourism sector. Since then he has worked with various organizations in Executive positions in the tourism and hospitality industry, including working with the Department of Tourism, Tourism KwaZulu-Natal Wildlife KZN, Tourism Grading Council of SA, Durban Chamber of Commerce and the International Convention Center Durban, amongst others.

Netumbo Velile Nashandi

Netumbo Velile Nashandi

Social Entrepreneur

Netumbo Velile Nashandi is an eclectic Pan-African Namibian Social Entrepreneur, with over 15 years of hands-on experience in the tourism, management, manufacturing, marketing and mobile technology sectors in advisory and executive capacities respectively. By definition, a social entrepreneur is a person who pursues novel applications that have the potential to solve community-based problems. Netumbo is an individual who is willing to take on the risks and efforts to create positive impact in society, through her initiatives.

Netumbo’s creativity, passion for working with people, and her strategic leadership skills led her to pursue work in the hospitality sector. Add to that, her formidable linguistic prowess in 6 languages – fluent in English, French, Ndebele & Oshiwambo: and conversant in German & Russian. She pursued a BA (Tourism) from the University of Namibia (2006) to that effect. Marketing, public relations, networking, team mentoring & training, and executive management skills were acquired and honed during her time as Senior Sales Consultant at Namibia Wildlife Resorts Limited – a state owned Hospitality Organization that is tasked with the local/international marketing and management of 26 resorts nationwide.

In 2011, Netumbo co-founded Lex Travel & Tours (PTY) Ltd and was instrumental in resuscitating the Emerging Tourism Entrepreneurs Association (ETEA), with two other formidable emerging female tourism entrepreneurs. Through her dedicated efforts at ETEA, she was part of Team Destination Namibia – whose task was to ensure Namibia won the bid to host the Adventure Travel World Summit (ATWS) in 2013, which Namibia hosted with great aplomb.

Netumbo took advantage of her acquired skills and linguistic talent to broaden her net of impactful activities and initiatives, and founded Opulent Investments (PTY) Ltd in 2011, with the intention of attracting FDI to Namibia as per Namibian government priority sectors.  In 2012 she founded Opulent Travel & Tours; and in 2015, through collaborative partnerships, Opulent Investments (PTY) Ltd co-hosted a trade delegation led by former Finnish President & Nobel Prize Laurette Martti Ahtisaari. This inspired her to pursue a Certificate in Economic Diplomacy from the Diplo Foundation (accr. by University of Malta, 2016).

With a deep passion and understanding of tourism in Namibia, Netumbo continues to engage with ETEA, and is its representative on the NTB Marketing Advisory Committee, which advises the NTB on private and public sector’s expectations relating to international, regional and domestic marketing.  Her latest achievement, encapsulates the plethora of passion she has for the Namibian tourism sector. Netumbo was elected to serve as the Federation of Namibian Tourism Associations’ (FENATA) 1st chairperson from ETEA – a symbol of hope and inclusivity from a previously disadvantaged Namibians’ perspective. She has been invited to speak on Tourism in the African context at various fora; including the Emerge Conversation Series (Namibia), Olupale Summit (Namibia), South African Tourisms’ Africa Travel and Tourism Summit, DRC’s Office Nationale de Tourisme, Senegalese Tourism stakeholders, just to mention a few.

In addition to organic cosmetics manufacturing, she has done consultancy work for WWF Namibia, the Ministry of Environment, Forestry & Tourism of Namibia, and is currently co-producing a documentary TV series aptly named In Pursuit of Magic.

Family and friends describe Netumbo as a sophisticated straight-talker, driven, leader, team player, strategic, steadfast, go-getter, that she diligently applies herself in whatever she does – be it with people, work, or environment.

Kojo Bentum-Williams

Kojo Bentum-Williams

UNWTO Communication Expert on Africa and Founder and Publisher of Africa’s

Kojo Bentum-Williams is the Founder and Publisher of Africa’s leading travel and tourism Media VoyagesAfriq Travel Magazine and Media. A communication professional with over 12 years in working in travel and tourism trade. His cross-cutting knowledge in the industry include working as PR official at the Ghana Tourism Authority and Press Secretary to Ghana’s Former Minister of Tourism Arts and Culture.

He is currently the Senior Expert for Communications in Africa for the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and aide to the Secretary General

He has regularly contributed to a number of Tourism publication and reports including the annual Africa Tourism Monitor Report published by the Africa Development Bank (AFDB), New York University Africa House Journal and Casa Africa’s Encounter with African Journalists in Spain.

Kojo has worked closely with a number of African Tourism Ministers and CEOs of National Tourism Boards in Africa as well as the Africa’s Tourism Private Sector.