Africa’s Eden Summit 2024

18 June – 02 July, 2024
Virtual

About

We are delighted to welcome you to the inaugural Africa’s Eden Summit, a groundbreaking event aimed at shaping the future of tourism in Southern Africa. This exclusive gathering will bring together thought leaders and innovators from the global tourism industry to exchange insights and foster collaboration. The summit is dedicated to showcasing best practices, addressing regional challenges, and seeking actionable solutions to ignite positive change in the tourism industry, benefitting both the region and the global sustainable tourism landscape.
High Level Attendees
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Internationally Renowned Speakers
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Africa's Eden Members
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Pricing

Event

Free
Registration Required
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Schedule Overview

Session One - 18 June

14.00 - 16.00 CAT
  • Sparklet Talk
    “Stop Greenwashing and Get on with Real Sustainability”
  • Panel Discussion
    “Leading by Our Tourists Demands – What do we need to do?”
  • Sparklet Talk
    “Can existential crises positively impact tourism?”

Session Two - 20 June

14.00 - 15.00 CAT
  • Keynote
    “Driving Threefold Tourism Innovation”
    In this talk Nick Hall, Founder and CEO of the Digital Tourism Think Tank will explore how digital is driving innovation from three totally transformative perspectives, considering AI – Augmented Reality, XR – Mixed Reality and VX – a digital look at the Visitor Experience. 

Session Three - 25 June

14.00 - 16.00 CAT
  • Sparklet Talk
    “Building a Destination – the WESGRO experience”
  • Panel Discussion
    “Enabling New Tourism Investment and Keeping Existing Investors: Building an Efficient Internal Environment”
  • Sparklet Talk
    “Unpacking WTTC African Report 2024”

Session Four - 02 July

14.00 - 16.00 CAT
  • Panel Discussion “Creating Value and Preserving the World’s Largest Free – Roaming Wildlife Estate”
  • Panel Discussion “Fostering Growth and Diversity: Supporting Local Tourism Companies”

Schedule

Sparklet Talk

“Stop Greenwashing and Get on with Real Sustainability” with Olivia Ruggles-Brise, BDC Travel

Travellers are demanding an end to greenwashing, this talk illuminates pathways to embrace genuine sustainability.

Olivia Ruggles-Brise - Speaker

VP Sustainability, BCD Travel

Experienced senior manager with over 15 years experience in the international travel, tourism, hospitality and events sectors in a variety of strategic ESG/sustainability, communications, policy and research roles.

Panel Discussion

“Leading by Our Tourists Demands - What do we need to do?”

Discussing how to shape the future of African Eden tourism by responding to the evolving needs and expectations of travellers, encompassing aspects such as improved accessibility, innovative aviation solutions, diverse product offerings, and fostering a fresh and positive narrative for the continent.

Caroline Moultrie - Speaker

President, EMEA, MMGY Global

Caroline leads the EMEA operations of MMGY Global as President and is the former Managing Director of MMGY Hills Balfour and Executive Vice President of the World Travel & Tourism Council. As a global business leader and strategist with a highly established network of senior contacts across the travel and tourism sector, her strategic insights and hands-on experience position her as a go-to leader for steering brands toward success. Her thought leadership continues to shape the industry narrative, particularly around future consumer trends and the power of storytelling. In her former roles in the airport and airline sector, she worked with and advised some of the biggest brands in the industry. There she pioneered the concept of “surround sound” campaigns, which provide clients with strategic, multifaceted and groundbreaking marketing campaigns that are setting new standards in marketing and communications. Energetic, empowering and passionate, Caroline supports individuals, teams and organizations in achieving their full potential. Her strategic insights along with her meticulous attention to detail and highly organised work style mean she is attentive, thorough and prepared for the possibilities. Using her high emotional intelligence, Caroline is able to help people see the merit in new ideas, concepts and values and how that impacts their business now and in the future.

Debbie Flynn - Speaker

Managing Partner, Global Travel Practice Leader, Finn Partners

A well travelled PR and travel and tourism professional with over 35 years in the industry. A combination of blue chip corporate and big and small agency experience prior to founding Brighter in 1995. Brighter Group grew from a two person start up to a flourishing leader in travel pr and marketing communications in the UK before major expansion as it joined global agency Finn Partners in January 2018.

Cherri Briggs - Speaker

President, Explore Inc

Cherri Briggs founded EXPLORE Inc. in 1992 in order to pursue her interests in conservation and community development. Since that time EXPLORE has become one of the leading African travel companies in the USA and now operates in 18 African countries. Today EXPLORE has offices in Colorado, Boston, Botswana and Zambia. Cherri has been the recipient of Condé Nast Traveler’s prestigious award “Top Travel Specialist for Southern Africa” annually since 2001, Condé Nast Traveler’s “Top Villa Specialist for Africa” each year since 2008, and was honored with Condé Nast Traveler’s first award for social responsibility in travel. Cherri was appointed to the Botswana Tourism Organization Board in January 2014 and is the first non-citizen to receive this appointment. She has also been appointed as Honorary Consul for the Embassy for the Republic of Zambia to the USA in August of 2013.

Natalia Rosa - Speaker

Tourism Project Lead, SADC Business Council.

Natalia Rosa is the Tourism Project Lead of the SADC Business Council. Well-connected within the tourism and travel sectors in Southern Africa, Natalia is also CEO of Big Ambitions, a specialist travel and tourism communications and marketing organisation in tourism and travel and the executive chair of the global Travel Lifestyle Network. She holds an MSC in Publishing and lives in Cape Town, South Africa.

Kojo Bentum-Williams - Moderator

Senior Expert on Communications in Africa, UNWTO

Since embarking on his career in the travel and tourism industry over 12 years ago, Kojo Bentum- Williams has established himself as a highly skilled communications professional. He has previously worked as a PR official at the Ghana Tourism Authority and more recently served as Press Secretary to Ghana’s Former Minister of Tourism, Arts, and Culture. Kojo is currently the Senior Expert for Communications in Africa for the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and aide to the Secretary-General. His company VoyagesAfriq Media Limited is one of Africa’s leading voices for tourism news and information. 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.

Keynote

Driving Threefold Tourism Innovation

In this talk Nick Hall, Founder and CEO of the Digital Tourism Think Tank will explore how digital is driving innovation from three totally transformative perspectives, considering AI – Augmented Reality, XR – Mixed Reality and VX – a digital look at the Visitor Experience. All of these areas are undergoing radical change, unlocking incredible new opportunities to reach new audiences, create unprecedented levels of engagement and spark interest all the way through to conversion and digitally connected product. Nick’s talk promises to be truly inspiring, eye-opening and packed with lots of tips, tricks and valuable case studies to learn from.

Nicholas Hall - Speaker

Founder & CEO, Digital Tourism Think Tank

The Digital Tourism Think Tank was developed by Nick, who is widely considered as one of the world’s leading experts on digital trends and transformation in the field of tourism. With two decades of experience, there is hardly any DMO that Nick has not advised. He has been personally behind change for so many DMOs and continues to drive the conversation around industry trends today. Nick continues to grow and develop the #DTTT, helping it to evolve beyond digital to tackle existential topics, such as sustainable leadership. He also continues to speak at leading industry conferences on the biggest trends impacting the industry, as well as working on exciting projects and initiatives, together with public sector organisations who want to change the leisure economy for good.

Sparklet Talk

“Building a Destination - the WESGRO experience” with Monika Ieul

Monika Iuel - Speaker

Chief Tourism Officer, Wesgro

Over 25 years of experience in tourism, most of them in management, in both private sector and destination marketing. A deep knowledge of tourism, the international marketplace and strong industry relationships. Ambitious, motivated and passionate, enjoying a challenge.

Major strengths are leadership skills, communication, reliability, the ability to turn thought into action and a high level of commitment. High levels of enthusiasm and a determination to succeed, together with a strong work ethic. Excellent organisation skills and an ability to work independently as well as part of a team. Exceptional time management, organisational and multi-tasking skills and a passion for planning and strategic thinking. Very focused on results and a real connection with customers and staff. Fluent in both English and German. Highly respected by industry partners and exceptional negotiation ability.

Panel Discussion

“Enabling New Tourism Investment and Keeping Existing Investors: Building an Efficient Internal Environment”

Exploring the crucial elements required to foster a conducive environment for tourism businesses to thrive. Including the need for national policies that recognise the economic value of tourism, streamlined bureaucratic systems, and the support of non-tourism structures towards ensuring safety and security for both investors and tourists.

Hon. Rodney Malindi Sikumba - Speaker

Minister, Ministry of Tourism and Arts, Zambia

Rodney Malindi Sikumba is Minister Of Tourism and Member of Parliament for Livingstone Central Constituency (under the United Party for National Development). Rodney Sikumba has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Zambia and a Masters in Business Administration — Strategy and International Business from Hult International Business School (USA). Sikumba is also trained in Diplomatic Practice Protocol and Public Relations from the Zambia Institute of Diplomacy and International studies.

After graduating from the University of Zambia, he joined Professional Insurance Corporation Zambia Plc, as a graduate trainee. In 2006, Sikumba joined Celtel Zambia Plc (now Airtel) as a Corporate Sales Executive. After completing his master’s degree in the United States, Sikumba returned to Zambia and was appointed Head of Customer Experience for Airtel Zambia. In 2014, he was headhunted to lead Zamtel’s Enterprise
Department. He successfully managed a portfolio valued at US$22million. In 2017, Sikumba established the Hult Investments Group of Companies (IIIGC) whose portfolio includes; Hult Ice, Hult Apartments, Hult Travel & Tours Limited (HTTL) and Hult Commodities. Politics Sikumba joined UPND in 2001, the same year that his father was earmarked to stand as the party’s first MP in Livingstone. In 2021, he stood for election as a UPND candidate for the first time and won.

Colin Bell - Speaker

Co-founder, Natural Selection

Colin Bell is a passionate, inspirational and ground-breaking wildlife conservationist. He is one of the early initiators and practitioners of the ‘Green Safari’ model, creating sustainable tourism in his native Africa in partnership with rural communities. Colin has a drive to preserve that which has gone before him, working in and amongst the Okavango Delta which he describes as ‘the Africa we all dream of’.

For over 30 years Colin has worked across the majestic savannah of the Okavango Delta, surrounded by the vast ecosystem of wildlife, flora and fauna as the flow of water meets the scorching plains of the Kalahari Desert. The clash of water with desert brings a surrounding oasis of life that has to be seen to be believed.

Colin defines the unassuming, cause-driven adventurer who has carved green trails through the beauty at the heart of Africa with a focused mission to protect and preserve. He is powered by the knowledge that once gone, we cannot recreate what we have lost. He pioneers the necessity of working in partnership with the local communities that live amongst the wilderness and fights for the rural communities to be stakeholders in the boardrooms of both the tourism and wildlife industries.

Colin’s belief that wildlife enriches our lives and makes us caring, nurturing human beings drives his need to offer the next generation the same pristine environments we have enjoyed.

Peter Middlebrook - Speaker

CEO, Geopolicity

Emerging and frontier market specialist, growth economist, geo-strategist, governance expert and public speaker. He is the CEO of Geopolicity Inc., an  international management and investment advisory group based in the United Arab Emirates with offices in Europe, USA and Asia. A former World Bank (Vice President’s Office), UK Government, European Union and United Nations economist, with experience in more than 40 countries across the MENA region and Central Asia. His work has been covered on CNN, BBC, Time Magazine, Aljazeera and Bloomberg, where he is also a regular contributor. He played a key role in the design of the New Silk Road Strategy and led the White Paper on a Marshal Plan for the MENA region; an Arab Stabilization Plan. Specialties: International Relations, International Business, Emerging Markets, Investment Strategy.

He is a UN Roster Expert for the Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery (BPCR), the United Nations Security Sector Reform Unit and International Security Sector Advisory Team (ISSAT). He is a member of the Advisory Board for Stop Ivory (http://www.stopivory.org/)

Bernadine Galliver - Speaker

Vice President: Tourism Advisory, JLL

Bernadine Galliver is Vice President at JLL with 18 years’ experience in tourism advisory. She has an MBA with distinction and a Masters in Agriculture.

Her experience includes tourism destination planning, feasibility studies, business planning, market research and economic impacts.

Bernadine has worked with government ministries, DMOs, the WTTC, developers, DFIs, associations, hoteliers and communities in tourism, including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, South Africa, Kenya, Ghana, Mozambique, eSwatini, Seychelles, Indonesia, and the US.

Some of the projects she has consulted on have included strategic planning in the UAE, tourism development planning for heritage sites in Saudi Arabia, tourism master planning for Kenya, large-scale consumer research, over 100 economic impact assessments, tourism route planning, airport, cruise, convention centre, cultural, ecotourism and resort studies.

Gillian Saunders - Moderator

Independent Advisor Tourism

Gillian is an independent adviser and previously Special Adviser to Minister Hanekom, Minister of Tourism, South Africa. Prior to that she was Deputy CEO and Head of Advisory Johannesburg as well as Grant Thornton’s global leader for hospitality and tourism.

She has consulted to the tourism and hospitality industries for 36 years in total, 30 years at Grant Thornton (Previously Horwath Consulting), and before that worked in the hotel industry for 8 years, most latterly as IT Manager at Southern Sun reporting to the FD.

In addition to her professional work, Gillian believe it’s very important to develop the South African hospitality and tourism sector, which is why she is a regular media commentator and sit on the board of the University of Johannesburg’s School of Tourism and Hospitality.

Sparklet Talk

"Unpacking WTTC African Report 2024"

An overview of the report that was published last year with a focus on what WTTA is doing for South Africa. Including a forward-looking view which extends further to Southern Africa.

Lethabo-Thabo Royds - Speaker

Head of Content & Programme, WTTC

Lethabo-Thabo, also known as Thabs, has worked in digital and Travel & Tourism for over a decade. She is an experienced writer, communicator, content specialist, and digital strategist. She has worked with and for leading global organisations in various industries such as Travel & Tourism, finance, non-profit, and education with experience working in-house and independently. She is passionate about communicating the right things to the right people in ways that appeal to them.

As an avid lover of travel and digital media, she has run global social media, PR, and content strategy for a range of organisations including South African Tourism, the Kenya Tourism Board, Club Med, St Stithians College, Nando’s, and the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

She is currently Head of Content & Programme at the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) where she leads content for the organisation focusing on its annual Global Summit, thought leadership, and consumer content

Panel Discussion

“Creating Value and Preserving the World's Largest Free - Roaming Wildlife Estate”

Exploring how sustainability transcends traditional conservation efforts, and focuses on the holistic wellbeing and prosperity of wildlife and local communities, delving into the ways the tourism ecosystem can play a pivotal role in achieving this vision.

Dave Wilson - Speaker

Head of Commercial Development, African Parks

Born and educated in Zimbabwe, Dave completed a BSc (Hons) in Wildlife science and Agribusiness from the University of KwaZulu Natal, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. After university he was selected and attended the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst and commissioned as a British Army officer serving as an Infantry Officer in both the Parachute and Duke of Wellington’s Regiments. Before leaving the Army he undertook an Institute of Leadership and Management Level 5 Post Graduate Diploma in Business Management at the Bristol Management Centre, UK. Prior to African Parks, he occupied senior positions in operations, general management and executive directorship over 14 years in the Safari industry. Principally within the renowned luxury safari company Norman Carr Safaris in Zambia and subsequently in the Time and Tide group.

Kaddu Sebunya - Speaker

CEO, African Wildlife Foundation

Kaddu has over 20 years’ experience in conservation at grassroots, national, and regional levels in the USA, Africa, and Europe. He has worked with Oxfam UK, the World Conservation Union – IUCN, USA Peace Corps, Conservation International, and Solimar International. As African Wildlife Foundation’s CEO, Kaddu rallies the continent’s elite to lead the fight against the destruction of valuable habitats and wildlife.

He believes that it is time for African voices and networks to reimagine the conservation narrative. Kaddu has a Bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences, as well as an M.A. in Law, Policy & Diplomacy from The Fletcher School, Tufts University and an M.S. in Sustainable Resource Management & Policy from Wye College, Imperial College London.

Ruud Jansen - Speaker

Executive Secretary, Gaborone Declaration for Sustainability in Africa & Conservation International

Ruud Jansen is the Executive Secretary of the Gaborone Declaration for Sustainability in Africa (GDSA), a position which he took up in October 2015. He is based in Gaborone, Botswana. He leads the GDSA Secretariat and implements the programme of the GDSA which is an African‐led 12‐ country action platform for natural capital accounting, sustainable development and natural resource management.

Previously, he was the IUCN representative in Botswana (1995 – 2003) and from 2005 worked for UNDP as Chief Technical Advisor (CTA) for the Government of Botswana – Ministry of Environment Wildlife and Tourism and as CTA for the UNEPUNDP Poverty Environment Initiative (PEI) based at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning and at the Office of the President in Gaborone, Botswana.

Toby Jermyn - Speaker

Director & Executive Board Member, Pangolin Africa

Toby hails from the United Kingdom but has been living in South Africa for over 20 years. He studied Marine Zoology and Zoology at Bangor University in Wales and holds a FGASA level one guiding qualification.

Toby is currently the owner and director of Pangolin Photo Safaris, a company dedicated to catering for photographers of all levels of experience on safaris in Africa and beyond.

Toby’s passion for wildlife conservation and boundless enthusiasm for technology-driven marketing has led him to found Pangolin. Africa which aims to make a significant impact on the survival of this amazing animal across the continent.

Panel Discussion

“Fostering Growth and Diversity: Supporting Local Tourism Companies”

Emphasising the importance of empowering local tourism businesses, as today’s travellers seek authentic experiences, a ‘travel-like-a-local’ approach, and a desire for more than just traditional wildlife safaris. How small businesses can complement rather than compete with Africa’s Eden’s established products.”

Naledi Khabo - Speaker

CEO, Africa Tourism Association

With over 20 years of experience in operations, marketing, and technology, Naledi K. Khabo is a global strategy leader and a passionate advocate for travel and tourism to Africa. She is the CEO of the Africa Tourism Association (ATA), a trade association that serves both the public and private sectors of the international travel and tourism industry, and partners with the African Union Commission to promote the sustainable development of tourism to and across Africa.

Naledi has developed and implemented countless of innovative multimedia brand initiatives, leveraging her exceptional business and technology acumen and her ability to translate complex technical concepts for practical business applications. She is also the cofounder of Travel Is Better in Color, a platform that celebrates the diverse voices in travel media, and The Collective, a global network of Black travel professionals. Naledi’s mission is to showcase the varied perspectives, cultures, and opportunities across the global tourism industry.

Hermione Nevill - Speaker

Senior Tourism Specialist, IFC

Senior Sustainable Tourism Specialist working in the development sector. Skilled in project management with technical specialisms in tourism investment promotion, destination management and natural asset conservation. Strong operations professional with nearly 20 years in Africa, Middle East, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia.

Nick Tucker - Speaker

Senior Tourism Expert and Technical Advisor

Nick Tucker has worked as a Senior Tourism Expert and Technical Advisor for tourism market development on the Transfrontier Conservation Areas of Southern Africa since 2019, supporting the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Tourism Coordinating Unit (TCU) and Boundless Southern Africa, the SADC initiative for the tourism market development of the TFCAS. He is currently the Senior Tourism Expert for the Joint Action European Union (EU) and German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) C-NRM Programme.

Judy Kepher-Gona - Speaker

Founder & Lead Consultant, Sustainable Travel & Tourism Africa

Sustainable tourism expert with over 18 years experience contributing to and working with policies, models, approaches,and tools,instruments that create links between sustainable tourism (ecotourism), conservation and community development. I am a leader, implementer, trainer, public speaker, mentor and advocate of tourism that not only minimises negative impacts, but strategically invests in programs that create positive impacts. “Great places to visit must first and foremost be great places to live in for host communities”

Specialties:
Sustainable tourism design for destinations
Ecotourism
Ecotourism/sustainable tourism assessment
Certification & Awards
Sustainable tourism training
Conservancy planning
Sustainable destination development approaches
Traveler’s philanthropy- training, design and assessment
Community conservation and tourism approaches
Project management
International development

Shelley Cox - Moderator

Tourism Specialist and Advisory Consultant

Focused on promoting sustainable and authentic safari experiences in Africa whilst creating a greater connection between tourism, conservation and community development. Sharing with the world the most beautiful, wildest and remote places that this continent has to offer. Building alliances and partnerships with like minded people and companies for the benefit of our wild habitats and wildlife.

In her spare time, Shelley is actively involved with various conservation organisations and is actively involved with Zambezi Elephant Fund, an organisation created to coordinate greater collaboration between local authorities including National Parks, private stakeholders and NGO’s to ensure the long term protection of the Zambezi Valley as a whole.

Shelley has a firm belief in collaboration for the long term protection and well being of our wildlife and wild habitats in Africa. In addition, she believes it is vitally important to work closely with local authorities including the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority, and Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Authority to achieve these goals.