By Taiye Olayemi
Lagos, Sept. 4, 2023
Hilda Baci, Nigerian Guinness World Record Cook-a-thon winner, Gloria Michael, Tanzanian journalist and 98 other Africans have won “100 Africa Travel under 40 awards.”
Mr. Ikechi Uko, organiser of AKWAABA Africa Travel and Tourism Market as well as “100 Africa Travel under 40 awards,” commended the efforts of Nigerian youths blazing the trail in the tourism and hospitality industries.
Uko noted that the award ceremony, which held in Lagos on Monday, recognised 100 youths across Africa who were under 40 and doing excellently well in the industry.
He said the 2023 edition was the most difficult to achieve because youths across some African countries were not performing up to expectation in the industry.
He, however, encouraged African youths to be committed to making tangible contributions to the growth of the industry.
He urged the renowned practitioners to intensify efforts to train youths to achieve their potential and make valuable contributions to the industry.
“Domestic tourism in Nigeria is championed by the young people, this is not the case in some other African countries.
“So, the Africa Travel 100 under 40 awards is unique but most difficult.
“The successful practitioners in the industry should make conscious efforts to mentor the younger ones because we will have to hand over to them someday,” he said.
Earlier, Michael appreciated the organisers of the award as she described her growth in the industry as a journey of learning.
She said attention was drawn on her due to the publication of her book entitled “Kumbukizi Kilimanjaro,” translated as “Memories of Climbing.”
“I am excited right now, this is one of the best lessons of my life. When told about the award, I was excited.
“This is a motivation to be more dedicated to perfect my writing and promote tourism,” she said.
Also, Jibola Oluseye, another recipient said “Today makes another significant moment of my life, I want to say thank you to Ikechi Uko and the entire AKWAABA team.”
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that other recipients of the awards include: Phineas Kapinga of Nxunga Beetsha Delta Safaris and KB Kebalatetse, Travel Manager, Easy Escape Travel & Tours both in Botswana.
Also honoured were Peter Momah Bassie, tour operator from Sierra Leone, Cammue Mulbah, Hanson Blayon, Samson Bryant and Anthonette Quayee from Liberia and Omar Khaled of Hammock Tours from Egypt.
Similarly, Jibola Oluseye, Founder Taste of Africa Vibes; Olukayode Deborah, Project Officer, AKWAABA African Travel Market and Mr. Yemi Smith, Chief Executive Officer, Travel Tank won the awards.
Some others are: Capt Thomas Olanrewaju of Ibom Air and Umeokoli Cordis, Public Relations Officer, Nigerian Association of Tour Operators, NATOP.