Routes Africa 2018

The route development forum for Africa

Accra, Ghana
16 – 18 July 2018

Conference Programme Speakers

Ali Tounsi

Secretary General, ACI Africa

Mr Ali TOUNSI is an Engineer holder of a Master in avionic and telecommunication and a Master in airports management. He began his career in aviation in 1992 as an engineer in the field of airport operations at Office de l’Aviation Civile et des Aeroport (OACA) Tunisia, involved in studies and projects related to quality of service, airport resources management, infrastructure development projects and IT projects. He also gives courses for 14 years in many aviation schools and supervise several research projects.

Mr TOUNSI held positions as director of international airports of Tozeur Nefta and Djerba Zarzis airports and hold the position of Operating Director of Tunisian Airports. He was chairman of the steering committee for the implementation of the certification and SMS Implementation program for Tunisian airports. 

Since 2009 Mr. Ali TOUNSI was the Secretary General of ACI Africa and also member at the ACI world technique and safety Standing Committee representing Africa region.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Raphael Kuuchi

Vice President, Africa, IATA

Raphael Kuuchi is the IATA Vice President for Africa. He has many years’ experience in air transport management, operations and consulting. After working with an airline for 13 years, he joined the Nairobi-based African Airlines Association (AFRAA) in 2005, as Commercial Director and later as Director Commercial, Corporate and Industry Affairs. In this capacity, Mr. Kuuchi initiated and oversaw many projects in airlines business development, commercial operations, IT and communication, liberalization/market access, aero-political/regulatory affairs and training across Africa.

Now as Vice President for Africa, Mr. Kuuchi is leading the IATA Africa team in providing support to the growth and development of aviation and working with stakeholders to ensure safe, reliable, competitive and environmentally sustainable aviation business in Africa. Top on his priority list are issues of safety and security, liberalization, reducing the high cost of operations, regulatory harmonization, capacity building and the environment.

Mr. Kuuchi holds an MBA from Henley Management College, UK and a B.Sc. degree in Business Administration. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (FCILT) UK.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Tewolde GebreMariam

Chief Executive Officer, Ethiopian Airlines

Tewolde GebreMariam joined Ethiopian Airlines in 1985 as Transportation Agent at Addis Ababa Airport. He progressed through the ladder to Manager Cargo Traffic Handling. He was appointed as Regional Director for India and South East Asia based in Bombay. He was transferred to Jeddah as Area Manager for Saudi Arabia. When Ethiopian Airlines commenced direct services to the USA, he was appointed as Area Sales Manager for North East USA and Canada based in New York. In October 2000 he was appointed as Regional Director for the Americas.

On August 16, 2004 he was appointed as Executive Officer marketing & Sales to head the Marketing and Sales Operations of Ethiopian Airlines. On July 1, 2006 he was appointed as Chief Operating Officer of Ethiopian Airlines to head all the operating divisions of the airline, Commercial, Flight Operations, Customer Services and Maintenance and Engineering. Since January 1, 2011, he has been serving as CEO of Ethiopian Airlines.

He earned his B.A. degree in Economics from Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia and his Masters of Business Administrations Degree from the Open University in the United Kingdom. Mr. GebreMariam is married and a father of four children and currently residing in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Wilken Bellmann

Head of Network Planning and Scheduling, SunExpress

As Head of Network Planning and Scheduling for SunExpress, Wilken Bellmann's responsibilities include: 

  •  Network development and diversification for SunExpress and SunExpress Germany
  • Negotiations with tourism boards, airports and governments entities for support and incentive schemes
  • Streamlining and alignment of network planning, flight planning and scheduling processes
  • Internal alignment with operational business units
  • Acquisition and management of interline and other airline partnerships
  • Representing SunExpress at industry conferences and fairs

Participating Talks and Sessions

Susan Kurland

Deputy Commissioner of Air Service Development - Chicago Dept.of Aviation, O'Hare and Midway International Airports

Susan Kurland joined the Chicago Department of Aviation as Deputy Commissioner of Air Services Development for O’Hare and Midway International Airports in May 2016. She brings more than 25 years in executive leadership transportation positions in both the public and private sectors, serving most recently as the Assistant Secretary for Aviation and International Affairs for the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT).

As part of the Secretary of Transportation’s senior team she directed and implemented economic and competition policy affecting the air transport industry, coordinated the USDOT’s international activities, and directed the Department’s participation in international aviation negotiations throughout the world. Ms. Kurland led USDOT’s decision-making process involving the allocation of international aviation route authority; licensing of air carriers; providing air services to rural communities and grants of antitrust immunity for international aviation alliance activities.

Prior to joining the USDOT, Susan was a managing director at Jefferies & Company, focusing on airport infrastructure and municipal finance projects. She served as Vice President and Deputy General Counsel of U.S. Airways and also led the Federal Aviation Administration’s national airports program as Associate Administrator for Airports.  During her time as Deputy Corporation Counsel for the City of Chicago, Susan served as general counsel for Chicago’s airport system.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Pumla Luhabe

Chief Commercial Officer, South African Airways (SAA)

Pumla has been in the airline industry for more than 26 years having started out as one of the first Management Trainees at South African Airways where she spent two years in New York getting to grips with the Sales and Marketing environment. She was the General Manager – Commercial at Mango, a subsidiary of South African Airways where she successfully managed the growth of the Low Cost Carrier’s sales revenue. Pumla joined South African Airways as the Chief Commercial Officer early this year and she is part of the leadership team whose main focus is to execute the turnaround strategy and grow the airline into a sustainable business. She is very passionate about the team she works with and she is results oriented in all that she does.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Yolanta Strikitsa

Director, Strikitsa Consulting

MBA from California State University Hayward (USA), BA from Gnesinykh State College (RF). During the last 15 years Yolanta has dedicated herself to management consulting and executive search. She has been living and working in USA, Russia and UK, where in 2003 she set up her own business. Prior to Strikitsa Consulting, Yolanta has been working for Morgan Chase, Leucadia National Private Equity and Price Waterhouse. Yolanta is fluent in English, Polish and Russian.

Strikitsa Consulting has been specializing in executive search and consulting services to airports and airlines from 2003 and have completed assignments in UK, Europe, Russia & CIS and SE Asia. 

Participating Talks and Sessions

Theodore Chikelu

Managing Director & CEO, Jet Afrique

Theodore Obi Chikelu is a 1987 social sciences graduate of the university of Nigeria Nsukka, in Nigeria with a keen interest and considerable experience in Sub Saharan African Aviation development. He is presently the chief executive officer for Jet Afrique Aviation services Ltd, a charter company in the process of evolving into a hybrid low cost operator in Lagos Nigeria West Africa, prior to this Mr Chikelu has been working for over 24 years in different airlines in Nigeria, in different locations in Africa both in ground operations, route development and business development. He has been instrumental to the development of domestic, regional and international routes for airlines like Bellview Airlines , Sosoliso Airlines, Aero Contractors of Nigeria and Arik Air Nigeria where he rose to the post of Vice President commercial for Africa and project manager regional (route development) operations in 2011. Mr Chikelu left Arik in 2013 to set up his own Aviation management company JetAfrique in 2014 and the tourism development initiative and DMC Chante Afrique in 2016.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Simon Allotey

Director General, Ghana Civil Aviation Authority

Simon Allotey is the Director-General of the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority.  He served variously as the Deputy Director of Engineering, Director of Engineering, Deputy Director-General (Technical) and as the Ag. Director- General of the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority from 1996 to 2007.  He also had the additional responsibility of managing the newly created Ghana Airports Company Ltd. during the transition period from January to September 2007.

He served on the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) from 2009 to 2010 and on ICAO’s Air Navigation Commission (ANC) from 2011 to 2015.

He was part of the ANC’s sub-group tasked with the review of the newly developed ICAO Annex 19 on Safety Management which was first published in 2013.

He had previously served as Chairman of the ICAO’s Communications, Navigation and Surveillance (CNS) Sub-Group for the African Indian Ocean (AFI) Region from 2005-2007 and as the Chairman of the AFI Regional Aviation Safety Group from December 2015 to September 2017.  He was Chairman of the 2nd ICAO Meeting on the Sustainable Development of Air Transport in Africa which was held in Accra in March 2017.

Simon Allotey has been a key member of Ghana’s Air Services Agreement negotiation team for several years.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Edgardo Badiali

Former CEO, Libyan Wings

Edgardo Badiali is a seasoned  Executive Manager with experiences in different countries and roles.

He has been , among other roles and functions,  CEO of several airlines (GoAir, Senegal Airlines and lately LibyanWings to list a few). He has cumulated experiences in Low Cost Airlines, “Hybrid airlines” as well as Legacy Carriers in various continents (Europe, Asia, Africa). 

Last but not least,  he had overall responsibilities as CEO in setting up new airlines (start-ups).

Participating Talks and Sessions

Alain St.Ange

Former Minister Tourism & Culture, Seychelles

Alain St.Ange is the founder of the "Saint Ange Consultancy" and remains its main Tourism Consultant. He is also responsible for the weekly "Saint Ange Tourism Report" that is reposted on most of the important tourism news wire right across the world.

Alain St.Ange is the former Seychelles Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports & Marine and before that the island's Minister for Tourism and Culture. He was First President of the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands and was also the former Seychelles Candidate for the position of Secretary-General of the UNWTO. He is today the President of the Seychelles Labor Union (SLU), Deputy Secretary General of FORSEAA (Forum of Small Medium Economic AFRICA ASEAN) based in Jakarta Indonesia, listed as a Consultant for TMN (Travel Marketing Network) in New York USA, Co-Chair of the SUNx (Strong Universal Network) Organisation in London UK, Vice President & Founding Member of ICTP (International Coalition of Tourism Partners).

Alain St. Ange studied Hotel Management in Germany and Tourism Administration in France. He has been involved in the industry's private sector trade in hotels and restaurants in Germany, the Channel Islands, Australia and in the Seychelles before joining the Tourism Board of Seychelles as Marketing Director and CEO.

He was instrumental in the successful hosting Routes Africa edition in Seychelles.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Richard Kyereh

Head of Commercial, Africa World Airlines

Mr. Kyereh joined Africa World Airlines in December 2015 from Antrak Air where he spent years building his portfolio from a Project/Safety Officer in 2007 to the Head of Commercial, 2015. He wears many hats with proven skills in Airline Management – Marketing, Distribution and Airport operations; Supply Chain and Project Management; and Contract Negotiations. He’s an expert on West Africa’s travel market, and is spearheading AWA’s network expansion having overseen the opening of 3 regional routes, AWA’s distribution via GDS and interline agreements with partner airlines. He is an active speaker at aviation conferences and travel market forums around the continent.

He is an alumnus of GIMPA [MBA, Project Management], KNUST and a certified member of PMI – USA. He holds IATA Diplomas in Airline Management and Airline Revenue Accounting & Controls; ICM-UK Diplomas in HR Management and Financial Management.


Participating Talks and Sessions

Adam Wu

Chief Executive Officer, CBN Travel and MICE

Dr WU is the CEO of CBN Travel & MICE and World Travel Online both are invested by and integrated parts of CBN which "Bring the world to China – take Chinese to the world". The slogan summarizes the activities of CBN focusing on outbound travel and outwards investment from China.

CBN Travel & MICE together with the “World Travel Online” have been supporting tourism promotion authorities on the national, regional and local level to promote foreign destinations in China both online and offline as well as recommending airlines and airports directly to the outbound tour operators and corporate travel organizers as well as reaching millions of Chinese travelers in the most cost-effective way. 

Over the years, Dr. Wu has been directly involved in advising hundreds foreign destination promotion authorities as well as companies serving the travel and tourism sector from airlines to airports with successful country entry and marketing strategy in China.

Dr. Wu has been invited to speak during numerous conferences including Routes Asia and World Routes as well as being interviewed by news media both online and offline.

In 2013, Dr. Wu was awarded the Honory Award for his dedication and contribution to the outbound travel from China.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Mory Camara

International Business Development Manager, OAG

Mory Camara is an International Business Dev Manager at OAG, the global leader in aviation information and analytics. Mory has a strong knowledge of the world’s affairs and business environment, having worked at OAG for over 14 years. Through his experience of managing clients in France, the Middle East and Africa, Mory has an expert view of the aviation industry and in-depth analysis of potential opportunities for market development in Europe. Throughout his career, OAG has acquired new business as Mory has built an invaluable client base.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Ed Robertson

Editor, Routes News

Ed has been the editor for more than two years and oversaw a number of changes to the magazine to better reflect the world of route development today and those who work in it. Before taking on Routes News, he was a B2B travel journalist for 12 years, writing about the UK tourism industry with a focus on tour operators, destinations and tourist boards.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Stephanie Wear Pintado

Director of Economic and Air Service Development, Tenerife Tourism Corporation

Stephanie Wear is the Director of Economic Development of the Tenerife Tourism Corporation since 2012. Under her purview, she is responsible for air service development and attracting foreign direct investment to the island as well as promoting Tenerife as a leisure destination. The top priority of her department is to work with airports, airlines and corporations to create business opportunities on the island and increase the number of tourists that visit Tenerife.  

Before her job at the Tenerife Tourism Corporation, she worked in the Foreign Trade Department of the Chamber of Commerce of Santa Cruz de Tenerife where she specialized in International Procurement and European Union projects. During that time, she was named as one of three Private Sector Liaison Officers (PSLO) of the World Bank in Spain. Previous to that position she had her own import company in the United States.

Born in Washington DC, Stephanie lived most of her life in the US before moving to Tenerife, Spain, eleven years ago. Her dual nationality and cross-cultural background have been the main motivator for her line of work. She currently holds a Bachelor’s Degree in International Business, an MBA and Master´s in Marketing.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Vuyani Jarana

Group Chief Executive Officer, South African Airways (SAA)

Mr Vuyani Jarana was appointed as CEO of the South African Airways Group on 1 November 2017, after an exemplary career with Vodacom mobile communications company, which he left as Chief Officer of its Business Division.

With his proven track record of sound leadership and success, he is an excellent choice to take SAA forward into a successful future.
His deep understanding of strategy-formulation processes, ability to work with people and navigate complex issues, and his mix of humility and robust fortitude have given him the ability to succeed against difficult odds.

At Vodacom, he focused on building a strong team and developing technological capabilities that would see the Group become an industry leader. His passion for people, customer service and results and his resilience, drive and competitiveness will stand him in good stead as he takes SAA into a new era.

Participating Talks and Sessions

John Attafuah

Chief Executive Officer, Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL)

 Mr John Dekyem Attafuah is a Management Consultant with over 30 years’ experience in the Energy, Services, Information Technology (IT) and Pharmaceutical industries. He is a practical and result-oriented person and has built a formidable track record of solid achievements in both public and private sectors.

 Until his appointment at Ghana Airports Company Limited, he was the Managing Director of Virtual Access Limited, a market research company.

 He previously served as the Chief Executive Officer, of the National Petroleum Authority, from 2005 to 2009.

 Mr. Attafuah holds a degree in Computer Science and Statistics, from the University of Ghana, Legon and a Master of Science degree, in Systems Development, from the Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Charles Hanson Adu

Group Executive for Airport Operations, Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL)

Charles Hanson Adu is the Group Executive for Airport Management with the Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL) with oversight responsibility for airport operations, commercial services, aviation security, rescue firefighting services and customer experience.

He has over 16 years of experience in managing airports, crisis and disaster management. His expertise cuts across the entire aviation industry including civil aviation regulatory requirements, airline and airport operations.

He has previously served in the capacity of Aerodromes Chief Fire Office and Director, Airports operations and had oversight responsibility of the Emergency Operations Centre and airport key stakeholder activities in the facilitation process. He successfully led and coordinated the Airport Council International (ACI) APEX Safety Review Programme and the certification of the Kotoka International Airport.

He serves as Africa’s representative on the ACI World Safety and Technical Standing Committee and also as the leader of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Western and Central Africa (WACAF) Aerodrome Certification team. He is also the President of the Airport Council International (ACI) Africa, Safety and Technical Regional Committee.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Samson Fatokun

Area Manager, South-West Africa, IATA

An air transport expert with bias for air transport economics. Presently, Dr. Fatokun drives the aviation agenda of the global aviation organization, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) as Area Manager for English-speaking West Africa. With a work experience spanning over twenty years in the air transport industry, he is not only conversant with the issues that have been confronting the development of the aviation industry but he has also been contributing to the growth of a safe, efficient, profitable and sustainable aviation in Africa. Dr. Fatokun has been providing aviation strategy and solutions while engaging stakeholders such as government, regulators, airlines, passengers and the freight supply chain. He has lived and worked in Europe and Africa. He holds a Doctorate degree in Aviation from the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Florida, USA and a Master of Science Degree in Air Transport Management from Cranfield University, UK. Fatokun has published several aviation-related articles in newspapers and academic journals. He blends aviation professional capacity with the academic excellence.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Akwasi Agyeman

Chief Executive Officer, Ghana Tourism Authority

Akwasi Agyeman, is the CEO of the Ghana Tourism Authority, the lead Public Service Agency in charge of regulating tourism in Ghana through marketing and promotion, licensing and classification of tourism facilities and services, investments, research and development. Prior to his appointment in January 2017, he 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.

Akwasi was recently awarded at the Radio and TV Personality awards for his outstanding contribution to Media Excellence in Ghana. He is a devout Christian and a devoted Family man with three children.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Wesley Charnock

Head of Content - Aviation, UBM EMEA

An experienced journalist and specialist in content production and marketing, Wesley joined Routes following a decade-long career within some of the biggest events media and digital publications in the UK.

Wesley graduated in 2002 from the University of Manchester and spent several years working for digital marketing agencies, where he wrote for a broad spectrum of global commercial clients including Vodafone, the London Stock Exchange and major UK banks.

Moving into publishing, Wesley worked as the editor of trade magazines before moving to a specialist digital role at business publishing and events group Insider Media, which stages more than 100 conferences and awards annually.

At Insider Wesley was responsible for managing the delivery of more than 120 news stories every day to millions of readers. 

In his current position, Wesley oversees all live and digital content within Routes, also playing a strategic role within the business.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Victor Lefevre

Airline Analyst, Embraer Commercial Aviation

Victor Lefevre is currently an Airline Analyst at Embraer focused on the African market. He is working hand in hand with the African airlines to structure their development plans and elaborate their fleet planning. He joined Embraer as Customer Services Manager in charge of the African region, working with Kenya Airways, Royal Air Maroc and Africa World Airline among others.

Previously to this, he was Sales Manager at Safran, based in South Africa and Singapore.

Victor Lefevre felt in love in Africa while living there and has developed a broad view of its specific market.

Participating Talks and Sessions