Prof. Nellie Swart

Associate Professor, University of South Africa, South Africa  

Dr. Linda Pereira

Senior Partner & CEO, L & I Communications Group, Portugal

Esmaré Steinhöfel

Regional Director: Africa, ICCA - International Congress and Convention Association, South Africa

Nomasonto Ndlovu

Acting CEO, South African Tourism, South Africa

Tim Harlech-Jones

Executive Director, Bentel Associates International, South Africa

Gorata Gabaraane

CEO, Fairgrounds Holdings, Botswana

Zinhle Nzama

Acting Chief Convention Bureau Officer, South African Tourism, South Africa

Tes Proos

Founder, Crystal Events and President SITE Africa, South Africa

Glenton De Kock

CEO, Southern Africa Association of Conference Industry, South Africa

Dr. Rob Davidson

Managing Director, MICE Knowledge UK, UK

Kwakye Donkor

CEO, Africa Tourism Partners, South Africa

Christelle Grohmann

Director, BDO, South Africa

Mamello Mofokeng

CEO & Co-founder, Saturated, South Africa

Miller Matola

CEO, Millvest, South Africa

Corne Koch

Head, Cape Town & Western Cape Convention Bureau, Wesgro, South Africa

Nkululeko Nkosi

Co-founder, COO, Saturated, South Africa

Senthil Gopinath

CEO, ICCA, Netherlands

Janet Karemera

CEO, Rwanda Convention Bureau (RCB), Rwanda

Adele Hartdegen

CEO, Johannesburg Expo Centre and Dogan Exhibitions & Events, South Africa

David Eduaful

General Manager, Labadi Beach Hotel, Ghana

Cliff Watson

Member of the BDO International Indirect Tax Group, South Africa

Hylton Cameron

Director: Tax, BDO, South Africa

Linda Pereira 

Managing Director, CPL Events, Portugal Portugal

Linda Pereira is the senior partner and CEO of the L&I Communications Group. In additionto her long and respected career as one of the most influential voices in the Meeting Industry, she is also Executive Director of CPL Meetings & Events. Respected internationally as a speaker, consultant, strategic communication expert, writer and as an educator, she has been an invited speakerin over 149 countries on all continents.
She is an expert in communication and corporate diplomacy, and has a vast experience in cross-cultural communication strategies, localisation, and public speakingand as a master of ceremonies.
She has worked on the major events which marked the last 30 years of modern history, from World EXPOs, to Football and Sports Championships, various EU Presidencies and major political events. She is also an invited lecturer at five different international Universities where she lectures strategic meetings management and corporate diplomacy and protocol.
She is absolutely passionate about associations and sits on a variety of international association boards herself. Linda is also a consultant to a variety of international Governments and associations. She was considered one of Portugal’s five most influential people in the industry and has received various international education awards as well as the medal of honour for responsible entrepreneurship for her commitment to promoting culture and heritage and for Social Responsibility initiatives.
She has also been voted business woman of the year for three consecutive years. She sits on various Advisory Boards, and Education Committees and presides over three- She is also the Chair of the Association World Congress for 2022. She was president of the Global Council for Women in Leadership for two mandates. She is currently special advisor to the Minister for the Economy of Cape Verde and sits on the Advisory Council for the Leader Magazine and the Venues of Excellence Certification Board. She also sits on the Board of The Portugal-India and Portugal-Holland Chambers of Commerce. She presides the Crossroads platform focused on up-scaling and attracting investment for start-up businesses. She sits on the Portugal Chapter of Women In Tech, a Global Association. She is a business development consultant to the MICE business sector in Saudi Arabia, Croatia, Slovenia, Macau, Georgia, Ghana and Cape Verde.
She is currently a member of the Women’s Africa PCO Alliance. In 2021 she received the Lifetime Achievement Award for the MICE Industry. Linda has recently been elected one of the Global 100 women leaders.
She considers her two daughters as her greatest achievement.

Esmaré Steinhöfel

Regional Director: Africa International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) South Africa.

Esmaré currently fulfils the role of Regional Director for Africa for the International
Congress and Convention Association. Her key focus is to deliver ICCA services, products
and events, for the recruitment and retention of members and for maintaining and
enhancing ICCA’s reputation and awareness amongst target markets.
She has extensive experience in the international marketing and sales arena. Before
joining ICCA, she managed the International Sales portfolio at the Cape Town International
Convention Centre (CTICC).
Prior to her joining the CTICC she worked at Arabella Starwood South Africa, promoting
the 5* Westin Cape Town and the Arabella Western Cape Hotel & Spa. She was also part
of the opening team that started the Cape Town Convention Bureau where she fulfilled the
role of promoting Cape Town to the meetings, incentive, conference and exhibition
industry with a focus on Association Marketing and Research.
Esmaré is currently a member of SAACI, the Southern African Association for the
Conference Industry, and has served on the SAACI National Board as Venues Forum Chair
as is currently a Board member of the SAACI Western Cape Chapter. She also served on
the Board of the African Society of Association Executives.
She has been awarded the SAACI Fellowship Award in 2017 as well as the Top 40 Women
in MICE in both 2017 and 2015.

Nomasonto Ndlovu

Chief Operating Officer and Acting Chief Executive Officer. South Africa.

Nomasonto Ndlovu is South African Tourism’s (SA Tourism) Chief Operations Officer. She was recently employed by Transnet in the capacity of Executive Manager: Tourism, Heritage and Hospitality, a role she has occupied since November 2020 where she was responsible for heading up the newly established Tourism, Heritage & Hospitality Business unit. She left Transnet at the end of June 2022.
Prior to joining Transnet, Nomasonto was at the helm of the Limpopo Tourism Agency in the position of Chief Executive Officer.  She has held various other leadership positions in the tourism sector including her role as Global Manager: Business Tourism when she was previously at SA Tourism between 2008 and 2012, before joining the City of Tshwane as Strategic Executive Director Communications, Marketing & Events.
She is a seasoned Marketing and Tourism Expert with a diverse experience gained from both private and public sector organisations including Unilever, Standard Bank, Kwa Zulu-Natal Tourism Authority. She has gained extensive experience in Marketing Operations, Brand Management, Communications, Stakeholder Management and Media Relations. A well-respected public speaker, content creator and opinion leader in the tourism industry, Nomasonto also mentors young upcoming tourism professionals.

Tim Harlech-Jones

Executive Director, Bentel Associates International, South Africa.

Tim is a qualified Architect and holds a Professional Architectural Registration (Pr. Arch) to practice. He graduated with the Bachelor of Architectural Studies (BAS) and Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch) Degrees from the University of Cape Town (UCT) and has completed a Property Development course from the UCT Graduate School of Business.
Tim is the Managing Director of Bentel Associates International (Bentel) an Architectural practice based in Johannesburg. He has over 24 years post-graduate experience, with a specific focus in the design and implementation of hospitality, MICE and leisure projects across the African continent.

Linda Balm

Commercial Manager , Travel Start & Innovation City, Cape Town, South

Linda Balme has been in the travel industry for 20 years. After 14 years in senior management roles, across 4 countries, leading 6 different brands, Linda returned to South Africa to join Africa’s largest on-line travel company, Travelstart, as their Senior Commercial Manager.

Recognized by industry professionals for her passion as well as her ability to create vision and buy-in, she is entrusted with the relationship between international tourism boards, travel providers and corporate partners, to promote African inbound and outbound tourism. With an audience size of 25 million across all online and offline channels, Travelstart is in a position to increase both awareness and increased passenger numbers to different destinations.

Zinhle Nzama

Acting Chief Convention Bureau Officer, South Africa

Zinhle Nzama is South African Tourism’s General Manager for Strategic Events. She is also acting in the role of Chief Convention Bureau Officer at South African National Convention Bureau (since August 2022), in this role, she is mandated to market South Africa as a preferred destination to host business events, meetings, conventions, conferences and trade exhibitions.

As GM for strategic events, she is responsible for strategically putting together and creating global market access platforms for tourism delegates around the world. These platforms include two of South African Tourism owned tradeshow properties that are prominent globally and on the exhibitions calendar – Africa’s Travel Indaba and Meetings Africa. Over and above this, her portfolio also includes international industry participation and destination SA brand exposure at seven strategic global platforms.  

Her tenure with SA Tourism spans over 20 years, working through various business units which has afforded her great domestic, regional and international tourism exposure. Her accomplishments include the origination and execution of the first Africa’s Travel and Tourism Summit in 2021 as well as staging Meetings Africa and Africa’s Travel Tourism 2022. 

Zinhle holds the following qualifications: Masters in Business Administration (MBA): Events Management; Bachelor of Arts: Psychology and Sociology; Diploma: Information Technology; Certificates in Project Management as well as Tourism Development for Regional Sustainability.

Tes Proos

CIS CITP President SITE Africa; Founder Crystal Events Africa; Trainer; Moderator; Tourism and Hospitality Consultant. South Africa.

Tes is president of the Africa chapter of SITE (Society of Incentive Travel Excellence), being the only global
association dedicated to the development of incentive travel programmes and founded Crystal Events
Africa in 2008 – a Cape Town based African Destination Management Company.
She is also Chair of the South Africa Events Council, which was founded in April 2020, comprising of 14
South African Event Associations, collaborating in the quest to reopen the events and hospitality industry
during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Her DMC (Destination Management Company), Crystal Events Africa is the proud recipient of the SITE
Crystal Award, for Best Motivational Programme (Middle East/Africa) and Tes was also awarded the Kevin
Forde Spirit Award for industry engagement during the COVID-19 global lockdowns.
Tes works closely with various African tourism authorities and convention bureaus, running hospitality
workshops and master classes, developing service excellence and creating superb guest experiences.

Glenton De Kock

CEO. South Africa.

“Promoting positive community and economic growth in our neighbourhood” is an objective that drives Glenton daily.

Glenton’s public and private sector strategic management skills came in handy during the pandemic. His active role within the Business Events industry in South Africa and the Africa has aided his role as CEO of the Southern African Association for the Conference Industry (SAACI). With the pivotal role he played for the association and specifically with the formation of the South African Events Council, he was aptly placed in working across the public and private sector the past few years on behalf of SAACI members.

Having honed his tourism and hospitality skills during his tenure as Managing Director of Tourism Buffalo City (covering East London, King Williams Town and Bhisho) where he oversaw the development and implementation of the destinations USAID Funded Tourism Master Plan, as Chief Executive Officer of Nelson Mandela Bay (Port Elizabeth, Uitenhage and Despatch) he refocused the organisations operating model, and as Chief Executive Officer of the Eastern Cape Tourism Board, which is now The Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency (ECPTA) he drove the implementation of the provinces international partnerships program.

As an Associate Director at KPMG he led the Hospitality, Leisure and Tourism Unit for Africa and South Africa before moving onto Grant Thornton in a similar position. His position as Project Manager at the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber ensured that Business embraces its civil society role by driving a holistic approach which enables business within the Metro to work towards long-term sustainability, though projects such as the Nooitgedaght Low Level Water Scheme and the re-activation for the much needed Addo Road refurbishment.

Glenton’s business management experience cuts across various sectors, such as Tourism Hospitality, Petro-chemical, Mining and all spheres of government to name a few. He provides strategic input into his family footwear manufacturing business which employees 60 people and is run by his sisters.

Dr. Rob Davidson

Managing Director, MICE Knowledge, UK. United Kingdom.

Rob Davidson is the Managing Director of MICE Knowledge, a consultancy specialising in research, education and training services for the meetings and events industry.
His main areas of expertise are conferences and incentive travel, and he has written seven books on these themes, including his latest publication, Business Events (https://www.routledge.com/Business-Events/Davidson/p/book/9781138735767).
He has carried out research projects for a number of major organisations including the Poland Convention Bureau, the Ireland National Tourism Development Authority, and the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence.
He is regularly invited to speak at international conferences on themes linked to business events, in particular to present the results of his ongoing research into conference industry trends. Rob also teaches as a Visiting Professor in four European universities, where he educates and inspires Events Management and Tourism Management students every year.
In 2015, he was awarded a Doctorate from the University of Greenwich for his thesis, entitled ‘Technological and Demographic Factors as Agents of Change in the Development of Business Events’.
In 2016, he won the Best Conference Speaker award at the Global Event Awards.In 2017, he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the IBTM WORLD exhibition in Barcelona.

Kwakye Donkor

CEO Africa Tourism Partners. South Africa.

Kwakye Donkor is the CEO of Africa Tourism Partners (ATP), a Pan African and UNWTO award-winning tourism consulting and advisory firm. He is a renowned Pan-African strategist and expert in areas of tourism development, strategic and destination marketing, destination brand management, MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibition/Events) strategy, investment facilitation and business transactional advisory. He is a recognised and highly respected personality in Africa tourism space, and speaks at global conferences, seminars and think tank fora facilitated by international organizations including UNWTO, AU, SADC, The World Bank Group, GIZ, BBC, CNBC Africa, Channel Africa, ENCA, SABC and others across Africa.

Kwakye has demonstrated expertise and experience in destination master planning as well as strategy formulation and execution, business transactional advisory and leadership development worldwide across education, finance, and hotel development. 

He is the convener of the annual Africa Tourism Leadership Forum & Awards, Africa MICE Masterclass, Africa Youth in Tourism Summit and Africa Women in Tourism Summit series.

Christelle Grohmann

Director – BDO South Africa. South Africa.

Christelle has more than 23 years’ consulting experience and carries out and heads project teams for macro research, economic impact assessments, valuations, marketing and organisational strategies, market feasibility studies, financial viability assessments, business case assessments and transaction advisory assignments. 
Christelle has also facilitated numerous workshops and large meetings and is proficient in using a range of facilitation approaches.

Mamello Mofokeng

Co-founder & CEO, Saturated Africa. South Africa.

Mamello Mofokeng is a Krugersdorp born and Vaal raised mover and shaker who is an entrepreneur, data scientist and change-maker who lives by the mantra: everyday is another day to impact the world positively. Having been raised by parents who were entrepreneurs, the entrepreneurial bug bit her when she was studying towards a BSc in Human Physiology and Biochemistry at the University of Free State. She quickly up-skilled herself with all things entrepreneurship such as sales, marketing and technology and.
In 2019, Mamello was accepted into AlphaCode Explore, a data science focused financial technology entrepreneurship programme, where her fintech business, Asiyesonke, was selected as a top 4 business to be incubated by Rand Merchant Investment backed incubation programme — AlphaCode Incubate. As the co-founder and CEO of Saturated Africa, she leads a team of six digital consultants who specialize in fields such as SAP consulting, eCommerce, digital marketing, cloud computing, digital product design and development.
She is passionate about business, youth advancement, women empowerment, child development, science, wellness and technology. With all that she does, she aims to fuse all her interests to deliver value to the world and most importantly — the people of the world. She is a qualified data scientist, cloud practitioner, cybersecurity professional and is currently pursuing a BSc of Life Sciences majoring in Business Management & Microbiology at the University of South Africa.

Mr. Miller Matola

CEO of Millvest Advisory. South Africa.

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.

Corné Koch

Head of the Western Cape Convention Bureau Wesgro. South Africa.

Cornė Koch is Head of the Cape Town and Western Cape Convention Bureau at Wesgro (the official tourism, trade and investment promotion agency for Cape Town and the Western Cape). She is a passionate promoter of the importance of business events for economic growth and responsible to position the Western Cape as the top destination in Africa to host a meeting.
After commencing her formal career at the South African Chamber of Commerce, she enters her career in the destination marketing sector in 2003 – 2008 as the Gauteng Tourism Authority’s Business Tourism Manger. Leaving the sector for a short stint to pursue her other passion, that of strategic communication, she took on the role of Communications Manager at the Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa before re-entering the sector in 2011 as Trade Development and Partnership Manager at Gauteng Tourism Authority.
In 2014 she relocated to Cape Town joining the Wesgro team in the Destination Marketing Organisation. Corne currently serves as a member of the Board of the International Congress and Convention Association, as well as the Cape Castle Control Board and is past Chair of the BestCities Global Alliance.

Nkululeko Nkosi

Co-founder - Etela Africa, South Africa.

Nkululeko Ndumiso Nkosi is a 28 year old entrepreneur, writer, strategist and technology innovator who hails from Lekwa (formerly known as Standerton) in the Mpumalanga province. Nkululeko Nkosi fulfills his professional and leadership duties from South Africa’s city of gold — Johannesburg, South Africa.
He started out as a digital marketing professional with skills in digital data analysis, digital strategy, social media and community management. He later grew to be one of the most edgy, most insightful and forward thinking creative strategists with a finger on the pulse of South African popular culture.
His passion for research and his understanding of African culture both urban and rural makes his strategic work not only relevant but also come with a very high degree of authenticity. Nkululeko Nkosi was employed at an award-winning agency, MetropolitanRepublic, he has played a key role in unpacking creative strategies for world-class brands such Danone, Sony Mobile ZA, LEGiT Fashion, Leroy Merlin, Aquafresh, Med-Lemon, Ithuba National Lottery, KOO Brands and Discovery. When you ask him what keeps him going, Nkululeko Nkosi would tell you it is the diversity in our cultures that makes our country the coolest place to be right now. He is now focused on building the future of Africa in the entrepreneurial space where his focus is merging technology, creativity and strategy to develop solutions.
He has represented South Africa through his marketing, media and entertainment consultancy work at the ONGEA Summit in Kenya, 4th Africa Youth In Tourism Summit Innovation & Challenge in Namibia and the Financial Security Olympiad in Russia competing against youth in BRICS nations. Nkululeko is currently the co-founder of Saturated, a digital agency startup which has developed an innovative tourism digital product titled Etela Africa for the African continent. Etela Africa translates to ‘Visit Africa’ in the Sotho languages of Southern Africa.

Senthil Gopinath

CEO, ICCA, Netherlands

Senthil has over 20 years’ experience in the meetings, association and leisure industry. He has held wide spectrum of positions in the meetings industry. Such as CEO of Convention Bureau of Sri Lanka, Vice President of Kuoni. He moved to Dubai in 2006 and has been working for Congress Solutions International, the Professional Congress Organizer (PCO) arm of Emirates Group, eventually holding responsibility for wide ranging business development, sales and operations functions for some of the largest international meetings held in the UAE and the Region.

A passionate strategist. Being creative and adaptable to the constantly changing environment are his key strengths. Always aims at professionalism and focuses on achieving the organizational objectives and financial goals 

Academically Senthil holds a European Bachelor of Business Administration and a Master’s in Business Administration (UK). Currently reading for PHD. Senthil has been working with the global association and business tourism fraternity for more than two decades and has in depth knowledge on global association and business tourism segment development. At present Senthil is the CEO of International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) – Global Meetings Industry Association headquartered in Netherlands. Winner of Global Business Events Strategist of the year awarded by PCMA – USA. 

ICCA -the International Congress and Convention Association- is the global community and knowledge hub for the international association meetings industry. 
ICCA represents the main specialists in organizing, transporting, and accommodating international meetings and events, and comprises over 1,150-member companies and organizations in over 100 countries worldwide. ICCA specializes in the international association meetings sector, offering unrivalled data, communication channels, and business development opportunities.

Janet Karemera

CEO, Rwanda Convention Bureau (RCB), Rwanda

Janet Karemera serves as the CEO of the Rwanda Convention Bureau (RCB), spearheading the organisation’s efforts to position Rwanda as the ultimate destination in Africa for Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Events. 

With her extensive experience as Deputy CEO of the Bureau and over a decade of experience in the public and private sectors, Ms Karemera brings a wealth of expertise to her role.

Passionate about global affairs, public policy, and the art of event and project management, her dedication shines through in her work. 

She has successfully supported the execution of numerous international events in Rwanda, demonstrating her exceptional coordination skills and commitment to excellence.

Janet holds a Bachelor of Social Sciences in International Development and Globalization from the University of Ottawa, which has equipped her with a deep understanding of global dynamics. 

Additionally, she holds an MBA from IE Business School, ensuring she possesses both the strategic mindset and practical business acumen required to thrive in her leadership position.

Adele Hartdegen

CEO, Johannesburg Expo Centre and Dogan Exhibitions & Events, South Africa

Adele is currently serving as the CEO of the Johannesburg Expo Centre as well as Dogan Exhibitions and Events. With over 15 years C-Level experience in Sales and Marketing across various disciplines with a total of 9 years of dedicated experience in the MICE industry. Originally employed by the GL events group for her Marketing, Bid Management, and Business development expertise in 2014 she has made great strides in establishing her career growth path within the international Group. She has conceptualized, secured and executed events for the Group with well-known entities such as the United Nations, UFI, BRICS, Tata, and a range of public entities.

Adele aims to facilitate growth in all levels of the organisation she heads up, focusing on the development of existing talent and upliftment of the immediate communities in and around the businesses she manages. She has successfully transitioned staff members into management roles and integrated small, medium and micro enterprises into the events hosted by Dogan giving them access to market, training and funding. Adele believes that the development of talent and small enterprises are the growth catalysts to any economy and she is passionate about contributing to this cause.

 She holds a BCom Management Degree and various diplomas in Business Management, Digital Marketing, Social Media Strategy, Change, and Visual Management as well as Sales and Negotiations skills. Adele has a keen interest in the tourism sector, having completed 3 African Tourism Masterclasses, of which she was a speaker in 2020 on the topic “Exhibitions in a changing world”. She has served 3 years as the Chairperson of the Young Professionals Forum at EXSA (Exhibitions Association of South Africa) and 2 Years as a board member of AAXO (African Association for Event Organisers).