How Can We Use Travel and Tourism to Stimulate Women Empowerment and Gender Equity in the African Continent

How Can We Use Travel and Tourism to Stimulate Women Empowerment and Gender Equity in the African Continent

5 Nov 2019, 13:30 - 14:15

Middle East & Africa Inspiration Zone

According to statistics by the WTTC Travel and Tourism contributes 10% of world’s GDP and creates around 8% of world’s employment. In Africa more specifically Travel & Tourism GDP grew by 5.6% in 2018, significantly above the African economy growth rate of 3.2%. 

According to UNWTO of all people employed in the tourism sector 60-70% are women.  In Africa, some 25 Million work in the sector (WTTC) and the number is expected to rise to 32 million in 2029 but the gender representation is still limited. Yet, Travel and Tourism offers many opportunities to economically empower women not only in cities but also in regional and rural areas.

•So how can we encourage a greater participation of women in the sector? 

•What practical steps have been already taken to ensure women empowerment in Southern Africa?   

•Which obstacles still persist and how can we hope to remove them?


To discuss these topics we have invited the following speakers:

•Mrs Sthembioso Dlamini, COO & Acting CEO, South African Tourism

•Mrs Zina Benkeich, General manager EMEA, Peak DMC

•Mrs Isatou Foon, President, Janjanbureh Tour Guide Association, The Gambia 

•Mrs Abigail Mbalo, Head Chef & Founder, 4Roomed eKasi Culture


Moderated by 

Alessandra Alonso, Founder Women in Travel cic


  • Alessandra Alonso



    Women In Travel

    Alessandra Alonso is Founder of Women in Travel CIC, a social enterprise dedicated to leveraging the travel and tourism industry in order to empower...

  • Sthembiso Dlamini


    COO and acting CEO

    South African Tourism

    Ms. Sthembiso Dlamini joined South African Tourism in 2014. As Chief Operating Officer of South African Tourism, she is responsible and accountable...

  • Abigail Mbalo


    Head Chef & Founder

    4Roomed eKasi Culture

    After appearing on MasterChef South Africa in 2014, Abigail opened 4Roomed eKasi Culture, a restaurant that serves delicious South African township...

  • Zina Bencheikh


    Regional General Manager EMEA

    Peak DMC

    Born in Marrakech, Zina’s passion for travel started very early when, at the age of just one, her parents decided to move to Canada to explore new...

  • Amelia Diaz


    Tourism Development Specialist

    International Trade Centre

    Amelia Diaz is a tourism development specialist at the International Trade Centre, a joint agency of the United Nations and World Trade Organization....