It is with great humility and a strong sense of responsibility that I accept the award of Women in Leadership that was conferred on me at the recently concluded African tourism leadership awards in Accra, Ghana.
In accepting this award, I would like to first and foremost recognize some remarkable women who have achieved great milestones and have set the pace for many women and young girls to rise up and add cracks to the glass ceiling. The late Professor Wangari Maathai, will forever remain a beacon of hope and a champion of environmental conservation not only in Kenya and Africa, but around the world. Her fearless fight for environmental conservation should be adopted and instilled in us and our children for the sake of future generations.
I would also like to pay tribute to my colleagues in the travel and tourism industry from East Africa; Rosette Rugamba from Rwanda, Jacinta Nzioka and Judy Kepher-Gona from Kenya, three fearless and remarkable women who have contributed immensely towards tourism development in East Africa and beyond. To my two remarkable tourism professors and mentors Prof. Marina Novelli and Prof. Sheila J. Backman who shaped and set me into my professional career early on and continue to challenge and support me.
Last and not the least, I would like to honour my mother Domitille Barancira for her support and encouragement throughout my life and career. An amazing woman that I cannot thank enough with words and deeds. Without her support, I would not have come this far. Maman, I thank you from the bowels of my heart.
This award, is dedicated to not only these wonderful women, but to every man and woman within and without Africa that is actively playing a role towards advancement of African tourism development and protection of our wildlife and environment.
Thank you all. Merci. Asante Sana.