Citing its interest in contributing to the growth of the association and meetings industry in Africa, GainingEdge CEO, Jon Sivertson, has announced Thulani Nzima has been engaged as the organisation’s new African Partner.
“Africa is relatively new to the industry,” Sivertson said. “The development of its civil society is key to Africa’s continuing economic transformation. We want to be part of making that happen.”
Sivertson said GainingEdge wanted a strong partner to lead its efforts in Africa. “We feel really lucky to have someone of Thulani’s calibre joining the company,” he said. “He’s one of the most experienced and respected people in the industry there. He’s a leader, he’s well connected, and he’s the right person to guide our efforts in that important and emerging part of the world.”
Nzima, who is based in Johannesburg, South Africa, has a broad convention and tourism industry background spanning almost 30 years, including senior executive roles with South African Airways. More recently he served as CEO of South African Tourism and oversaw the establishment of Africa’s first national convention bureau, the South African National Convention Bureau, a project supported by GainingEdge.
“Working together in the past gave me a chance to know them,” Nzima said. “I saw what they could offer and the difference they could make. GainingEdge showed a real commitment to Africa when they helped to establish the African Society of Association Executives four years ago. They are still providing pro bono strategic support to that, because they believe it will make a big difference for Africa.”
Nzima said he feels Africa’s potential has been constrained by the lack of a fully developed association community and the need to support emerging convention bureaus that can facilitate more regional and international meetings to help African professionals to develop their global networks.
“South Africa is doing well,” he said, “but we need to build the benefits of this industry throughout the continent. I’m excited by this collaboration. We’re looking to help all parts of Africa to do big things. We’re looking to make a major impact.”