This year's speakers for Ground Handling International

Brenda Aremo-Anichini
Managing Director

Twiga Aero

Brenda is an International Business Graduate of the American University in Nairobi, Kenya, and holds an IATA diploma in airline quality management. She has more than ten years' experience in the aviation industry and her experience spans operational areas, from ground operations to corporate quality and safety.

While at Kenya Airways she specialised in aviation auditing and the development of operational standards. Internationally, Brenda has represented Kenya Airways at the IATA Airside Safety Group in setting industry operational standards whilst at the operational level, she has managed cargo handling operations with a team of 15 members.

In 2010 she co-founded her consulting company, Twiga Aero, since which time she has developed courses on behalf of IATA's Training & Development Institute relating to Safety Management System Implementation, Aircraft Turnaround Co-ordination, Aircraft Loading Supervision and IOSA SMS requirements, as well as Airside Safety and Compliance.

Maurizio Anichini
Chairman & Co-founder

Twiga Aero

Maurizio is the Director of Safety & Quality Assurance at BFS, based in Bangkok. He is the current Vice-Chairman of the IGOM technical sub-group. Previously he was Head of Instructor-Led Learning in the IATA Training & Development Institute. He was also IATA Manager, Airport & Inflight Services, when he developed the ISAGO programme, initiated the IGOM project and served as a subject matter expert on numerous IATA consulting projects in Risk Management, SMS, Operational Readiness Review, Tender and Licensing Agreements and Training Needs Analysis. Maurizio has also been responsible for the Airside Safety Group, the Ramp Services Equipment & Environment work group, the Load Control and Aircraft Movement work group and the Aviation Ground Services Agreement work group. Between 2008 and 2010 he was responsible for the IATA Ground Handling Council and its annual conference and was the author of the IATA Airport Handling Manual. Maurizio began his aviation career in 1981 with Air France at JFK International and Anchorage airports, moving on to easyJet Switzerland, where he was appointed Ground Handling Manager and Ground Operations Deputy Postholder in Geneva. He is also a certified FAA Aircraft Dispatcher.

Jon Conway
Director General

ASA (Airport Services Association)

Jon began his aviation career in 1973 with BOAC (later British Airways) Cargo, before embarking on a 27 year career with Cathay Pacific Airways. Initially working in cargo operations at London Gatwick, he was appointed Airport Manager Manchester in 1989. In 1994 he moved to Hong Kong, where he held a variety of senior management roles, the last being Director & General Manager of Hong Kong Airport Services. In 2008, he joined dnata as Divisional Senior Vice-President Airport Operations. In 2014 he was given additional responsibility for dnata Cargo in Dubai. Overseeing a workforce of over 18,000 across the UAE, Jon was also a Director of several joint ventures. In March 2017 he was appointed Director General of the Airport Services Association.

Albert Valentine

University of Thailand

Presenting on Transformational leadership: leapfrogging towards improved ground operations

Ashwin Noronha
Director Aerospace and Defence


Will discuss the continent’s biggest growth challenges with a financial overview of Africa’s aviation prospects

Anita Adjei-Nmashie
Manger Aerodrome Safety & Standards

Ghana Civil Aviation Authority

Anita has been working in the aviation industry for the past 25 years. Currently she is the Manager of Aerodrome Safety and Standards, a position to which she was assigned in 2004.

Her office is primarily responsible for programmes related to aerodrome safety and inspections and standards for the oversight of aerodrome design, construction, maintenance and operation, aerodrome certification, safe-guarding and safety management systems. Within this job, Anita is in charge of regulating and certifying aerodromes in Ghana as well as Obstruction Evaluation and Airport Airspace Analysis, which involves the protection of navigable airspace. Anita is also an AFI-CIS inspector for AFCAC and a resource person for BAGASOO on aerodrome issues.

From 1999 to 2004 she was the first female aviation safety inspector (aerodromes) for the safety regulation department; prior to that, she was the first female Licensed Air Traffic Controller in Ghana, a post that she took up in 1991.

Anita holds a post graduate diploma in Occupational Health Safety and Environmental Management, a BA in public Administration from the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration and a BSc in Aviation Management. She studied Air traffic Control in South Africa at the ATNS College and took the Ab-Initio Air Traffic Control course at the Ghana Aviation Training Academy. She also holds numerous certificates within her area of expertise.

Richard Hunt

Swissport South Africa

A panel member discussing: a ground operations services strategy for the African market

Maureen Kahonge
Deputy Director Business Development


Maureen is the Deputy Director Business Development at AFRAA, a position she has held since February 2016. Prior to her appointment, she held the position of Business Development Manager. She is passionate about the aviation industry and has been with the Association for six years. Her scope of work at AFRAA covers the development and management of beneficial working relationships with member airlines and partners, marketing, events, AFRAA publications, statistical data and analysis.

Maureen is also the project co-ordinator for AFRAA Ground Handling Committee, a work group by AFRAA that facilitates beneficial ground handling co-operation among airlines, with the view of adopting and implementing cost-effective common solutions to address some of the handling challenges faced by carriers today.

She is a holder of a degree in Business Administration and French from Kenyatta University and has a Master’s in Business Administration Strategic Management and Finance from the United States International University, Kenya. Of Kenyan nationality, she is fluent in both French and English.

Gaoussou Konate
Ex-Deputy Regional Director


Gaoussou is an aviation professional who graduated as a Mechanical Engineer at the Institut National des Sciences Appliquées de Lyon, in France. A citizen of Burkina Faso, he is married and the father of three children; he currently lives in Dakar, where he serves the International Civil Organisation as Deputy Regional Director of the Western and Central Africa Office. During his 35 years in the sector he worked at Air Afrique for just over a decade, where he started out as a project engineer; he subsequently held managerial positions relating to engineering and corporate planning. Gaoussou then spent 11 years with the African Airline Association as AFRAA's Technical Director, where his assignments covered airline operations, engineering, training and technical co-operation among African carriers. He then moved to IATA where he worked for ten years: there, his responsibilities included the enhancement of safety, operations, infrastructure and security in Africa. Most recently, since July 2012, Gaoussou has delivered assistance to African States in connection with the implementation of ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices. This has been with a view to increasing their rates of effective implementation of safety oversight to ensure the improvement of safety and efficiency in air navigation, whilst reducing the impact of flight operations on the environment.

Marc Deleu
Managing Director

DAS Handling

A panel member discussing: a ground operations services strategy for the African market

Dikko Nwachukwu
Founder & CEO

Jet West Nigeria

Dikko describes himself as passionate about changing the way people travel in Nigeria and West Africa and has created jetWest (FlyjetWest) to solve this. With an education background from the UK and the US added to 20 years of managerial and entrepreneurial experience, he was most recently Chief Commercial Officer at Aero Contractors of Nigeria and has been involved in a number of African start-ups, in both the transport and technology sectors.

Danny Vrancx

Aviaco GSE

Will join the panel on Sustainability on the ramp: the opportunities and challenges for electric GSE at African Airports

Adrian Young
Senior Aviation Consultant


Adrian has worked in aviation safety management since 1989, both for governmental and industry organisation and for both airports and airlines. He is a qualified aviation accident investigator and has performed runway safety studies for the Dutch accident investigation body, Dutch Safety Board. On behalf of both airports and airlines, he has performed safety audits, analyses and investigations for airports around the world. The establishment and management of aviation Safety Management Systems and the provision of staff training in their SMS-related activities has been a part of his work since 2008.

Tom Kok


For the past 20 years, Tom has been working to connect African aviation professionals to best safety practices that are essential to their work. An important part of that experience is related to transfer of knowledge through training by the AviAssist Foundation, of which he is Director.

Having lived, worked and flown in Africa for many years, Tom has gained unique expertise on African aviation safety issues. As a result, he is well versed in the technical as well complex political, social and cultural issues that play an important role in improving aviation safety in Africa. He has facilitated numerous safety trainings and workshops in Africa on a wide variety of subjects, is a regular speaker at meetings and conferences in and on the continent and is founder of the Africa’s only magazine dedicated to safety, SafetyFocus.

Tom is a law graduate of Leiden University in the Netherlands, with a specialisation in Air and Space Law, and pursued African Studies at the same university.

Rishi Thakurdin
Director Safety and Technical

ACI Africa

Rishi is Director Safety, Technical and Legal Affairs - Airports Council International, Africa Region. He has over 20 years’ experience in aviation, having worked mainly with airports in various capacities.

He started his career as a lawyer, specialising in Human Rights Law and Litigation, before entering the aviation sector as a Commercial Manager for Airports Company South Africa. He also spent a significant portion of his career within the legal department where he provided high level legal support in Insurance Liability Litigation, Commercial and Regulatory matters, as well as Environmental Law and Management.

He spent the latter part of his career in airport operations as countrywide Manager for Safety and Compliance. Rishi holds degrees in Arts and Law and has a Master’s in Science, along with a post graduate qualification in Environmental and International Commercial Law.

Ian Todd
Head of Professional Services


Ian Todd, Head of Professional Services, Restrata (Former Deputy Head of Security, Heathrow Airport)

Presenting on: The security challenge at Africa’s airports: working together to tackle terrorism

Fumnanya Agbugah
Research Writer

Ventures Africa

Presenting on Trump, Brexit: the impact of global political changes on the African aviation market

Hervé Gueusquin
Managing Director

Air Business Consultants

Herve is an aviation professional with more than 24 years of experience. His solid airline background is founded on the basis of several managerial positions within four different airlines, namely Air UK, KLM, Northwest Airlines and Air France, where he worked in various areas such as procurement, sales, load control, ground operations and hub procedures. Additionally, Herve has served as District Manager in Yerevan and was Airport Manager in Washington, Barcelona, Bangalore, Lagos and Algiers. He is the collaborative author of the Station Manager Manual, a concise publication for all Air France- KLM Airport Managers worldwide. Herve is currently Business Development and Training Support Manager at the Ecole des Escales, the Air France Ground Services academy. He has a Master's in International Relations and he is a lecturer at the Ecole Nationale de L'Aviation Civile, the French Civil Aviation University in Toulouse, France.


2018 Sponsors: We are proud to be partners of the industry leaders!