#AviaDevAfrica’s Girma Wake Aviation Lifetime Achievement Award goes to …

(Posted 16th May 2022)

AviaDev Africa, the premier route development event for the continent will be hosting its 2022 episode in the Mother City, Cape Town, South Africa at the end of June. 

The format will continue to focus on interaction and networking via private prescheduled route development meetings alongside a comprehensive conference programme.

With 35+ Airlines already confirmed, this is the opportune moment for all stakeholders to ignite conversations that will form the future of air connectivity within the African continent. 
Since 2018, AviaDev has presented one distinguished leader in aviation with this annual award for their contribution to route development in Africa. 

Previous winners include Adefunke Adeyemi, Regional Director, Advocacy and Strategic Relations, Africa – IATA; Raphael Kuuchi, Special Envoy on Aero-political Affairs, IATA and Chris Zweigenthal, Chief Executive, Airlines Association of Southern Africa.

AviaDev are delighted to announce that in 2022, this esteemed award will be presented to Sanjeev Gadhia, Founder and CEO, Astral Aviation.
Sanjeev GadhiaFounder and CEOAstral Aviation
Sanjeev launched cargo carrier Astral Aviation in 2000, which is an All-Cargo airline based in Kenya, operating a fleet of 14 freighters from its hubs in Nairobi, Johannesburg, Dubai and Liege into Europe, Middle East, Asia and within Africa. 

In 2020, Sanjeev was appointed Chairman of AFRAA’s (African Airlines Association) Cargo & Route Network Committee and is currently Vice Chairman of TIACA (The International Air Cargo Association) and recognized for being the only Board Member from Africa.

Sanjeev is rated as a “New Generation Leader for Africa” by the prestigious African Leadership Network and is a recipient of the “East Africa Innovation Leadership Award” from the World Federation of Innovation Professionals.
During the recent pandemic, Astral Aviation was selected by UNICEF to participate in the Humanitarian Airfreight Initiative, based on their track-record in performing humanitarian flights within Africa and the Middle East during the past twenty years. 

Astral’s Pharma Product combined with the expertise of its Pharma team provides a reliable and efficient service for temperature-sensitive products across the network, which includes safe re-packing and re-icing service which will enhance the cool-chain value of vaccines for onward distribution within Africa All award winners are nominated and chosen by the AviaDev advisory board who consist of recognised experts in African aviation.

Jon Howell, CEO and Founder, AviaDev said “We are delighted our advisory board nominated Sanjeev. Sanjeev has always been an active member of the African aviation community, willing to engage and listen. The leadership he showed throughout the pandemic ensured the supply of much-needed health and humanitarian assistance to the continent.”
On receiving the news of the award, Sanjeev said “I am truly grateful and honoured to receive the 2022 AviaDev Ato Girma Wake Lifetime Achievement Award. While accepting this award with humility, I will continue in my quest to enhance accessibility and connectivity to and within Africa, as my journey is far from over. Together with collaboration and technology, we will together make an impact and overcome the challenges into sustainable opportunities.” 

Ato Girma Wake who received the first award and following the award has been named in his honour said “As one cargo man to the other, I say congratulations for a very deserved award. It is particularly rewarding to receive the award at this difficult time when cargo is a lifeline for all airlines. Congrats my friend and carry on with the hard work.” 

The award will be presented to Sanjeev during the 2022 event and he will be interviewed about his life by Ato Girma and outline the plans Astral Aviation has for the future. 

Registration is now open at www.aviationdevelop.com/africa 

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