AviaDev Africa has announced that Rodger Foster, CEO and Managing Director of Airlink, has won the prestigious Ato Girma Wake Award for his exceptional contribution to route development in Africa. The award recognizes the work of individuals who have demonstrated exceptional leadership and innovation in promoting connectivity and improving the aviation industry on the continent.
Foster has been instrumental in the growth of Airlink since its inception in 1992, and it is now the largest privately-owned regional airline in Africa, operating more than 50 commercial jetliners to over 45 destinations in 14 African countries and St Helena Island. Airlink continues to expand its route network, connecting more African cities, and promoting tourism and trade across the continent.
“We are delighted that our advisory board has nominated and awarded Mr Foster with the Ato Girma Wake Award,” said Jon Howell, Managing Director of AviaDev Africa. “Mr Foster’s dedication and leadership in developing air connectivity in Africa are exemplary, and his efforts have made a significant impact on the continent’s economic growth.”
The award ceremony will take place during the AviaDev Africa 2023 event in Nairobi, Kenya, in June, where Foster will participate in a fireside chat alongside Ato Girma Wake and Sanjeev Gadhia, the founder, and CEO of Astral Aviation.
“I am deeply honoured to receive the Ato Girma Wake Award,” said Foster upon receiving the award. “It is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the entire Airlink team, who have worked tirelessly to promote connectivity and facilitate economic growth in Africa. I would like to thank AviaDev Africa for this recognition and reaffirm our commitment to continuing to work towards the development of a robust and sustainable aviation industry in Africa.”
The Ato Girma Wake Award has been presented since 2018 and is voted for by all members of the AviaDev Africa advisory board. Previous winners include Adefunke Adeyemi, then Regional Director, Advocacy and Strategic Relations, Africa – IATA and now AFCAC secretary General; Raphael Kuuchi, ten Special Envoy on Aero-political Affairs, IATA and now consulting director at AFRAA; Chris Zweigenthal, former Chief Executive, Airlines Association of Southern Africa, and Sanjeev Gadhia, Founder and CEO, Astral Aviation.