CEO Story

Ms. Zainab Ansell, a towering female tour operator, has been named among Tanzania’s top executives who performed well among peers in the corporate world amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ms. Zainab is the founder and CEO of the Tanzania-based ZARA Tanzania Adventures, founded and established in 1986 in the Moshi, Kilimanjaro region, and she is single handedly struggling to address historic injustice compounded by oppression and exploitation towards women in Northern Tanzania’s Maasai community. 

In 2009, the company launched ZARA Charity, giving back to marginalized communities in Tanzania and making its footprint in the global movement for sustainable tourism development. The charity addresses health care, education, unemployment, and women and children’ challenges. ZARA has impacted thousands of lives in Tanzania, directly employing 1,410 people on both a permanent and seasonal basis, sustaining thousands of families in a country with a relatively high unemployment rate. 

ZARA has also been widely recognized for its efforts in promoting Sustainable Tourism Development in Africa, with Zainab being a multi-award winner, having received over 13 local and international awards. Among them include the World Travel Market (WTM) Humanitarian Award and the Business Entrepreneur of the Year Award (2012), the iconic Tourism for The Future Awards (2015), and African Travel Top 100 Women. Ms. Zainab has been recognized and awarded for being the Most Influential Women in Business and Government by CEO Global for her achievements in East Africa’s Tourism and Leisure Sector 2018/2019 during the CEO GLOBAL Pan African Awards, and Tanzania National Parks has also recognized ZARA Tanzania Adventures as the East African country’s best Tour Operator (2019).