Carmen Nibigira

About Carmen Nibigira Ph.D


Project Director




KN 14 Av. 45 Kimihurura
P.O. Box 283
Kigali, Rwanda


+250 780 663 646


Carmen Nibigira is a seasoned tourism policy analyst with over 19 years' experience in the hotel and tourism industry in Africa and Europe.
She is the former regional Coordinator of the East Africa Tourism Platform and a former Director General of the Burundi National Tourism Office. She has previously managed tour operation companies in Burundi, Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda as well as managed an international hotel in Tanzania.
Carmen is a seasoned tourism policy analyst. She has also conducted tourism and hospitality related capacity building training in Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Togo and Republic of Congo. As a tourism consultant, Carmen has advised governments and non-governmental organizations on tourism planning, strategy and business competitiveness in Central, South and West of Africa.
She worked at the Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne, Switzerland, as an Academic Assistant and Researcher before joining Clemson University in 2012 where she completed her PhD Candidate in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management. Her area of research is focused on policy and political economy of tourism as well as on the socio-political fabric of emerging tourism destinations.
She is also a member of the Board of Directors of Akilah Institute, an East Africa higher education college that offers market-relevant education with a campus in Rwanda. She also publishes widely on different issues related to tourism development in East Africa and is known to be an advocate for inter and intra-regional travel and tourism in Africa. Carmen is an avid reader, traveller and mother of two boys.
Carmen was conferred the “African Women in Tourism Leadership Award” in 2018 and also voted as one of the top 100 influential women in travel in 2017. She is widely known as a speaker and moderator in different discussions, international conferences, chaired high level conferences on regional tourism policy and development. Carmen is a reputable TV and radio voice on tourism and travel as well as women empowerment.
Currently, based in Kigali, Carmen is serving as a Project Director at Horwath HTL a global leader in hospitality and in charge of a MasterCard Foundation project supporting the tourism and hospitality sector in Rwanda in line of its transformation strategy and vision of improving skills, developing products and investment in the tourism and hospitality sector.