Samia Omar Bwana/ Founder of the Halal Safaris Africa Ltd
Samia Omar Bwana was the first County Executive Committee Member (CECM) for Trade, Tourism, Culture, and Natural Resources for the County Government of Lamu. Kenya. Ms. Omar has over 13 years of experience in conservation and community development. She has co-founded several community-based organization and movements that promote environmental and cultural conservation. Inspired to create sustainable livelihoods while simultaneously promoting conservation, she founded Halal Safaris Africa Ltd. Halal Safaris is the first travel company in East Africa and the first luxury travel company is Sub-Saharan Africa to sell Islamic heritage safaris as a means to preserve heritage sites in danger, and the first to sell women-only exclusive beach-bush-heritage safaris. Using her experience rebranding and helping Lamu to recover after a string of terrorist attacks during her tenure as CECM for Lamu, she is now targeting the diversification of Africa’s traditional tourism circuit by reclaiming the word “safaris” to not only mean wildlife. She is working to change the negative narrative of Africans as being “uncivilized” by including historical and heritage tours and events with local stories interwoven that promote cross-cultural exchanges and understanding across races and religions. The company is a responsible tourism business, which gives back through preservation of neglected heritage sites, raising local awareness on local heritage so as to encourage a positive African identity, and promoting community development
Samia is a recipient of several awards recognizing her public service including, but not limited to: Delta Omega Honor Society for achievement in Public Health, Al-Muslimah Top 30 Under 40, Kenya’s Business Daily’s Top 40 Under 40 Women in Kenya, The Norman H. Edelman Achievement Award, J.W. Saxe Award, John C. Holland Award, the J.W. Saxe Public Service Award, and many more.