AFRICA – Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) has appointed its very first black female General Manager for Africa Akhona Qengqe, effective from April 1st, 2023.

Akhona, who has vast experience spanning multiple industries including petroleum, property, marketing, operations, and convenience retail, will replace the outgoing GM – Dhruv Kaul, who is moving into a GM role for KFC Pan Europe.

Before this appointment, she has been the Chief Development Officer of KFC Africa. Akhona started off her cooperate journey in the business in 2015 as Development Director, after which she was promoted to lead the brand’s Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (EI&B) agenda, before being promoted to Chief People Officer (CPO) for KFC Africa in 2020.

“Akhona has spent the better part of her eight years at KFC as an intrinsic part of the KFC leadership team in Africa and has worked closely with Dhruv and the team to ensure the sustainability of the business but also, the growth of local female talent,” said Sabir Sami, KFC Global Chief Executive Officer.

“She has been instrumental in the team achieving diverse talent, with the Africa Senior leadership population now transformed at 50% women.”

Sami noted that Akhona has been central to the development and success of KFC Africa’s equality programmes, taking them to new heights both on the local front and from a global perspective.

She has helped the business navigate a disruptive pandemic that impacted not only business but also staff from a wellness and workplace perspective – a job she managed with humility, empathy, and efficiency, the quick service restaurant highlighted.

Additionally, Akhona has been central to the business’s development programmes – enabling a heart-led, high-performing people culture.

She has also spearheaded the KFC Add Hope programme and is an advocate for creating access to nutritious meals, for those less fortunate – assisting the team in mobilizing and driving this critical pillar of purpose for the business. 

“I believe in Africa. I believe in its people and the incredible untapped potential that still exists. As a business, we have shown tremendous growth, momentum, and acceleration through challenging times in the past few years,” Akhona commented.

“But because of the people we have in our business and our ongoing commitment to a high-performance, hearted culture, we have shown that the impossible is possible. I cannot wait to see what we can collectively achieve.”

As a fierce advocate for gender parity and female empowerment, Akhona conceptualized and launched KFC Africa’s Women on the Move programme, created in 2021 as a transformative 12-month programme to equip women with tools and resources that will help them leverage their innate leadership qualities and fuel results within the KFC business locally.

She created and launched KFC’s global Community of Belonging (COB), SHINE – a safe and brave space for people to connect, belong, and lead – building leadership experience in creating an environment of inclusion and belonging, with a restaurant-first mentality.

This programme allows the business to not only partner with other leaders from around the world and be at the forefront of leading change for people, but also become a visible ally for the communities.

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