KFC has announced the appointment of its very first black female General Manager for Africa, Akhona Qengqe. She will step into the role on April 1 2023 and will replace outgoing General Manager, Dhruv Kaul, who is moving into a General Manager role for KFC Pan Europe.

Akhona’s experience, spans across multiple industries including petroleum, property, marketing, operations and convenience retail. She has also served as the Chairperson of the Board of the Franchise Association of South Africa. Akhona has worked with KFC in Africa having started with the business in 2015 as Development Director, after which she was promoted to lead the brand’s Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (EI&B) agenda. She was later being promoted to Chief People Officer (CPO) for KFC Africa in 2020 and more recently, appointed to Chief Development Officer.

“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 sustainability of the business but also, growth of local female talent. In fact, she has been instrumental in the team achieving diverse talent, with the Africa Senior leadership population now transformed at 50% women,” says Sabir Sami, KFC Global Chief Executive Officer.

Not only has she moved up the KFC ranks with grace and rigour but, in partnership with the Leadership team, she has helped the KFC business navigate a disruptive pandemic. Akhona has been a spearhead for the KFC Add Hope programme and an advocate for creating access to nutritious meals, for those less fortunate, assisting the team in mobilising and driving this.

As a fierce advocate for gender parity and female empowerment, Akhona conceptualised and launched KFC Africa’s Women on the Move programme, which was created in 2021 as a transformative 12 month programme. It equips 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. 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 our people, but also become a visible ally for our communities, bringing together our women and LGBTQIA+ communities from around the globe.