THE African Leadership Network (ALN) on Friday announced 12 finalists for the 2013 Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship (AAE). In its seventh year since establishment, AAE is today the most distinguished Africa-focused awards programme, that gives over US$200 000 in prize money to outstanding African entrepreneurs who demonstrate business excellence and social impact each year.
The finalists represent eight African countries and eight different industries, including manufacturing, information technology, education, agribusiness, food and beverages, retail, ICT and aviation. Making the announcement, ALN CEO, Isaac Kwaku Fokuo Jr., commented: “I would like to congratulate these outstanding entrepreneurs for their tremendous achievements. These are among the finest, most dynamic and resilient entrepreneurs at the forefront of Africa’s economic transformation. At ALN, we believe that these entrepreneurs are the leaders that will secure Africa’s prosperity. This is the seventh consecutive year that we are holding the Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship, which we use to spotlight and distinguish exceptional entrepreneurs as role models for young entrepreneurs in Africa.” Omidyar Network, the philanthropic investment firm dedicated to harnessing the power of markets to create opportunity for people to improve their lives, is sponsoring the awards for the fourth consecutive year. Commenting on the announcement of the finalists, Malik Fal, Managing Director of Omidyar Network, Africa, said: “We honor each of the finalists for their determination, courage and impressive accomplishments. Their stories epitomize our search for success stories in Africa, which are critical to inspiring and enabling the next generation of entrepreneurs on the continent. Omidyar Network is deeply committed to strengthening Africa’s entrepreneurial ecosystems in order to realize our mission of creating positive social impact in the world. The Africa Awards are vital to building a robust culture of entrepreneurship here in Africa; the number, quality and diversity of entrants alone points to the immense potential of entrepreneurs to contribute to Africa’s long-term development.”
The eventual winners of the awards will be selected from the 12 finalists, and announced at a gala event to be held in Mauritius on October 04, 2013, as part of ALN’s 4th Annual gathering. By category, the finalists for 2013 are as follows:
Transformational Business Award
• Interswitch Limited (Nigeria) is an integrated payment and transaction processing company that provides technology integration, advisory services, transaction-processing and payment infrastructure to government, banks and corporate organizations.
• Haggar Holdings Company Limited (Sudan), one of Sudan’s largest Fast-Moving Consumer Goods & Information and Communications Technology conglomerates.
• Chemi & Cotex Limited (Tanzania), a leading East African fast-moving consumer goods company, and the leading distributor of beauty products in Tanzania.
Outstanding Mature Business Award
• MODE (Kenya), one of the most innovative technology companies that provides mobile value-added services to mobile network operators in 12 African countries.
• QuantumNet (Gambia), Gambia’s first and largest Internet Service Provider (ISP), leading distributor of global technology brands and luxury vehicles, with business operations in Gambia and Sierra Leone.
• Pygma Communications (DRC), an integrated communication services company offering advertising, Sims audio/visual production, public relations, event management, and media strategy services in the DRC.
Outstanding Small and Growing Business Award
• Guanomad (Madagascar), a company that produces and supplies natural fertilizers and organic manures from bat droppings in Madagascar’s caves for use in organic agriculture.
• VIA Aviation (Tanzania), the first of a kind private jet logistics firm in Tanzania that provides clearance permits and ground handling services for companies and individuals that own and operate private jets.
• Koko King Limited (Ghana), a business that provides traditional breakfast meals that has grown exponentially from providing 20 meals from a taxi in 2007, to having over 200 employees, and 100 outlets in Ghana and 200 employees.
Outstanding Social Entrepreneur Award
• Golden Baobab (Ghana), an awards programme that recognises and awards the most talented writers and illustrators on the African continent with cash prizes to encourage the creation of captivating books to inspire the imagination of African Children.
• Akili Dada (Kenya), a leadership incubator investing in high-achieving young African women from underprivileged backgrounds, who are passionate about social change.
• Sustainable Development For All (Kenya), a company that aims to improve livelihoods and education in areas without electricity, by providing households with solar energy.
The 12 finalists were arrived at after a rigorous screening process focused on the soundness of the business model, financial health, integrity of business practices, and contribution to socio-economic development. The awards now enter the final stage where the AAE panel of judges, made up of five eminent business leaders will choose the winners for the five categories of the awards. This year’s AAE judges include, Kofo Akinkugbe, Managing Director and CEO, Secure ID Nigeria and winner of the 2012 AAE Outstanding Mature Business Award, Vincent le Guennou, Co-CEO and founding partner, Emerging Capital Partners, Tunde Folawiyo, Managing Director of Yinka Folawiyo Power, Robyn Calder, Director, Programme Development at Elma Philanthropies and Michael Larbie, Head of Africa Investment Banking and Coverage, Rand Merchant Bank, and CEO RMB West Africa.
By Staff Reporter