Africa has the largest workforce in the world. A recent report by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) titled 2020 Policy Note on Africa: The Future of Production indicated that the continent will, by 2030, be home to a capable labour force of over 1.6 billion, larger than Asia and South America.
Senamiso Ndlovu, 32, is a smallholder farmer with big food production dreams. The seed of her farming ambitions is the growing urban food demand. She has ramped up production of green peppers, butternut squash, tomatoes and cucumbers to meet growing demand for fresh produce in Bulawayo, a sprawling city in Zimbabwe.ByBusani Bafana
Professor of Plant Breeding Maryke Labuschagne is working with a group of more than 20 African PhD students and postdoctoral fellows to improve the nutritional status of poor rural communities on the continent. Labuschagne is works within the University of the Free State's (UFS) Department of Plant Sciences and is also heading the NRF-SARChI chair in disease resistance and quality in field crops.
The finalists in the 2016 All Africa Business Leaders Awards (AABLA) in Partnership with CNBC Africa were announced during a live broadcast on DStv Channel 410 on Wednesday night, marking the start of the award that will travel to East, West and Southern Africa, to recognise the best in business across the continent.
Working through over a hundred qualifying submissions, judges spent well over two months examining, analysing and deliberating the candidates for 2016, narrowing it down to only a handful of business leaders per category, in each region. The 2016 AABLA finalists for each region are:
Young Business Leader of the Year – East Africa, presented by Lancaster University Ghana and Transnational Education Africa: Darshan Chandaria, Director and Group CEO of Chandaria Group; Trushar Khetia, Founder and CEO of Tria Group; Jean de Dieu Kagabo, Founder and CEO of Soft Group.
Young Business Leader of the Year – Southern Africa, presented by Lancaster University Ghana and Transnational Education Africa: Linda Olagunju, Founder and Managing Director at DLO Energy Resources; Jackie van Niekerk, CEO of Pivotal Property Fund; Siya Beyile, Founder of The Threaded Man.
Young Business Leader of the Year – West Africa, presented by Lancaster University Ghana and Transnational Education Africa: Tope Aroge, Managing Director of the Arog Bio Allied Agro Services; Seun and Seyi Abolaji, Founder's and Managing Director's of Wilson's Juice Company; Uneku Atawodi, Founder of Bamboo Green Concepts.
Entrepreneur of the Year – East Africa: Ashok Shah, CEO of APA Insurance; Bimal Kantaria, Director of Elgon Kenya.
Entrepreneur of the Year – Southern Africa: Stephen Saad, Group CEO of Aspen Pharmacare; Magda Wierzycka, CEO of Sygnia Asset Management; Mark and Brett Levy, Joint-CEO of Blue Label Telecoms.
Entrepreneur of the Year – West Africa: Paul Orajiaka, is the Founder of Auldon; Wole Faroun, CEO of Netplus Advisory; Suleiman Yusuf, CEO of Blue Camel Energy.
Business Women of the Year – East Africa: Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu, Founder of soleRebels; Joseline Kateeba, Managing Director of Crest Foam.
Business Women of the Year – Southern Africa: Lindani Dhlamini, CEO of SekelaXabiso; Monica Singer, CEO of Strate.
Business Women of the Year – West Africa: Sola David-Borha, CEO of Stanbic IBTC Holdings; Udo Okonjo, CEO and Founder of Fine & Country West Africa; Bilikiss Adebiyi Abiola, CEO of Wecyclers.
Innovator of the Year – East Africa: Danson Muchemi, Founder of Web Tribe; Patrick Buchana, Founder of AC Group; Ernest Kayinamura, CEO of Hexakomb.
Innovator of the Year – Southern Africa: Thato Kgatlhanye, Founder of Rethaka; Stacey Brewer and Ryan Harrison, Founders of SPARK Schools.
Innovator of the Year – West Africa: Bilikiss Adebiyi Abiola, CEO of Wecyclers; Bright Simons, President of mPedigree Network.
Company of the Year – East Africa: APA Insurance; Bank of Kigali; National Microfinance Bank (NMB).
Company of the Year – Southern Africa: Discovery; Bidvest; Aspen Pharmacare.
Company of the Year – West Africa: Dangote Group; LafargeHolcim; Nestlé Central & West Africa; Zenith Bank.
Business Leader of the Year – East Africa, presented by Bosch: Juliet Umutoni, Country Manager of DHL Express Rwanda; Egide Gatera, Chairman of Rwanda Mountain Tea; Fatima Abubakar, Country Manager of DHL Express Uganda.
Business Leader of the Year – Southern Africa, presented by Bosch: Adrian Gore, Founder and CEO of Discovery; Mike Brown, CEO of Nedbank.
Business Leader of the Year – West Africa, presented by Bosch: Abdulsamad Rabiu, Founder of BUA Group; Issam Darwish, Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of IHS Holding; John Bonoh Sisay, CEO of Sierra Rutile.
The Lifetime Achievement Award in each region and for All Africa will once again be selected by the judging committee and announced on the night. The Industrialist of the Year category presented by the IDC, along with the Philanthropist of the Year, will take on a similar format.
The AABLA, now in their sixth year, recognise Africa’s bold leaders and change-makers of business in East, West and Southern Africa. The regional events will be staged in Kigali on 8 September; Johannesburg, 29 September; and Lagos, 20 October; with the finale taking place in Johannesburg on 11 November 2016. The winners of each region will go through to the finale to crown an All Africa winner per category.
The AABLA are supported by Bakgatla Ba Kgafela, Lancaster University Ghana and Transnational Education Africa, Bosch, WIPHOLD, IDC, Jaguar Land Rover, University of Rwanda, Wits Business School, Lagos Business School, Radisson Blu Kigali, Independent Newspapers and Forbes Africa. The event is produced by ABN Productions.
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