In parts of West Africa, patches of forest have been preserved for long periods of time because of their cultural or religious significance. These "sacred forests" are believed to be inhabited and protected by gods, totem animals or ancestors. Local communities have their own rules prohibiting reckless harvesting of timber and game, which have protected the sacred forests over many generations.ByMichele Francis
Promoting excellence in entrepreneurship and innovation amongst women-owned businesses in all sectors and across all 54 African countries is the aim of the Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF) Awards, which announced the finalists in the awards this week.
“Women-owned businesses are a vital part of our African economy,” commented Irene Ochem, AWIEF founder and chief executive officer. “The massive response to the AWIEF Awards underscores the fact that women in Africa are resilient and seeking recognition and celebration for their achievements and contribution to the economy and Africa’s sustainable development.
“Given the huge number and quality of the nominations received this year, I must say that female entrepreneurship is strong and thriving all across African countries,” said Ochem.
The AWIEF Awards Panel of Judges is made up nine high-calibre industry experts and thought leaders spread across the continent. Forty women founders and entrepreneurs have been selected as finalists, from 12 different African countries, across eight categories.
The AWIEF Awards ceremony will follow the 2018 AWIEF conference and exhibition on 8-9 November at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, Cape Town. AWIEF Awards category winners will be announced at a gala dinner on the Friday, 9 November, at The Westin Cape Town Hotel.
The finalists for 2018 are:
Young Entrepreneur Award
Jane Kagiri, CreativeEdge Solutions, Kenya Nomso Faith Kana, Sun n Shield 84 Tech, South Africa Juliet Namujju, Kimuli Fashionability, Uganda Kunmi Otitoju, Minku, Nigeria Bidemi Zakariyau, LSF|PR, Nigeria
Tech Entrepreneur Award
Benji Coetzee, Empty Trips, South Africa Faith Kimeu, Dial A Pad, Kenya Beth Koigi, Majik Water, Kenya Darlene Menzies, Findfind, South Africa Juliana Rotich, BRCK.Org, Kenya
Social Entrepreneur Award
Essma Ben Hamida, Enda Inter-Arabe, Tunisia Madalitso Chidumu, Impact-Ceed, Malawi Shamim Nabuma Kaliisa, Community Dental And Reproductive Health, Uganda Lorna Rutto, Ecoposts, Kenya Amina Slaoui, Groupe AMH, Morocco
Global Brand Award
Sarah Collins, Wonderbag, South Africa Adele Dejak, Adèle Dejak, Kenya Renchia Droganis, Africology, South Africa Njeri Rionge, Wananchi Group, Kenya Bethlehem Tilahun-Alemu, SoleRebels, Ethiopia
Agri Entrepreneur Award
Ngabaghila Chatata, Thanthwe Enterprises, Malawi Elorm Goh, Agrisolve, Ghana Jeanne Groenewald, Elgin Free Range Chickens, South Africa Joyce Kyalema, Josmak International, Uganda Jane Maigua, Exotic EPZ Ltd, Kenya
Emma Dicks, Codespace, South Africa Kate Ekanem, Kate Tales Foundation, Nigeria Chiedza Daneek Nobuhle Kambasha, Hemmingworth Cartwright, Zimbabwe Irene Kiwia, The Women Of Achievement, Tanzania Marvella Odili, Save Our Need Organisation, Nigeria
Iyalode Alaba Lawson, Naccima Business Women Group, Nigeria Margaret Hirsch, Hirsch’s Homestores, South Africa Tabitha Karanja, Keroche Breweries, Kenya Wendy Luhabe, Women Private Equity Fund, South Africa Jennifer Riria, Echo Network Africa/Kenya Women Holding, Kenya
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