Africa’s top business leaders honoured during UN General Assembly week
Leading African businessmen Tony Elumelu and Edward Boateng were amongst those that received accolades at the African Business Awards 2013. The exclusive presentation ceremony, organised by African Business magazine, was held at the Mandarin Oriental New York on the 20th September. Guests included many high profile policy makers and businessmen who are also in New York for the UN General Assembly.
Ethiopian Airlines scooped the prize for African Business of the Year. The airline has a unique business model and has created a profitable and growing franchise in what are tough times in the aviation industry. Another winner on the night was Togolese businessman Gervais Koffi Djondo. He is one of the founding fathers of the pan-African banking group Ecobank and also the founder of the West African regional airline Asky. He was rewarded for dedicating his life to creating regional giants to enhance pan-African trade and regional integration. The Nigerian banker, investor and philanthropist Tony Elumelu received the African Business Icon award, an award given by the committee to an individual who has helped to transform the business landscape through their work. Standard Chartered’s Nigerian Managing Director Bola Adesola was the winner of the Outstanding Woman in Business category. The Award for Innovation was given to the newly launched Kenyan project, Mawingu, which leverages innovative new wireless technologies utilising unused TV band spectrum (“TV white spaces”) and solar powered base stations to deliver nationwide broadband access.
The much coveted Business Leader of the Year went to Edward Boateng. This entrepreneur may not be a household name in African business circles but in a very short space has created an influential media group in his home country Ghana, as well as putting in place best business practices with an emphasis on sustainability, human capital and the environment.
Commenting on the Awards, Omar Ben Yedder stated: “the winners tonight again show the array of talent we have across the continent. The private sector is undoubtedly taking the lead in helping transform the continent, in terms of what it can do and in terms of creating opportunities and solutions out of problems. We are also seeing the private sector work better with government in what are being called transformational partnerships. We are not yet there in terms of creating global world beating brands but we are definitely on the right track, as demonstrated by the talents on show tonight”.
The African Business Awards are organised by African Business magazine and BusinessinAfrica Events and produced by IC Events. The Awards preceded the African Leadership Forum, a gathering of African leaders to discuss issues of leadership within an African context.
The Awards are supported by GTBank and Mota-Engil Africa (Platinum Sponsors); Bank of Industry and Microsoft 4Afrika (Gold Sponsors); DHL and Fasken Martineau (Silver Sponsors); African Development Bank (Official Sponsor); Paramount Group (Sponsor); and A PINs for Peace (Supporting Sponsor).
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