The EMRC Project Incubator Award is now officially open for all participants of the Africa Finance & Investment Forum 2014 who have a project which promotes a sustainable and innovative business approach based in Sub-Saharan Africa. The overall winner will receive from EMRC a cash prize of US$15.000 and international recognition from AFIF2014 partners and the media.
“The AFIF2013 was a new world for me where I met several people I have not seen anywhere else. AFIF2013 enriched me and encouraged me to have faith in continuing my work,” explains Marie-Claire Matambawho, who set up Agrimat Gabon and who won the coveted prize at AFIF2013.She won due to her project’s sustainable business approach, which created jobs and income for the local community.
AFIF2014, entitled ‘Financing Business Opportunities’ will take place at the DEG headquarters in view of Germany’s deep seated heritage as a world leading business, economic and financial hub. The Forum will play host to the two hundred selected professionals and decision makers coming from Africa, Europe and beyond, from 4-5 June 2014 in Cologne Germany at DEG headquarters.
The EMRC Project Incubator Award spotlights the forum’s title, showcasing projects which have used financing to their advantage and in parallel require further access to finance to expand. Each nominated project will be presented to a panel of global experts who judge the presentation based on specific criteria.
Projects will be presented in front of AFIF2014 partners which include: AFREXIMBANK; BNDES (Bank of Development of Brazil); EIB (European Investment Bank); IFC (World Bank); UN/WTO – International Trade Centre; ADC (African Development Corporation); Delta State Government with the participation of His Excellency the Governor (Nigeria); Shell Foundation and the German Trade/Business organizations AfrikaVerein and SAFRI (Southern Africa Initiative of German Business); ECOWAS (Economic Community of West Africa States) and FEWACI (Federation of West Africa Chambers of Commerce and Industry; ICD (Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector).
Presenting in front of a gathering of international leaders and experts can change the course of a business. Six months after winning the award Marie-Claire Matambawho has seen a marked progress in her business, opening the doors to various Ministries in Gabon who have spotlighted her business acumen as an example to follow for the rest of the country’s SME sector. ‘The company has been able to grow strategically and through doing so has created jobs within the community,’ she says proudly. Marie-Claire Matambawho is part of a unique list of winners which include, CESACOPA (Angola) – winner at AFIF2012, Sophavet (Burkina Faso) – winner at AFIF2011 and Derek Korp (Uganda) – winner at AFIF2009.
Prof. Monty Jones will be the Chairman of AFIF2014, having been recently elected President of EMRC (since January 2014). Prof. Jones was named one of the 100 most influential scientists in the world by Time Magazine in 2007, was the recipient of the 2004 World Food Prize and today is the Special Advisor to the President of Sierra Leone.
The forum will also provide an environment for B2B meetings. These meetings are tailor-made to ensure maximum business partnership success. For two entire afternoons, participants, speakers and partners can sit down for one-on-one meetings conducive for potential business partnerships. Last year’s forum saw around 700 meetings taking place.
The forum will have simultaneous interpretation in English, French and Portuguese. EMRC will organize in collaboration with UN/WTO – International Trade Centre team of Experts a pre-Forum training on “Sources of Funding / Presenting a Business Plan” (2-3 June).