from SAVIOUS KWINIKA in Johannesburg, South Africa
JOHANNESBURG – THE achievements of women entrepreneurs and innovators across the African continent have been celebrated.
Held under the aegis of the Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF), finalists from Angola, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda and Zimbabwe were honoured.
The awards have grown exponentially from entries of just under 300 last year (2017) when the AWIEF Awards were launched, to 1 200 this year.
“AWIEF remains Africa’s number one voice in driving the agenda for women’s leadership in business,” said Irene Ochem, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of AWIEF.
“The AWIEF brand has grown tremendously over these few years through the sustained support of our trusted partners, local and international, underscoring the great values of AWIEF programmes and projects in accelerating women entrepreneurship as a catalyst of inclusive economic growth.”
She said finalists were rigorously assessed in terms of the sustainability of their businesses, as well as the documented or prospective impact on community development and the economy.
“Thereafter, our judges decided on five finalists in each category and one winner,” explained Ochem.
Nomso Faith Kana, winner of the Young Entrepreneur Award, said Africa was enabling the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
“With its very young population, this is how the continent would thrive,” she said.
Her startup, Sun n Shield 84 Technologies, is a fibre optic cable manufacturing company.
Jane Maigua, Managing Director of Exotic EPZ Ltd in Kenya, and the winner of the Agri Entrepreneur Award, said her award was a symbol of “bravery and unity of purpose” in working in a challenging field.
Created last year, the company has already created 152 jobs, 90 percent of whom are young women.
All the winners
YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR AWARD
Winner: Nomso Faith Kana: Sun n Shield 84 Tech, South Africa
Runners-up: Jane Kagiri: CreativeEdge Solutions, Kenya; Juliet Namujju: Kimuli Fashionability, Uganda
TECH ENTREPRENEUR AWARD
Winner: Beth Koigi – Majik Water, Kenya
Runners-up: Juliana Rotich – Brck.Org, Kenya; Benji Coetzee – Empty Trips, South Africa
SOCIAL ENTREPRENEUR AWARD
Winner: Lorna Rutto – EcoPost, Kenya
Runners-up: Essma Ben Hamida – Enda Inter-Arabe, Tunisia; Amina Slaoui – Groupe AMH, Morocco
GLOBAL BRAND AWARD
Winner: Bethlehem Tilahun-Alemu – SoleRebels, Ethiopia
Runners-up: Sarah Collins – Wonderbag, South Africa; Renchia Droganis – Africology, South Africa
AGRI ENTREPRENEUR AWARD
Winner: Jane Maigua – Exotic EPZ Ltd, Kenya
Runners-up: Jeanne Groenewald – Elgin Free Range Chickens, South Africa; Elorm Goh – Agrisolve, Ghana
Winner: Kate Ekanem – Kate Tales Foundation, Nigeria
Runners-up: Emma Dicks – CodeSpace, South Africa; Chiedza Daneek Nobuhle Kambasha – Hemmingworth Cartwright, Zimbabwe
CREATIVE INDUSTRY AWARD
Winner: Nana Akua Oppong-Birmeh – Archxenus, Ghana
Runners-up: Soraya Piedade – Soraya da Piedade Ltd, Angola; Winnifred Selby – Ghana Bamboo Bikes Initiative, Ghana
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Winner: Wendy Luhabe – Women Private Equity Fund, South Africa
Runners-up: Margaret Hirsch – Hirsch’s Homestores, South Africa; Jennifer Riria – Echo Network Africa/Kenya Women Holding, Kenya
AWIEF Awards’ sponsors included: The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA); Nedbank; British American Tobacco; and the Embassy of Switzerland in South Africa.
– CAJ News