Twelve entrepreneur-led companies from eight African countries have been named finalists in the 2013 Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship, according to the African Leadership Network.
Awards finalists come from industries including manufacturing, information technology, education, agribusiness, food and beverages, retail, ICT and aviation, according to a report in NewEra.
The African Leadership Network and Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship award more than $200,000 each year in prize money to outstanding African entrepreneurs who demonstrate business excellence and social impact.
“These are among the finest, most dynamic and resilient entrepreneurs at the forefront of Africa’s economic transformation,” said network CEO Isaac Kwaku Fokuo Jr. “These entrepreneurs are the leaders that will secure Africa’s prosperity.”
The awards spotlight and distinguish exceptional entrepreneurs as role models for young entrepreneurs in Africa, he said.
Omidyar Network, a philanthropic investment firm dedicated to harnessing the power of markets to create opportunity for people to improve their lives, is sponsoring the awards for the fourth consecutive year, the report said.
“Their stories epitomize our search for success stories in Africa,” said Malik Fal, managing director of Omidyar Network Africa.
Finalists for the Transformational Business Award include:
• Interswitch Ltd. (Nigeria), an integrated payment and transaction processing company that provides technology integration, advisory services, transaction-processing and payment infrastructure to government, banks and corporations.
• Haggar Holdings Co. Ltd. (Sudan), one of Sudan’s largest fast-moving consumer goods and information and communications technology conglomerates.
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• Chemi & Cotex Ltd. (Tanzania), a leading East African fast-moving consumer goods company, and leading distributor of beauty products in Tanzania.
Finalists for the Outstanding Mature Business Award include:
• MODE (Kenya), one of the most innovative technology companies that provides mobile value-added services to mobile network operators in 12 African countries.
• QuantumNet (Gambia), Gambia’s first and largest Internet service provider, leading distributor of global technology brands and luxury vehicles, with business operations in Gambia and Sierra Leone.
• Pygma Communications (Democratic Republic of Congo), an integrated communication services company offering advertising, Sims audio/visual production, public relations, event management, and media strategy services in the DRC.
Finalists for the Outstanding Small and Growing Business Award include:
• Guanomad (Madagascar), a company that produces and supplies natural fertilizers and organic manure from bat droppings in Madagascar’s caves for use in organic agriculture.
• VIA Aviation (Tanzania), the first-of-a-kind private-jet logistics firm in Tanzania that provides clearance permits and ground handling services for companies and individuals who own and operate private jets.
• Koko King Ltd. (Ghana), provides traditional breakfast meals in Ghana. The company has grown from delivering 20 meals by taxi in 2007 to an operation with more than 200 employees and 100 outlets.
Finalists for the Outstanding Social Entrepreneur Award include:
• Golden Baobab (Ghana), an awards program that recognizes and awards the most talented writers and illustrators in Africa with cash prizes to encourage books that inspire the imagination of African children.
• Akili Dada (Kenya), a leadership incubator investing in high-achieving young African women from underprivileged backgrounds who are passionate about social change.
• Sustainable Development For All (Kenya), a company that aims to improve livelihoods and education in areas without electricity by providing households with solar energy.
Award judges include Kofo Akinkugbe, CEO of Secure ID Nigeria and winner of the 2012 Outstanding Mature Business Award; Vincent le Guennou, Co-CEO of Emerging Capital Partners; Tunde Folawiyo, managing director of Yinka Folawiyo Power; Robyn Calder, director of Program Development at Elma Philanthropies; and Michael Larbie, head of Africa investment banking at Rand Merchant Banka.
Winners will be announced Oct. 4 at a gala in Mauritius.