ALM Hosts African Leaders from 13 Countries at the 11TH POTY in Mauritius

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Portsmouth- United Kingdom
28 February 2023.

The African Leadership Magazine recently hosted some of the finest African Business, Political and Diplomatic Leaders during the 11th African Leadership Magazine Persons of the Year awards presentation ceremony at the Intercontinental Mauritius Resort Balaclava Fort. The event, with the theme Reimagining Opportunities in a Turbulent Time, served as the platform for the formal presentation of the instruments of honour to Africans who emerged winners in the annual vote-based polls. The event had in attendance delegates from over 13 countries, including Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, Angola, Kenya, DR Congo, Sierra Leone, Zambia, and Namibia, as well as the host country, Mauritius, amongst others.

The event’s keynote address was delivered by His Excellency Dr Julius Maada Bio, the Special Guest of Honor and the winner of the African of the Year Award 2022. In his address, President Bio maintained that “the word leader is used increasingly loosely these days…Leadership training programs abound, and many want to be called leaders”. He added that “… as leaders, we must prioritize regional security in Africa. Our Continent has experienced too much conflict and violence, and we cannot build a better future without addressing this issue. We must work together to promote peace and stability, resolve conflicts peacefully, and prevent the spread of violence.”

Beyond security across Africa, the President of Sierra Leone also urged African leaders to ” invest in human capital development ─ like we are doing in Sierra Leone ─ to build strong and resilient societies. This means providing quality healthcare and food security, improving hard and soft infrastructure, mainstreaming climate change mitigation and adaptation measures and investing in our people ─ especially our youth.”

Also speaking during the event, the Honorable Minister of Industrialization and Trade, Republic of Sierra Leone, Hon  Lucia Iipumbu, stated that “the leadership paradigm in Africa is gradually changing as the space is being opened up for women and young people, and she has become one of the ultimate beneficiaries of the shift.”   

The CEO of the National Food Buffer Stock Company (NAFCO), Hannan Abdul-Wahab also talked about promoting food security in Africa. He noted that “the main threats to food security, as we all aware, are population growth increase in demand for food, rising food prices, the disappearance of plant species, food loses, scarcity of water and food wastage”. As the man in charge of ensuring food security in Ghana, he urged African leaders to “address inefficient preparations, fix bad roads and improve on storage facilities. Scale up investments into agriculture. Address infrastructural bottlenecks. Pay attention to climate change and other environmental issues. Improve trade policies – examine the import substitution options. Promote diversification”.

The event also had a panel session, which x-rayed how the Banking sector can advance financial inclusion using unique products and services to promote economic growth and development in Africa. The session also provided a policy guide to support the financial sector towards actualizing this mandate, providing current trends, good practices, innovative approaches, and lessons learned to identify common challenges across the Continent and promoting linkages between policymakers and stakeholders in the financial services sector. Panel members included Mathieu Mandeng, CEO of Standard Chartered Bank, Mauritius; Sonny Zulu, Managing Director, Standard Chartered Bank, Zambia; Dr Sibongile Moyo, Managing Director, Nedbank Zimbabwe; and Mr Siven Selloyee, President, Asia-African Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mauritius.

The event reached its climax with the formal presentation of the instruments of honour to the honorees of the 11th African Leadership Magazine Persons of the Year Awards presentation ceremony. Earlier, during the unveiling of the winners of the 11th edition of the POTY, the Chairman and founder of the African Leadership Organisation, Dr Ken Giami, stated, “Africa has traditionally been the cradle of great leadership; from Nelson Mandela, Kwame Nkrumah, Steve Biko, to Julius Nyerere, the Continent’s contribution to leadership philosophy remains indelible. However, a new leadership paradigm is evolving in the Continent – they are the new Changemakers.” Dr Giami noted that “our nominees are Changemakers, who have chosen to push through with their vision to build and bequeath an Africa that works for all to the next generation.”

His Excellency Dr Julius Maada Bio, President of Sierra Leone, was conferred with the prestigious African of the Year Award 2022. Other honorees include Mr Nicolas Kazadi, Minister for Finance, Democratic Republic of Congo; Hon. Lucia Iipumbu, Minister For Industrialisation and Trade, Namibia; Lt. General Yakuba Drammeh, Chief of Defense Staff of The Gambia Armed Forces; Dr Adesola Kazeem Adeduntan Group Managing Director/CEO, First Bank of Nigeria Limited; Mr Ivanilson Machado, CEO, Pumangol; Dr Gertrude Mwangala Akapelwa, Vice Chancellor, Victoria Falls the University of Technology, Zambia; Naseem Lahri, Managing Director, Lucara Diamond, Botswana; Sonny Zulu, Managing Director, Standard Chartered Bank, Zambia; Dr Sibongile Moyo, Managing Director, Nedbank Zimbabwe; Mathieu Mandeng, CEO, Standard Chartered Bank Mauritius.

The African Leadership Magazine Persons of the Year Awards is Africa’s premier vote-based endorsement, reserved annually for the leading Africans contributing to promoting the Continent’s progress and positively altering Africa’s perceived negative image. The annual event has also become a platform for honouring people-centred leadership and Africans pursuing a pan-African agenda in their chosen fields of endeavour. This year’s event will provide a platform to celebrate the Continent’s merchants of hope, ready to lead an army of change agents and reformers, to build an Africa that works for everyone.

About African Leadership Magazine Group
The African Leadership magazine is published by African Leadership (U.K.) Limited, a company registered in the United Kingdom. The magazine focuses on bringing the best of Africa to a global audience, telling the African story from an African perspective while evolving solutions to peculiar challenges faced by the Continent today.

Kingsley Okeke

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