…Takeaways from the 7th Africa Summit and African Business Leadership Awards 2022
Portsmouth, United Kingdom/ 5th July 2022
It was truly a celebration of Africa’s excellence and glamour, achievements and grit, purpose, impact and potential as a few of the continent’s finest business leaders and policymakers converged at the Cholmondeley Room and Terrace of the House of Lords, United Kingdom for the 12th African Business Leadership Awards (ABLA) presentation ceremony, which was held recently as a highlight of the 7th Africa Summit – London 2022.
Organised by the African Leadership Magazine, the just-concluded Africa Summit and African Business Leadership Awards (ABLA) presentation ceremony was held under the patronage of Lord Popat of Harrow, Member of the UK House of Lords and Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and Rwanda. The discussions of the summit were centred around the theme- Rethinking African Trade and Partnership Possibilities, with the keynote addresses by Lord Popat of Harrow, and Hon. Renganaden Padayachy, Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, Mauritius.
The Convener and Chairman of the African Leadership Magazine, Dr Ken Giami set the tone for the summit in his welcome address when he said that “For me and I believe for most of us, Africa is more than just a continent of hope and promise. In spite of the many challenges the continent is faced with today – the devastating impact of COVID 19, climate change and unresolved conflicts, energy and infrastructure deficits, food security issues and more – we have seen the resilience of the African Spirit, the strength and ability of the African people to solves its problems and reach its full potentials and the belief that Africa would soon rise to its full potential – For the future is Africa. The continent is Rising and presents extraordinary trade and investment possibilities for its partners.”
In his keynote address, Lord Popat talked about Africa’s potential, the misperceptions of the continent and the UK government’s approach to engaging with Africa. “Today we continue making history by hosting the Africa Leadership Summit here in this iconic building in the hope to influence the present…and shape the future of Africa – a continent which has a special place in the heart of so many here present.” He said. “We are now in the new United Kingdom, with enormous opportunities of free trade which we must realise – particularly with the great continent of Africa.”
Relatedly, he said Africa contains 30% of the world’s minerals; and while past relations with Africa in the past, our aid was focused on development, it has moved towards strengthening trade today. “Digitisation, improvements in infrastructure and political reform are driving the continent forward. On political reform, Africa has grown more democratic in the past 30 years… One thing is for sure: Africa will shape the world. The future is Africa.” He added.
The Honourable Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, Mauritius Dr. Renganaden Padayachy in his keynote address noted that the conflict in Ukraine has brought in new concerns, which are notably that of imported inflation, due to rising commodity prices and freight costs worldwide. In his words, he said “as Finance Minister, I am proud to say that in Mauritius, we have turned these challenges into a springboard to accelerate our pro-investment agenda. Mauritius is more than ever, committed to further facilitating business for investors by continuously improving its regulatory, institutional, and good governance frameworks”. The Honourable Minister added that “under the able leadership of our Prime Minister, the Honourable Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, the Mauritian Government has devoted itself to providing Clarity, Certainty and Consistency to investors in view of ensuring that Confidence remains.”
The summit also featured special presentations by Dr Akindele Akintoye, Chairman, Platform Capital, Nigeria; Dr Ifie Ifie Sekibo, CEO, Heritage Bank Nigeria; and Mr Carlos Moore, Presentation National Bar Association, USA. There was also a Panel Session on African Trade & Partnership Possibilities, which was moderated by Peter Burdin, Former Africa Head of BBC and Member of the ALM Editorial Board, with the following speakers: Lesotho billionaire businessman, Mr Sam Matekane, Group Chairman, Matekane Group of Companies, Lesotho; Dr Emmanuel C. Nwogbo, Group Managing Director, Alfa Centauri West Africa Ltd, Nigeria; and Ally Edha Awadh, CEO, Lake Oil Group, Tanzania.
The summit climaxed with the African Business Leadership Awards presentation ceremony, a prestigious recognition event to reward exceptional corporate practices and outstanding achievers in Africa’s business landscape and its private sector. The winners emerged through a keenly contested 3-step points-based selection process that included a call for nomination; a call for online voting for shortlisted nominees; and the editorial board’s final review of the nominations and voting submissions – using supporting evidence and voting considerations in their final decisions to decide the African Business Leadership Awards 2021 winners. Voting was responsible for sixty-five per cent (65%) points and supporting evidence was responsible for 35% in the final selection process for the 2022 winners. The awards is in keeping with the African Leadership Magazine’s tradition of presenting the sides of the continent’s businesses and leaders, which hardly find placement on global media platforms – celebrating exemplary business leadership on the continent.
The honourees of the African Business Leadership Awards (ABLA) include Lesotho’s billionaire businessman, Sam Matekane who bagged the Lifetime Achievement Award. Dr. The Honourable Renganaden Padayachy, Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, Mauritius received the African Finance Minister of the Year Award. The African Business Leader of the Year Award was presented to Dr Akintoye Akindele, Chairman of the Platform Capital Nigeria; while Mr Peter Ashade, Group CEO of United Capital Plc, Nigeria received the African CEO of the Year Award.
Other distinguished awardees include Dr Emmanuel C. Nwogbo, Group Managing Director, Alfa Centauri West Africa Ltd, Nigeria, winner, African Inspiration Leadership Impact Award; Mastercard Africa, winner, African Business Integrity Leader Award; Ruth Zaipuna, Chief Executive Officer, NMB Bank Tanzania, winner, African Business Leadership Commendation Award; and Figueiredo, CEO, Moza Banco, Mozambique, winner, African Inspirational Business Leadership Award.
Also honoured during the presentation ceremony were Dr Ifie Sekibo, CEO, Heritage Bank Plc, Nigeria, winner of the African Business Integrity Leadership Award; Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, Director General/CEO, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), winner of Special African Leadership Commendation Award; Ally Edha Awadh, CEO, Lake Oil Group, Tanzania, winner, Young Business Leader of the Year Award; and Mr Peter Ejiofor, Chief Executive Officer, Ethnos IT Solutions, Nigeria, winner, African Leadership Excellence Award.
About African Leadership Magazine
The African Leadership Magazine is published by African Leadership Organization Limited, a company registered in the United Kingdom (Company No. 07435198), “to celebrate African achievements and excellence in a way that empowers and inspires.” 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 being faced by the continent today. Since its maiden edition in August 2008, African Leadership Magazine has grown to become a leading pan-African flagship leadership-focused publication read by over 1,200,000 targeted international investors, business executives, government policy makers and multilateral agencies across Africa, the Middle East and Asia, Europe and the US.