, NAIROBI, Kenya Sep 21 – Safaricom Chief Executive Officer Bob Collymore has been named the 2016 International Business Leader of the Year at the 9th annual Africa Investors (Ai) CEO Investment Summit in New York.
Collymore was honoured alongside three other prolific business leaders for their contributions to investments in Africa and for raising the profile of the continent as a viable international investment destination.
The award to Collymore celebrates Safaricom’s market innovations and their transformational, socio-economic impact on all segments of society.
Nigeria’s visionary entrepreneur and philanthropist Tony Elumelu was honoured as Africa Investor Person of the Year while Dr. Daniel Matjila, the CEO of South Africa’s Public Investment Corporation (PIC) was recognised as the African Institutional Investment Personality of the Year. The New York State Common Retirement Fund Chief Investment Officer Vicki Fuller was honoured as Ai Global Institutional Investment Personality of the Year.
The business leaders were honoured at an African Heads of State Luncheon hosted by Africa investor (Ai) in partnership with NASDAQ, the American Stock Exchange in New York on the sidelines of the ongoing United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) meetings saw Mr. Collymore picking the award.
Speaking moments after picking his award, Collymore reiterated his personal and organizational commitment to facilitate positive transformative change within his sphere of influence.
Private sector players, he said, can play a complementary role in national development alongside governments and non-governmental organizations.
“Business leaders have the unique opportunity to drive change that can transform not just economies, but whole communities,” he said, adding that, “More than any other group, the private sector has the ability to accelerate inclusive growth and drive sustainability at great speed and scale.”
Collymore confirmed that Safaricom Limited would be deploying significant resources in Kenya to facilitate national development within its KHz 32billion-operating budget this year.
Among other efforts the operating budget for Safaricom will be invested in a strategic network expansion projects in rural Kenya to boost agricultural productivity through innovative initiatives to facilitate mobile-based distribution of fertilizer, money transfer, Internet connectivity, education programmes and agricultural extension efforts.
The mobile network operator, he said has already managed to align its corporate strategy to the United Nations fronted Sustainable Development Goals as an indicator of its corporate commitment to sustainable development.
“This is because we stand on the threshold of a new world order; one that could see more people access the services that they need – but only if we use our influence as the business sector to help them reach those goals,” said Collymore.