NAIROBI, July 8 – Bamburi Cement Company has scooped a top continental business award from the Commonwealth Business Council.
Bamburi won the inaugural CBC-African Business award for Best Corporate Citizenship/ Social Responsibility at a ceremony held in London on July 3.
Close to 500 government, business and media leaders from Africa, Europe, Asia and the USA attended the awards.
A panel of judges, chaired by Omari Issa, selected winners in 16 categories from among nominees who came from north, south, west and central Africa.
The founder and former Chairman of Celtel, Mo Ibrahim, won the Lifetime Achievement Award for changing the telecoms landscape in Africa and also his contribution in changing the perception of doing business in Africa.
Arnold Ekpe Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Ecobank won African Business Leader of the Year. His group has become the premier pan-African multinational. Ndi Okereke-Onyiuke, Director General, Nigeria Stock Exchange was awarded African Businesswoman of the Year for her inspirational work in Nigeria and also in other African countries.
The event was co-hosted by the Commonwealth Business Council (CBC) and African Business magazine, and sponsored by Zenith Bank, Ecobank, IGI and the private sector arm of the African Development Bank.
Ephraim Inoni, Prime Minister of Cameroon, Bethuel Mosisili, Prime Minister of Lesotho, Senator Daggash, Nigeria’s Minister of National Planning, Neville Isdell, Chairman of Coca Cola and other prominent diplomats and businessmen presented the Awards to the winners.
Omar Ben Yedder, associate group publisher of African Business magazine, the organiser of the event said: "We are thrilled to honour these exemplary men, women and businesses that truly embody African excellence in the world markets. The nominees and winners of the African Business Awards 2008 are a shining example to their peers and the global business community. There are success stories in Africa which need to be recognised and celebrated."
The other big winners on the night were MTN, Ecobank and Anglo American.
Anglo-American won three Awards: Best Global Business, Contributor to MDGs and Gender Sensitivity. Ecobank won two Awards: Technological Innovation and Business Leader of the Year. MTN also won two Awards: Brand of the Year and Best African Business.
Afif Ben Yedder, publisher of African Business added: "I am delighted to congratulate all the nominees and winners from across the African business community. Tonight we recognise and pay tribute to world class business leaders and enterprises in Africa. This is just the beginning of a great leap forward for the continent business sector. Tonight I see a new future for Africa, new energy, talent, and success. With almost one billion people in the continent, the new generations will make this century the century of Africa."
Paul Skinner, Chairman of Rio Tinto and Chairman of the CBC said: "The Forum and the CBC – African Business Awards are a demonstration of the strong interest of business in Africa. The enthusiasm and confidence of investors and business leaders in Africa is palpable. The optimism is immediate and for the long term."
Afif Ben Yedder announced that the second African Banker Awards 2008 to honour Africa Top Bankers and Banks will be held in Washington on October 13 to coincide with the World Bank annual meeting.
CBC AFRICAN BUSINESS AWARDS 2008 WINNERS:
1. Best Efforts towards Improving Investment Climate – Ghana
2. Award for Technological Innovation – Ecobank
3. African Businesswoman of the Year – Prof Ndi Okereke-Onyiuke OON, Director General Nigeria Stock Exchange
4. African Brand of the Year – MTN
5. Best Corporate Citizenship/Social Responsibility – Bamburi Cement, Kenya
6. Lifetime achievement – Mo Ibrahim, Founder of Celtel and Chairman, Mo Ibrahim Foundation
7. Award for Gender Sensitivity – Anglo American
8. Leader in Reducing Digital Divide – Submarine Cable, Nepad e-Initiative
9. Leader in Social Innovation – Small Enterprise Foundation – South Africa
10. Leader in Contributing to Achieving MDGs – Anglo-American
11. Best SME – Africa Invest, Malawi
12. Telecoms Company in Africa – Celtel (Zain)
13. Airline of the Year – South African Airways
14. Best Global Business in Africa – Anglo-American
15. African Business Leader of the Year – Arnold Ekpe, CEO, Ecobank
16. African Business of the Year – MTN