TWO Nigerians, Engr. Ernest Ndukwe, and Mr. Pascal Dozie, as well as Mr. Cyril Ramaphosa, and Maria Ramos of South Africa, were the only four African personalities crowned at the Grosvenor Hotel, Parklane, London, at the Africa Business Awards 2009, which had Rwandan President, Mr. Paul Kagame as special guest of honour. The nation of Mauritius, and Lagos State Government of Nigeria, were also the only governments crowned at the event.
The Africa Business Awards, which held during the Commonwealth Business Council in London, was hosted by the Commonwealth Business Council, CBC, in collaboration with IC Publications. The awards, according to the organizers, are aimed at celebrating African individuals and businesses whose achievements are changing the perception of Africaâ€™s potentials in domestic and international markets. It is also designed to celebrate their excellence and positive impacts within their industry as well as for their contributions towards the development of the continent.
Director General of CBC, Dr. Mohan Kaul, said in his welcome speech that the award is an opportunity to promote confidence and highlight the numerous successes and achievements of businesses and business people on the African continent. â€œBy holding the awards alongside our prestigious G8 Africa Business Forum, here in London, we hope to ensure that the African Business achievements are known, not only to Africans, but to the world at largeâ€, he said.
Engr. Ndukwe, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, was honoured with the award of â€œOutstanding Contributions in Public Officeâ€, while Mr. Pascal Dozie received the â€œLifetime Achievement Awardâ€. Mr. Ramaphosa, Executive Chairman, Shanduka Group, South Africa, received the â€œBusiness Leader of the Yearâ€ award while the Group Chief Executive Officer of ABSA Group, South Africa, Mrs. Ramos, was honoured with the â€œOutstanding Business Woman of the Yearâ€ award.
Mr. Pascal Dozie was crowned for his successful foray in business spanning many years as a banker and boardroom supremo. The citation read by the organizers about Engr. Ndukwe, recounted his impressive performance as Nigeriaâ€™s telecom regulator who has put Nigeria in the global map as one of the fastest telecom growing countries in the world. It described the growth witnessed in Nigeriaâ€™s telecom industry from less than 400,000 by 2001 to about 67 Million in 2009, as a revolution that has made Africa proud.
â€œThe Board of Directors of the OrganizingÂ Committee decided to honour you with this special recognition award for your achievement in public office and for your contributions to the telecommunication sector in Nigeria and the transformational role in creating a framework to improve service delivery through public sector reformâ€, it said.
Also at the event, the Island of Mauritius, was honoured with the award for â€œTourism Destination of the Yearâ€, while Nigeriaâ€™s Lagos State Government received the award for â€œGood Corporate Governanceâ€.Â Corporate organizations in the continent who won awards at the event include; Goldman Sachs (Best Corporate Citizenship/Social Responsibility), Ecobank (African Business of the Year), Diageo (Best Global Business in Africa), MTN (Telecoms Company of the Year) and Kenya Airways (Airline of the Year).