Foreign Investment Network (FIN) in partnership with Forbes Best of Africa have earmarked leading lights in business, politics, innovation, leadership and the economy in Africa for honour and celebration at the forthcoming FORBES Best of Africa Award which is slated for the 6th of August, 2021.

The event according to analysts is going to be one of the biggest and most prestigious in the year 2021. A major highlight of the event will be the celebration of important personalities who have and continue to have significant influence on the business, political, leadership and economic landscape of Africa.

The awards  is coming after months of intense research and thorough verification exercise by FIN and FORBES and will be presented by none other than Mr. Mark Furlong, President of Customs Solutions at Forbes.

Among the recipients are Mr. Sam Matekane, Kwame Bediako, Mr. Mahmood Ahmadu and Mr. Leo Stan Ekeh. Other awardees include: Ms. Wendy Ackerman,Dr. Rajan Mahtani, Mr. Ken Sharpe, Claver Gatete and Rev’d Paul Adefarasin.

The Chairman of Foreign Investment Network (FIN) Group, Mrs Olayinka Fayomi will deliver the welcome address.

Also to deliver a goodwill message, is the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency Prof. Yemi Osinbajo who will be represented by Nigeria’s Cabinet Minister of Trade and Investment, His Excellency, Otunba Niyi Adebayo.

To deliver a keynote address is the Prelate and Metropolitan Senior Pastor of the House on the Rock Nigeria and Founder and President of The Rock Foundation, Pastor Paul Adefarasin.

Other panelists include: Wendy Ackerman, His Excellency Ghadiyali Zuliquar, a multi-faceted technocrat, businessman and leading entrepreneur in the middle East,  Dalith Steiger, co-founder of the award-winning, Start-up, Swiss Cognitive; Rajan Mahtani, a Zambian business magnate, Chairman of Finance Bank Zambia Limited and Sam Matekane, an entrepreneur and chairman of Matekane Group of Companies Lesotho.

The FIN – Forbes Best of Africa Award is usually given annually in connection with the Best of Africa event held in New York City around the United Nations General Award (UNGA) meetings to highlight business personalities with a record of creating and building great global businesses that have made far-reaching and positive contributions to the development of Africa.

WINNERS LIST AND PROFILES.

PAUL ADEFARASIN

Paul Adefarasin is a Christian Minister, Author, Coach, Philanthropist, Motivator, Speaker and Television Broadcaster of ‘Something Is About To Happen’, which airs in millions of homes across Africa and Europe for over 20 years.

He is also the convener of “The Experience” -the largest musical event in Africa, and Founder and Metropolitan Senior Pastor of the burgeoning House On The Rock, a multiracial, multi-tribal, and multifaceted Church with several daughter Churches and ministries across Africa and Europe.

Paul is a trained architect, and Founder and President of The Rock Foundation, a charity which undertakes significant social responsibility initiatives across the education, healthcare, prison welfare and reform space alongside empowerment, to mention a few.

With over three decades of pastoral and visionary leadership, he mentors CEOs
and entrepreneurs, and seeks to influence public policy for good. He works as
the bridge builder facilitating the exchange of ideas with critical stakeholders,
foreign and domestic

NANA KWAME BEDIAKO 

VISIONARY, PHILANTHROPIST AND INDUSTRALIST, Nana Kwame Bediako is theC.E.O. of the Kwarleyz Group, which comprises 5 companies: Wonda World Estates,Petronia City Development, New Africa Construction, Belfast City& Property Management and New Africa Foundation.

He has been a successful developer in the Ghanaian real-estate space for over 15 years, and has developed over 500 residential and retail units. He hopes to change the face of Real Estate in Ghana by investing in Landmark buildings including No.1Oxford Street and Kwarleyz Residence.

Nana’s growing appetite for seeing his continent and country develop birthed Petronia City. Petronia City, one of the group most prominent subsidiaries is a multi-billion-dollar project which is a self-sustaining, master-planned, integrated city over 2000-acres including Residential, Offices, Commercial, Leisure and Hospitality.

In addition to his role as President and CEO of  Kwarleyz Group, Wonda World Estates and Petronia City Development, Nana Kwame Bediako is also the founder of The New Africa Foundation, a non- profit organization aimed at empoweringa new generation of African leaders.

LEONARD NNAMDI STANLEY EKEH

Leo Stan Ekeh, Africa’s leading serial tech entrepreneur and Founder/Chairman of the

Zinox Group, is a most distinguished African ICT personality with numerous awards and recognitions to his credit.

He pioneered Desktop Publishing and Computer Graphics, Biometric Revolution for elections, WIMAX, Critical IT Solutions and e-Commerce, among others in Africa. For his incisive entrepreneurship and as a pride to modern Nigeria, he has been honoured by two Nigerian Presidents, namely with the ICON OF HOPE award in 2001 and the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR) in 2003 by President Olusegun Obasanjo, as well as the National Productivity Merit Award by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019 for his sustained leadership in the ICT sector. 

A first-rate Indian trained economist and Risk Management expert with more than 57 awards and over four Doctorate degrees (Honorary), Mr. Ekeh has remained in the forefront of enthroning digital democracy, promoting gender empowerment in Nigeria and beyond, while also touching many lives through the Leo Stan Ekeh Foundation.

MAHMOOD AHMADU OON, MIOD

Mahmood Ahmadu is a leading African entrepreneur and renown philanthropist. He is the founder and executive chairman of online Integrated Solutions Ltd (OIS). OIS is a specialist visa application agency that provides online passport, visa processing and technical support services for Governments.

Mahmood’s other significant business interests spans the following sectors; Mining, Real Estate, Construction, Agriculture, Bottling Water, E-education, E-healthcare, and Fintech spread across 53 countries in 5 continents.

Mahmood’s philanthropic activities have made it possible for hundreds of students to afford good quality education both locally in Africa and abroad.

He is the a recipient of the Nigerian National Honour of the ‘Officer of the Order of the Niger’ (OON) 

He is also past recipient of Forbes Best of Africa (Outstanding Leader award) 2020 

WENDY ACKERMAN 

Wendy Ackerman was born in Cape Town, South Africa, and schooled at the University of Witwatersrand. She joined her husband, Raymond, at Pick n Pay when he acquired the company in 1967, and was the first woman director of a retail chain in South Africa. Her focus at the company was on the Group’s overall development, employee benefits and welfare. She retired from the Board in 2010 and is now Honorary Life President.

She and Raymond played an important role in rejecting apartheid-era legislation, both by promoting staff, and through arranging adequate housing for black employees.

Wendy is a Trustee of the Ackerman Family Educational Trust Fund, assisting students from all over the country with bursaries for tertiary education.

Wendy is Founding Trustee of the Duet Endowment Trust, a joint endowment trust for the advancement and preservation of Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra and Cape Town Opera.

Wendy is also very involved in environmental issues and has been recognised by the SA Nature Foundation for outstanding achievement. 

Wendy received the All Africa Philanthropist of the Year for 2015 at the All Africa Business Leaders Awards.

SAM MATEKANE

Sam Matekane is an entrepreneur and leading business magnet in Lesotho. He established Matekane Group of Companies in 1986 as Matekane Transport and Plant Hire. It evolved into a multi-sector corporation embodying aviation, property development, mining, logistics supply chain, hospitality, farming and aviation.  Matekane popularly known as ‘brave Mosotho man” is Lesotho’s strongest competitor in the business world. 

Like most successful businessmen, Sam Matekane invested sweat and tears to create a legacy that will improve and flourish the Lesotho nation through employment, Infrastructure, CSI/CSR programs and economic growth. His resilience, tenacity and pride for his nation has made him the successful leader he is today across various industries.

He is the founder of Maluti Sky airline which offers scheduled and charter flights. The airline was founded in 2009 as MGC Airlines, becoming the first privately owned airline in Lesotho. 

The Group is internationally recognized as experts in architecture, engineering, project management, and investment and utilizes state of the art technologies that have allowed temto emerge as visionaries of the new Africa. The group has given to the people of Lesotho more than his government during this pandemic

KEN SHARPE

Over the years he has been involved in over 100 businesses and owned more than 50 companies and 20 partnerships. He started in food distribution and manufacturing local beverages like Spring Valley mineral water and African Twist Soft Drinks; He started first in Zimbabwe with PET in 1999. However, he sold many of the companies and today he is focused on real estate development and property.

Ken’s vision now is to consolidate the property assets into the most prominent real estate development company in Zimbabwe with high-quality prestigious properties making an impact not only in the Harare skyline but also to make a difference in the overall social-economic growth of the country. 

He also has several projects and companies outside the country in services, property, tech and alternative power generation.

CLAVER GATETE

Amb. Claver GATETE is Rwandan Minister of Infrastructure.  Prior to that, he served as Minister of Finance and Economic Planning and had previously served as Governor of the National Bank of Rwanda.

Amb. Gatete also served as Rwanda’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Iceland. He is also currently a member of the Presidential Advisory Council.

Amb. Claver Gatete was born in Uganda and he is an Economist who was schooled in Canada at the University of British Columbia.

He served as the Secretary General and Secretary to the Treasury in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, Director General for Economic and Social Affairs in the Presidency, Personal Representative of the President on NEPAD Steering Committee, Head of Africa Peer Review Mechanism and National Economist at UNDP Rwanda.

He also worked as Economist for the Government of Canada in different portfolios

Dr. Rajan Mahtani

A Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Association of Certified Accountants and the British Association of Accountants and Auditors -holds a PhD in Commercial Law from the London Institute of Business Studies. 

Founder and Group Executive Chairman of the Mahtani Group incorporated in Zambia in 1981. A conglomerate with presence in Zambia, Malawi, South Africa and other parts of the world ranging across various sectors such as Financial services, Insurance, Energy and Real Estate. 

Founder and Chairman of Prison Fellowship International- Zambia affiliate to Prison Fellowship International in Washington D.C, looking after the welfare of inmates, ex-inmates and their families and advocating for a fair and effective criminal justice system. 

As part of his contribution to the education sector, he launched the Stephen Malama Award in 2013. A prestigious annual award presented to the best graduating student at the Zambian Bar.

Mrs. Olayinka Fayomi is an investment consultant and Group Chairman of Foreign Investment Network (FIN), she holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration, B.Sc. [Hons] in Economics and National Diploma in Business Computer Science. She was a pioneer management staff of Nigerian Investment Promotion commission (NIPC) before retiring voluntarily as a Director .

She is  a member of several International Boards including Women University, Harare, Zimbabwe, Mediame University, Edo State , Nigeria and a former  juror on the BBC World Challenge Project. Her interest in global affairs has taken Yinka to over 80 countries .

A former member of  the Governing body of Brent Council in London, United Kingdom .
is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Economist. She is known internationally for promoting Africa in the light of “African Lions”, which has generated a lot of global debate and attention.

Mrs. Fayomi founded the Nigeria Diaspora Investment Network, her capacity building activities with youth and women groups earned her a global recognition from the Financial Standard Newspaper and GC4W as the ‘Most Dynamic Nigerian Female in Diaspora’ and ‘Global Women Champion for Leadership in Business and Entrepreneurship in America’ respectively among others.

With proven experience in mobilizing resources and managing capacity building initiatives, she has organized over 40 international conferences and seminars.

She also founded the African Youth & Women Empowerment Network, an NGO dedicated to capacity building, entrepreneurship and empowerment of youth and women in Africa. (www.greenspringinitiatives.com).

In 2019, Olayinka, a  philanthropist, business advisor to several African countries on FDI,  joined the likes of Barack Obama, Sir Paul McCartney, Maya Angelou, Will Smith, David Beckham, David Cameron and hundreds of global figures who have added handwritten messages in the House of Commons book of Tribute Messages to a 20th Century Hero, Nelson Mandela.

Olayinka was nominated for the book and the mission with it by its Chief Patron, His Excellency Zulfiquar Ghadayali CEO of the Private Office of the Royal Family of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. She also accepted to be Chair of the Blue Sky Village (Africa). Through her dedication and hard work, Foreign Investment Network (FIN) has about 20,000 members in her database with over  5,000 potential investors.
She

is married to Ambassador Akin Fayomi and they are blessed with 4 children

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