By Etop Ekanem
The Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Alerzo Ltd., a business-to-business e-commerce platform in Nigeria, Adewale Opaleye, has won the Fintech Personality Leadership Prize at the 2021 edition of the African Prize for Leadership Excellence award ceremony held in Lagos last Thursday.
The award was organised by the African Institute for Leadership Excellence in collaboration with the African Brands Media Ltd and supported by the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).
According to the organisers of the award ceremony, the prize is meant to celebrate leaders who have positively impacted the economy of the continent through their work.
“The African Prize for Leadership Excellence is a prize for excellent leadership experience for some selected African personalities who have made impact in the development of the African economy through their innovation, creativity and leadership experience in their field of endeavour.”
They went on to say that the Fintech Personality Leadership Prize given to Mr Opaleye was in recognition of his “expertise, sound knowledge and practical leadership excellence.”
Receiving the prize, Opaleye expressed his excitement on being chosen for the esteemed prize and thanked the organisers for the honour they have done to him.
“I wish I could fully express how excited I am at this prize that is presented to me today by such an august body. I am profoundly happy that the work we do at Alerzo Nigeria is greatly impacting the economy of the continent in such a way as to merit this huge honour being bestowed on me. The only way I can reward you is to pledge to continue to do all I can in assisting my fellow compatriots in addressing their business challenges using technology.”
He told a brief history of his work at Alerzo Nigeria – how he was raised by a mother who was a shop owner. He said he saw first-hand the challenges his mother, like other shop owners, faced in the running of her business – issues of inventory management, access to capital, logistics and so on – which seemed endless. Then he went to study in China and saw how the country used technology in solving similar problems, and thought that Nigerians can equally tackle their business challenges using the same technology.
“I founded Alerzo Nigeria to address most of the challenges that face informal retailers in Nigeria. I am happy that, in two years of operations, Alerzo has deployed technology in addressing the challenges of the informal retailers who are on our platform. With our delivery services, retailers save time, energy, and resources that they would have otherwise expended in restocking.”
The award event brought together prominent business leaders, entrepreneurs and high-ranking government officials from across the continent including former president Olusegun Obasanjo, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, the Presidents of South Africa, Ghana, Kenya and Togo among others.