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Joke Silva, Ola Orekunrin, three other Nigerians make 2019 AWIEF Awards’ finalists

L-R: Joke Silva and Ola Orekunrin-Brown.
L-R: Joke Silva and Ola Orekunrin-Brown.

Veteran Nigerian actress, Joke Silva, alongside the founder of Flying Doctors Nigeria, Ola Orekunrin-Brown, and three other Nigerians were among the 22 finalists selected for the 2019 Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF).

Joke Silva, who is the Executive Director of LUFODO Group, was among three African women selected for the AWIEF’s Lifetime Achievement Award, while Orekunrin-Brown featured among the three African women selected to compete for the forum’s Young Entrepreneur Award.

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The three other Nigerians are Lola Alli, Lagos Executive, Cardiovascular Clinic (Nigeria); Affiong Williams, ReelFruit (Nigeria) and Abby Ikomi, House of Irawo (Nigeria).

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The Awards, billed for the last evening of the two-day AWIEF’s annual Conference and Expo, will hold on October 29-30, 2019, in Cape Town, South Africa.

According to the AWIEF – a leading Pan African entrepreneurship and innovation non-profit, the award is aimed at promoting excellence in entrepreneurship and innovation amongst women-owned businesses in all sectors and across all 54 African countries.

“Women-owned businesses are a vital part of our African economy and the women of Africa are our most valuable, untapped resource,” says Irene Ochem, AWIEF Founder and Chief Executive Officer, in a statement on Wednesday.

“Each year, the entries to the AWIEF Awards grow in number and this response signifies the importance of recognising and celebrating women in Africa for their achievements and contribution to Africa’s economic and sustainable development.

“Women-owned businesses are growing on the continent and are a vital part of Africa’s future and contributing to the fact that seven out of 10 of the fastest growing economies in the world, are to be found in Africa. Africa is rising and we must make sure the women of the continent, the backbone of our communities and our families, are given the opportunities to rise as well,” Ochem added.

22 women founders and entrepreneurs have been selected as finalists, from different African countries, across 8 different categories. The AWIEF Awards Panel of Judges is made up of high-calibre industry experts and thought leaders spread across the continent, the statement noted.

Also commenting on the finalists’ selection, Birgitta Cederstrom, Frost & Sullivan’s Business Development Director for MEA and this year’s Head Judge for AWIEF Awards said: “This year’s AWIEF Awards programme has offered a host of equally inspirational and terrific female entrepreneurs and innovators, driving growth for Africa.

“The judging panel has had some very busy weeks where we reviewed over 200 shortlists for consideration and we are delighted to see the high standard and quality of entries coming through to AWIEF.

“This is one of the most robust and independent jury based Awards programmes that currently is offered in Africa, and we are thrilled to support female entrepreneurs with a worthy recognition as well as good PR and Media exposure.

“We are hoping that investors are signing up for the upcoming Award Programme Subscription that will be launched in 2020 to help identify the best female start-ups in Africa across key industries such as Agri, Tech, FinTech, Chemicals and Healthcare.”

 

Conference

The AWIEF Awards winners will be announced at a gala dinner on 30 October 2019, following on from the 2019 AWIEF Conference and Exhibition taking place on 29-30 October 2019 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, Cape Town.

The theme this year is: ‘Enhancing impact: digitalisation, investment and intra-Africa trade’.

“AWIEF remains Africa’s number one voice in driving the agenda for women’s leadership in business.

“The AWIEF brand has grown tremendously over these few years through the sustained support of our trusted partners, local and international, underscoring the great values of AWIEF programmes and projects in accelerating women entrepreneurship as a catalyst of inclusive economic growth.

“Our finalists were rigorously assessed in terms of the sustainability of their businesses, as well as the documented or prospective impact on community development and the economy,” explained Ochem.

 

New Award

This year, a new award was introduced in partnership with APO Group, the principal media partner and official newswire to the AWIEF Conference this year.

In honour of the partnership, APO Group is the founding sponsor of a new award: the African Women in Media Award, to honour and celebrate women journalists who support women’s entrepreneurship across the continent, it further stated.

“Given the huge number and quality of the nominations received this year for the AWIEF Awards, I must say that female entrepreneurship is strong and thriving all across African countries,” Ochem emphasised, when announcing the finalists.

 

Finalists

The finalists for the 2019 AWIEF Awards are as follow:

YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR AWARD

Beatrice Haule, AfriAgric Products (Tanzania)

Lola Alli, Lagos Executive Cardiovascular Clinic (Nigeria)

Ola (Orekunrin) Brown, Flying Doctors (Nigeria)

 

TECH ENTREPRENEUR AWARD

Caroline Corbett, SmartBlade (South Africa)

Rebecca Enonchong, AppsTech (Cameroun)

Diane Temogne, Engineering Consulting and Services (Cameroun)

 

SOCIAL ENTREPRENEUR AWARD

Sizani Ngubane, Rural Women’s Movement (South Africa)

Efua Asibon, Dislabelled (Ghana)

Laurence Esteve, Zip Zap (South Africa)

 

GLOBAL BRAND AWARD

Shantelle Booysen, Elim Spa Products (South Africa)

 

AGRI ENTREPRENEUR AWARD

Evelyn Namara, Vouch Digital (Uganda)

Caroline Pomeyie, ProFish (Ghana)

Affiong Williams, ReelFruit (Nigeria)

 

EMPOWERMENT AWARD

Mary Inzofu, Njia Empowerment Organisation (Kenya)

Nambula Kachumi, WeCreate (Zambia)

Charlot Magayi, Mukuru Clean Stoves (Kenya)

 

CREATIVE INDUSTRY AWARD

Kapasa Musonda, Mangishi Doll Co. (Zambia)

Genet Kebede, Paradise Fashion (Ethiopia)

Abby Ikomi, House of Irawo (Nigeria)

 

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

Kristine Pearson, Lifeline Energy (South Africa)

Oumou Sangaré, Festival International du Wassulu (Mali)

Joke Silva, LUFODO Group (Nigeria)

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