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Chicken Republic owners Food Concepts, Fidelity Bank, La Laiterie du Berger & 9 Other African Companies announced as Finalists for the 2012 Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship

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The African Leadership Network, the premier membership network of new generation leaders in Africa, and Omidyar Network, a philanthropic investment firm, today announced 12 finalists for the 2012 Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship.

Chosen from more than 1200 companies and representing eight African nations, the finalists highlight the impressive caliber and diversity of entrepreneurs in the competition. The top 12 represent a range of industries including manufacturing, information technology, education, agribusiness and financial services. The ultimate winners stand to win USD 200 000 in prize money and will be announced at a gala ceremony to be held at the Movenpick Ambassador Hotel in Accra, Ghana on 11th October 2012, as part of the African Leadership Network Annual Gathering.

The Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship recognize and award exceptional entrepreneurial leaders who serve as role models to Africa’s aspiring entrepreneurs and demonstrate business excellence, innovation and profitability. The 2012 Awards will recognize winners in four categories:

  • Outstanding Small and Growing Business Award, which has a USD 50 000 prize, awarded to a young, remarkable business with revenues between USD 500 000 and USD 5 million;
  • Mature Business Award, which has a USD 100 000 grand prize and USD 50 000 runner up prize, awarded to a remarkable African business with revenues between USD 5 million and USD 50 million;
  • Transformational Business Award, bestowed on a notable business leader who has had a major socio-economic impact in Africa by building a business with revenues greater than USD 50 million;
  • Lifetime Achievement Award, conferred on a senior African business leader who has served as an entrepreneurial icon for several decades and has left an enduring legacy of success in Africa.

We commend the finalists for their outstanding work and join them in celebrating this tremendous achievement,” commented Fred Swaniker, CEO and co-founder of the African Leadership Network. “The 2012 Awards have been particularly competitive, and these companies represent the finest of a shortlist of 1200 companies from 50 African countries. The African Leadership Network believes that entrepreneurship is critical to building prosperity in Africa. These Awards shine a light on Africa’s most promising entrepreneurs and distinguish them as role models for the next generation of entrepreneurs. We hope that the recognition will help them have even greater impact on the continent.

The finalists of the 2012 Awards, by category, are:

Outstanding Small and Growing Business Award

  • La Laiterie du Berger: A Senegalese dairy company that sources and processes milk from semi-nomadic Fulani pastoralists living along the Senegal River
  • Bloodhound Technology: A South African company that provides real-time personnel tracking and productivity services to leading security companies in the region –
  • Bridge International Academies: The company behind the biggest chain of low-cost private schools in Africa that runs 80 academies in Kenya with over 25,000 students –

Mature Business Award

  • Food Concepts PLC: An integrated food company that pioneered the food court concept in Nigeria, and one of the largest fast food companies in the country –
  • Secure ID Ltd: Nigerian Smart Card manufacturing company that runs the leading Europay, MasterCard and Visa certified card plant in West Africa, one of six such companies in Africa, and 80 worldwide –
  • RLG Communications Ghana Ltd: Ghanaian computer and hand-set manufacturing company, and one of the first indigenous African companies that assembles laptops and mobile phones –

Transformational Business Award

  • Fidelity Bank Ltd: The fastest growing bank in Ghana that has expanded from one branch in 2006, to being the sixth largest bank in Ghana with 45 branches, a customer base of over 300,000 and deposits of more than USD 500 million in just six years of existence as a fully-fledged bank –
  • Export Trading Group: The leading agricultural commodity supply chain operator in East and Southern Africa, with 75 entities, 60 commodity lines, and presence in 26 countries in Africa, and 40 globally –
  • Quality Chemicals Industries Ltd: Leading Ugandan life sciences and distribution company that manufactures triple-combination antiretroviral (ARV) drugs in Sub-Sahara Africa –
  • Societe D’Articles Hyginieques: Tunisia’s leading producer of absorbent hygiene products, including baby care, feminine care, incontinence care and related paper products with 45% of the market share in the country
  • Orbit Chemicals Industries Limited: Leading Kenyan manufacturer and distributor of commercial cleaning chemicals and hygiene solutions –

The winner for the Lifetime Achievement Award will be announced during the Awards Gala Ceremony on 11th October in Accra, Ghana.

The Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship was established in 2007 by the Legatum Group to recognize and award business leaders who serve as role models to Africa’s aspiring entrepreneurs and who demonstrate business excellence, innovation and profitability. Now in its sixth year of existence, the Awards have grown into Africa’s most prestigious business and entrepreneurship honours. In July 2012, the African Leadership Network won the exclusive licence to host the Awards from Legatum Group. Omidyar Network, the philanthropic investment firm dedicated to harnessing the power of markets to create opportunity for people to improve their lives, is sponsoring the awards for the third consecutive year.

We are very pleased to announce the finalists and congratulate each for their remarkable accomplishments,” said Malik Fal, managing director for Omidyar Network Africa. “At Omidyar Network we are deeply committed to strengthening entrepreneurship in Africa and believe firmly in the power of business to drive positive social impact. We are especially encouraged by the growing success of the Awards, which today are a truly Pan-African institution and a key platform for nurturing an ecosystem in which high-impact entrepreneurs on the continent can thrive. The quality, diversity and number of the entrants demonstrate the immense potential of entrepreneurs to contribute to Africa’s development.

The 12 finalists were determined after a rigorous screening process that focused on the soundness of the business model, financial health, integrity of business practices, and the contribution to socio-economic development. The Awards now enter the final stage where a panel of eight eminent business leaders will choose the winners for the Awards’ four categories.

The business leaders include Kenyan businessman and investor Chris Kirubi; Karim Sadek, managing director, Citadel Capital, Egypt; Reeta Roy, president and CEO, MasterCard Foundation; Yvonne Ike, CEO for West Africa of the Renaissance Group; Paul Harris, former CEO, FirstRand Limited and professor, University of Stellenbosch; Adedotun Suleiman, founder and chairman of Arian Capital management in Nigeria; and Divine Ndhlukula, founder and CEO of Securicor in Zimbabwe and the overall winner of the 2011 Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship.

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