Africa 2020 Vision Awards announces first nominees

Naguib Sawiris, one of the nominees for the Africa 2020 Entrepreneur of the Decade award (Image: file photo)

The Africa 2020 Vision Awards event will be celebrating outstanding achievements and excellence by Africans and citizens of the African continent over the last decade.   The Awards will be the platform to recognise and commend those home grown African children who have pushed the limit of the unknown or the Not-Yet-Done in the business, social and institutional field and contributed to the upliftment of the continent.

The Africa 2020 Vision Awards ceremony will be held at a gala dinner on 16 June 2011 in Mombasa, Kenya in conjunction with the official sponsors MTN & OCP Group.

This is the first Annual Awards that Africa 2020 will be holding and the organisation intends to make it the most prestigious, by setting standards for future awards as well as providing opportunities for any citizen of great stature with a proven track record with leadership within the African continent.

The nominees in the first category of the Africa 2020 Vision Awards, Entrepreneur of the Decade, have been announced by Africa 2020 and they are:

1) Reginald Mengi – IPP Business Conglomerate (Tanzania)

Chartered accountant by training, Reginald Mengi created the IPP business conglomerate in the mid 1980’s after serving as Chairman and Managing Partner of Coopers & Lybrand in Tanzania. The IPP Group, which started as a small scale hand operated ball point assembly plant in Dar es Salaam, has expanded and diversified to become one of the largest industrial groups in East Africa. Among other activities, it encompasses:

A financial consulting firm (IPP Consulting); A soft drinks bottling company in joint venture with Coca-Cola (Coca-Cola Kwanza, Bonite Bottlers and Kilimanjaro Spring Water); Tanzania’s leading manufacturer of soaps, detergents and toothpaste (IPP Bodycare Ltd); as well as a media unit which is made up of eleven newspapers, three radio stations and two television channels, one which operates inTanzania, Kenya and Uganda (IPP Media). These include The Guardian Ltd., which publishes some of Tanzania’s leading weekly and Sunday newspapers: The Guardian, The Sunday Observer, The Daily Mail, and the Financial Times in English and Nipashe, Nipashe Jumapili, Alasiri, Kasheshe, and Taifa Letu in Swahili; Independent Television Ltd. (ITV); East Africa Television (EATV, formerly Channel 5); Radio ONE; Sky-FM (in a joint venture with BBC) and; East Africa Radio.

2) Issad  Rebrab – Morroco

Issad Rebrab is the founder of Cevital, the largest privately owned company in Algeria with many business interests including the steel industry, automobile imports, agricultural food products and an oil refinery (Cevital). Issad began his business career in 1968 when he opened his own accounting practice. Since 1995 he had become one of the most important industrialists in the world in the steel industry. Since his return to Algeria in 1998, he has started creating an enormous industrial and energy complex called Cap 2015 about 60kms to the East of Alger together with a small town with 250 000 inhabitants with the ambition of creating 100 000 direct jobs and another million indirect jobs. Cevital, is also in the process of building a $7 billion aluminium plant with annual capacity of 1.5 million tonnes.

3) Naguib Sawiris (Egypt)

Egyptian entrepreneur Naguib Sawiris is the Executive Chairman of his family owned business Orascom Telecom Holdings (OTH). From 200,000 subscribers in 1998 to more than 120 million subscribers to date, through its parent company Wind Telecom (formerly Weather Investments), Orascom Telecom (OTH) established itself as a global brand and is considered today to be one of the largest and most diversified telecom operators. Operating in eleven emerging markets, today the Orascom Group is the country’s largest private sector employer and has the largest market capitalization on the Cairo & Alexandria Stock Exchange. Orascom Telecom operates GSM networks in Algeria, Pakistan, Egypt, Bangladesh, Burundi, Namibia, Central African Republic, North Korea, Canada and Zimbabwe

4) Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Founder Dangote Group (Nigeria)

Alhaji is the Founder and president of Dangote Group, a diversified and fully integrated conglomerate with an annual group turnover in excess of N450 billion (US$3 billion). The Dangote Group, has operations in Nigeria and numerous other countries in Africa. Dangote’s businesses include food processing (sugar, salt, pasta, beverages), cement manufacturing, freight cement, and real estate with new projects underway in the oil and gas, telecommunications, fertiliser and steel sectors of the economy. The Dangote Group has nationwide staff strength of approximately 22,000. Recently Alhaji and other notable Nigerians announced their desire to float a private sector mega company, Transnational Corporation of Nigeria (TCN), which amongst other things may acquire government-owned a refinery.

5) Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Founder Dangote Group (Nigeria)

Dr. Mohamed Ibrahim is chairman of Mo Ibrahim Foundation Board and founder of Celtel International.  Mo was one of the pioneers of modern telecommunications in Africa when he started his company in the mid-90s. Under his leadership he transformed the mobile communication industry in Africa. Celtel International brought the benefits of mobile communications to millions of people across the African continent. The company operates in 15 African countries, covering more than a third of the continents population. Celtel was sold to Zain for a value exceeding US$ 3 billion. He also set up the Mo Ibrahim Foundation to encourage better governance in Africa, as well as creating the Mo Ibrahim Index, to evaluate nations’ performance. In 2007 he initiated an annual award for governance in Africa.

By Angela Meadon