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Africa CEO Forum Awards 2012: Four Winners Recognized for Their Contribution to Growth and Development in Africa

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On the occasion of this first edition of the Africa CEO Forum, four top-notch private sector companies and investors were awarded today for their direct contribution to Africa’s growth and dynamism.

Because their achievements encourage the emergence of recognized African businesses, capable of competing in the international business arena, the four winners were selected and chosen for their commitment and performance in four key areas:

  • Promotion of the private sector in Africa
  • Strengthening regional integration
  • Development of intra-African trade
  • Social and Environmental Responsibility

The jury was composed of 12 recognized entrepreneurs, business leaders and journalists across Africa including: Tim Turner, Director of AfDB’s private sector, Andrew Alli, CEO of Africa Finance Corp. and Marie-Christine Zaragoza, the president of France's external media arm, the AEF.

The Four Winners:

1. Best African Fund of the Year 

This award recognizes the capital investor who has invested the most in African companies during the past year.

Main criteria for awarding the trophy:

  • Volume of funding over the past year in private African companies
  • Africa's share in the overall activity of the private equity investor

The CEO Forum Africa Award goes to Abraaj Group, and was presented to one of the group’s partners, Mr. Frederic Sicre.  Abraaj is the largest global private equity investor specializing in emerging markets. With 6 billion Euros under management and 36 offices worldwide, Abraaj has made Africa his new challenge with the acquisition in 2012 of one of the largest management companies in the continent: Aureos Capital.

2. The Best Multinational Company in Africa

This award recognizes the international company having seen the largest growth on the African continent over the last 2 years.

Criteria for awarding the trophy:

  • Number of African countries where the company is present
  • Share of turnover in Africa
  • Number of employees on the African continent
  • Diversity of activities in Africa

The Africa CEO Forum Award for this category goes to the Singaporien group, OLAM, and was received by its director for Africa, Dr. Ranveer Chauhan. Singapore-based OLAM is one of the largest traders of agricultural commodities in the world. With 17,000 employees and 11 billion euros in revenue in 2011-2012, this leading global integrated supply chain manager and processor of agricultural products and food ingredients, supplying various products across 16 platforms to over 12,300 customers worldwide. The company generated € 3 billion in revenue in Africa in 2011-2012.

3. Best African Company of the Year

This trophy rewards an African business having achieved the largest expansion on the continent.

Criteria for awarding the trophy:

  • Number and size of acquisitions made by the company over the last 2 years in other African countries
  • Number of African countries where the company is present
  • Share of Africa (outside country of origin) in the overall activity of the company

The Africa CEO Forum Award for this category goes to the group ECOBANK, and was received by M. Thierry Tanoh, the CEO. ECOBANK is a pioneer in pan African strategy and present across most of Central Africa in 32 countries. It has 11,000 employees and acquired in late 2011 one of the largest banks in Nigeria, Oceanic Bank.

4. African CEO of the Year

Strategy, leadership, governance and financial performance: This award recognizes the African leader of the year, whose exemplary leadership qualities are recognized as outstanding.

Criteria for awarding the trophy:

  • Vision & Leadership of the CEO
  • Pan African scope of the developed and deployed strategy
  • Modern management and financial transparency
  • Quality of social, human and environmental policies
  • Financial performance of the company

The Africa CEO Forum Award in this category was awarded to Dr. Tewolde Gebre Mariam, CEO of Ethiopian Airlines. Ethiopian Airlines is one of the most dynamic and profitable African airlines, now covering 80 destinations. It is also the first company to possess since September 2012 the famous Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

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