Interview with South Africa-based Women Investment Portfolio Holdings, Ltd Group Chief Executive Officer and Winner of the 2009 African Business leadership Award Recipient, Louisa Madiako Mojela
“This award supports and acknowledges the efforts of women in business, their advancement and the empowerment of women."
Question: You are the first recipient of the Africa business leadership award. What does this mean to you?
Answer: I am honored and humbled. I received this honor not for myself, but on behalf of the founders of Women Investment Portfolio Holdings, its management and staff, and on behalf of women on the continent.
Question: The California Star Group company honored you as one of the 40 Leading Women Entrepreneurs of the World in 2000. How does that honor compare to the Africa Business Leadership Award?
Answer: I was absolutely excited and happy to be honored as one of the 40 leading Women Entrepreneurs of the World, but nothing can take away the pride of being honored on one’s continent. I really cannot put a price on this honor. This award stands tall. It supports and acknowledges the efforts of women in business, their advancement and the empowerment of women. To me, that is what this award is all about.
Question: Do you have any advice for African businesses, especially women entrepreneurs, during this deep global financial crisis?
Answer: Well, my advice to women in business is that we should remain focused and we should uphold all the pillars of leadership such as honesty so we don’t cut corners. We must remain steadfast to what we‘re doing and we must continue to inspire the younger ones through what we’re doing because, definitely, there will be many challenges in the financial sector. We should make sure we reap benefits going forward.
Question: Talking about women striving, what is your message to young women striving to be like you, a world-class entrepreneur ?
Answer: They must believe in themselves, remain motivated, assertive, dedicated in what they are doing, and believe in themselves. They have to be determined; they must show the world that they can be mothers and leading business women and as well.
Question: This award is one more for the road. What do you plan to use it?
Answer: As I earlier said, the award is for women. I think I need to use it to continue motivating and encouraging more women to come forward in business, and to make sure they participate in the mainstream economy, and strive for their own financial independence.
Qustion: What are your final thoughts on the African Development Bank Group and the 2009 Annual Meetings?
Answer: I express my gratitude to the AfDB for supporting and creating the platform for this event ; for believing in supporting women achievements. The AfDB believes that women are up to the task and are capable of doing just as well as male. I salute and congratulate the AfDB for the work it is doing for the continent.
Note: This African Business Award is established to honor outstanding contributions in African Business and Private Sector Development and to inspire African businessmen and women to play their role in preparing African companies for competition in the global market place. It supports and directs attention to efforts made to benefit customers, shareholders, employees, governments, as well as all the economic actors who interact within any field relating to the African private sector.
The sponsors sought, for the first edition, to recognize a person with numerous or complex undisputable achievements and whose success is easy to summarize given its tangible form and paradigm shifting nature.