By Abdul Rahman Suagibu –
NEW AFRICA BUSINESS NEWS, Freetown, Sierra Leone- Dr. Akinwumi Adesina The President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), has won the 2019 African of the Year Award. Dr. Adesina received the award from the All Africa Business Leaders Awards (AABLA) constituted by Forbes Magazine, in acknowledgement of his leadership and the innovation of the Africa Investment Forum which “opened up billions of dollars of investment into the continent.”
This is the ninth edition of the awards, unionized by AABLA in accordance with CNBC Africa, aims to honor leaders who have bestowed and improved the African economy. The Africa Investment Forum inducted in 2018, has been a pathfinder in thrusting investments into the continent. The second edition of the Forum which was held in Johannesburg- South Africa ended on 13 November. It was well attended by over 2,000 delegates and secured investor interest worth $40.1 billion – up from $37.1 billion the previous year.
“It is indeed a great honor,” Dr. Adesina said in his remarks during the exclusive gala dinner held at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg, at which the awards were announced. Adesina added that, he was overwhelmed to follow in the footsteps of his “big brother” President Paul Kagame of Rwanda who won the award in 2018. “My heartbeat is to serve the people of Africa,” Adesina noted.
The event was attended by top class business leaders, government representatives including David Makhura, Premier of Guateng Province, who gave the opening address.
The awards are determined by a jury of continent-wide judges led by Sam Bhembe- CNBC Africa Non-Executive Director, following evaluation of a shortlist of finalists to determine the overall category winners.
Bhembe pronounced the award mirrored how the winner would “shape the future of the African continent,” and that the winner would fathom the cover of a special edition of Forbes Africa.
In other categories of the 2019 awards, Nigerian Co-Founder of Kobo360, Obi Ozor won Young Business Leader of the Year; Naspers CEO: South Africa, Phuthi Mahanyele-Dabengwa took the Business Woman of the Year award; while Nedbank, won the Company of the Year award.
Adesina dedicated his award “to the people of Africa who inspire me… I do not work alone.” He also said it was very rewarding to be at the helm “of an organization that paves the way to progress.”
The annual All Africa Business Leaders Award honors business excellence and leaders who have made a considerable impact on their industry and community. The award recognizes remarkable leadership and give accolades to game changers of business on the continent for their continuing commitment to excellence, developing best practices and innovative strategies.
Winners of the awards exemplify the best in African leadership: core values of a successful leader: strength, innovation, ingenuity, knowledge and foresight.
For New Africa Business News Abdul Rahman Suagibu Reports, Africa Correspondent