The winners of the West African regional 2015 All Africa Business Leaders Awards (AABLA) in Partnership with CNBC Africa were announced at a dazzling ceremony held at the Eko Hotel & Suites, Lagos on October 22 2015.
Now, the West African winners will go on to contend other regional winners from Southern and East Africa to determine Africa’s most respected business leader at the All Africa AABLA Grande Finale, to take place on November 13 at the Sandton Convention Centre.
The AABLA are the leading African award honoring excellence in business leadership on the continent. Established in 2011, the AABLA received over 100 entries from across the continent in 2015. Renowned for identifying excellence in business on the African continent, the All Africa Business Leaders Awards in Partnership with CNBC Africa recognise the challenges and diversity of the African business arena, and the West African awards focus on those who have shaped the regions business sector.
The evening commenced with awarding the Young Business Leader of the Year – West Africa Presented by Lancaster University Ghana, to Nteff Alain, Co-founder of The Gifted Mom. Ahonsi Unuigbe, Chief Executive of Petralon Energy Nigeria and Yetunde A. Odugbesan, CEO of Yetunde Global Consulting were also notable finalists.
Obinna Ekezie, Founder of Wakanow.com walked away as Entrepreneur of the Year – West Africa Presented by Sea Harvest, for his work in the online space, contending fellow finalists Paul Orajiaka, CEO of Auldon Limited and Swaady Martin-Leke, Founder and CEO of YSWARA Luxe.
The Business Leader of the Year – West Africa Presented by Bosch saw three seasoned businessmen competing for the notable title, which was ultimately awarded to Segun Agbaje, Managing Director of GTBank. Agbaje was nominated in this category alongside Issam Darwish, CEO of IHS Holding Ltd. and John Bonoh Sisay, CEO of Sierra Rutile.
The title of Business Woman of the Year – West Africa went to Adepeju Adebajo, Managing Director of WAPCO Operations, Lafarge Africa Plc. She competed against Adenike Ogunlesi, Founder of Ruff ‘N’ Tumble, Dr. Leticia Osafo Addo, CEO of Samba Foods and Nimi Akinkugbe, CEO of Bestman Games Ltd.
Fred Swaniker, Founder of the African Leadership Academy received the newly added Philanthropist of the Year – West Africa. The category was introduced at the 2015 AABLA to recognise those who seek to promote the welfare of others and to encourage more benevolence on the continent. Swaniker was nominated alongside Patrick Awuah Jr, Founder and President of Ashesi University.
Aliko Dangote, Chairman and CEO of the Dangote Group became the first in AABLA history to be named Industrialist of the Year for West Africa Presented by EcoBank. In 2011, Dangote won Africa Business Leader of the Year and Africa Entrepreneur of the Year at the inaugural AABLA. As a new category to the AABLA, set on promoting beneficiation and manufacturing on the continent, the Industrialist category winner was selected by the judges as a key contributor to driving economic growth through a multitude of businesses.
The highlight of the evening was the presentation of the Lifetime Achievement Award for West Africa in association with IHS, awarded to H.R.H. Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, for his contribution to Nigeria’s economy through his long and notable career in the banking and financial sector.
The AABLA Jaguar Land Rover fleet of premium vehicles chauffeured nominees and judges alike to the event in comfort, with the 2015 AABLA masters of ceremony looking elegant in Carducci suits.
Regional winners will compete for the ultimate title of Africa’s business icon in their sector at the black tie All Africa Business Leaders Awards in Partnership with CNBC Africa All Africa Grande Finale in Johannesburg next month, hosted by Bakgatla-Ba-Kgafela, where the definitive trailblazers of African business are named and commended for their part in the continent’s success.
The highlights of the West African ceremony will be broadcast on CNBC Africa on October 28 at 21h15 CAT.
The AABLA are produced by ABN Productions. The AABLA is presented in partnership with CNBC Africa. Sponsors of the AABLA include Bakgatla-Ba-Kgafela Traditional Administration, Bosch, Carducci, IDC, Jaguar Land Rover, Lancaster University Ghana, EcoBank, IHS and Sea Harvest. Partners include Cinemark, Forbes Africa, Independent Newspapers, Arik Air, Liquid Thought and Tomodach.
Young Business Leader of the Year – West Africa
Nteff Alain, Co-founder of The Gifted Mom
Entrepreneur of the Year – West Africa
Obinna Ekezie, Founder of Wakanow.com
Business Leader of the Year – West Africa
Segun Agbaje, Managing Director of GTBank
Business Woman of the Year – West Africa
Adepeju Adebajo, Managing Director of WAPCO Operations, Lafarge Africa Plc.
Philanthropist of the Year – West Africa
Fred Swaniker, Founder of the African Leadership Academy
Industrialist of the Year for West Africa
Aliko Dangote, Chairman and CEO of the Dangote Group
Lifetime Achievement Award for West Africa
H.R.H. Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi