The 3RD Edition of the West African Regional Magazine – Business and Leadership Awards took place on 30th, July, 2016 at the Grosvenor House, Dubai. The theme for this year’s event was “Promoting Trade and Business Investments between UAE and African countries”. The aim was to connect some of Africa’s foremost business leaders and potential Gulf States’ investors who are interested in exploring potential business investment opportunities on the African continent.
Gracing the occasion as an investor in Africa was Mr William Stenhouse, Vice President of System, Process & Training Africa, who equally oversees the major investment project for Agility in Ghana. Agility is one of the world’s leading providers of integrated logistics. It is a publicly traded company with more than $5 billion in revenue and 22,000 employees working in over 500 offices across 100 countries around the world.
Agility is a world leader in developing and managing international standard logistics parks and is committed to developing a network of quality distribution parks across Africa.
Nii Guate Asuasa II, Traditional War King of Akra Asere Kotopon, Ga State, was one of the speakers for the occasion. In his absence, a speech read on his behalf by the publisher of the magazine, Madam Rossette Aliu, expressed his appreciation of the Publisher and her team’s efforts in promoting West African Businesses to the outside world.
In his speech, the Ga King took the opportunity to promote Ghana as a peaceful country and an ideal destination for foreign businesses and corporations. “It is an honourable duty to help Ghanaian businesses to boost their corporate image abroad by seeking partnerships with foreign businesses for the purpose of expanding goods & services, exchange of business ideas as technical exchanges in building businesses both in West Africa and here in the UAE”.
“I strongly believe in the creation of new markets and new partnerships as well as the creation of industries which will serve the purpose of creating jobs for the youths of Ghana, thus leading to the success and growth of the Ghanaian economy”.
Adding his voice for Africa was Mr Ogochukwu Chidibiere Nweke, a Lawyer, Idea Manager and Communication Consultant, who in his presentation encouraged African politicians and government functionaries, plus the private-sector players in the gathering to think up ideas to convert some of the natural gifts that Africa possesses, into something which will yield for Africa, the kind of positive attraction that Dubai is enjoying today. “It’s important for Africa to begin to see the sun as a natural resource and quickly build the infrastructure for a successful migration to renewable energy as a means of power generation, because fossil energy is obviously failing us and causing Africa much more harm than good fortunes”.
He also said that African industry players must as a matter of urgency and necessity begin to think outside the box and think about how the African consumer can get the value of what he pays for, by ensuring that devices which are suitable and consistent with the African weather and climatic conditions will be sold to the consumer.
“This can only be achieved when we stop having only assembling plants but begin to go into full scale solution-oriented manufacturing”
Individuals honoured include Mr Tony Elumelu, as Investor of the year, in the Power Sector. This was in recognition of his immense contributions to the power sector of Africa, both as an advocate for power in Africa and as an investor with Transcorp PLC.
Dr. Kweku Oteng received the Industrialist of the Year Award for Ghana. This was based on his inestimable contributions to the Ghanaian economy through his group ANGEL GROUP OF COMPANIES.
The award for Business Excellence in the Construction Sector went to Mr Eric Seddy Kutortse, for his immense contribution to infrastructure development in Ghana with FIRST SKY LIMITED, through the construction of quality roads and bridges, which have done Ghana good.
The award for ICT PERSON OF THE YEAR went again to Mr Thomas Baafi II, who won the same award at the maiden edition held in Brussels-Belgium. The award was based on his impact in the ICT Sector with BSYSTEMS LIMITED, through which he has developed vital software for major institutions and corporations in Africa.
The award for innovation went to Mr Kofi Asmah of 21st Century Group of Companies. He was commended for his immense contribution to the development of Millennium City and its environs through transforming a large space of land into the city of today.
Corporations honoured at the event include FIRST SKY LIMITED as Outstanding Construction Company of the Year, BSYSTEMS LIMITED as Software Company of the Year, KEK INSURANCE BROKERS as Insurance Brokers of the Year, UBA as Innovative Bank of the year and UBA FOUNDATION as an Organisation making a difference.
The awards were presented by representatives of diplomatic missions and major businesses in Dubai, and include Mr Hashem Rawat, General Manager of HM Rawat Ltd., Mr Kwame Abdul Latif Nakib, General Manager at Adinkraft, Madam Mavis Kusorgbor, representative of the Ghana Consulate in Dubai, and Mr. Johnson Paul of Metro Hotels Dubai.
According to the Publisher, Rossette Aliu, the award ceremony served an opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of some of Africa’s brightest corporate luminaries—and perhaps introduce their companies to the UAE market.
“We wish to add here that this award event is necessitated by the real need for the West African Sub-Region—and indeed, the broader African business community to begin to deepen bilateral economic and trade ties with Gul
f State countries—and particularly the United Arab Emirate’s business community, through peer networking events such as this award ceremony”, she added.
The West African Regional magazine established in 2006 is committed to highlighting achievements and initiatives in the sub region to the international community with the sole aim of opening up the region to investors from all over the world