BrandArena: Winners of 2023 Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum Awards Announced

Monday 13 November 2023

Winners of 2023 Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum Awards Announced

...Fatma Samoura, Ifeoma Malo, Seven Others Recognized 

The Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF) announced the winners of the 2023 AWIEF Awards on Friday night in Kigali, Rwanda, at a grand awards ceremony.

This year, several inspiring and remarkable African women entrepreneurs excelled in providing opportunities and positively touching lives and communities, hence fueling Africa's growth. An international and independent team of judges picked 24 prominent women creators and entrepreneurs as top finalists in September by an international and independent panel of judges, 8 winners were announced at the awards ceremony that took place at Kigali Convention Centre, Kigali. The 24 top finalists represented women founders operating in a diverse range of sectors from 14 African countries: Cameroon, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

The AWIEF Awards ceremony and gala dinner was a culmination of a highly successful two-day AWIEF2023 Conference that attracted more than 500 delegates from over 50 countries, 41 of them African countries.

Each year the AWIEF Awards recognise, honour, and celebrate outstanding women entrepreneurs and business owners in Africa and across industry sectors, for their economic performance and contribution to Africa’s growth and social development.

This year’s event unveiled the inaugural AWIEF Lifetime Leadership Award. This award was bestowed on Fatma Samoura, FIFA Secretary General, in recognition of her outstanding leadership and contributions to the world of sports. It was also a tribute to her inspiring impact and accomplishments on a global scale, as the first non-European, the first African and first-ever female to lead FIFA as Secretary General in its 116-year history.

“What an honour to receive the inaugural AWIEF Lifetime Leadership Award. This award is not just for me, but all the people who have dedicated their lives to our game and helped us transform women’s football over the last few years. They have created a beautiful legacy – a FIFA that is focused on football and is respected by international organisations, and a sport that captures the hearts and minds of boys and girls around the world and brings them joy and happiness," said Ms Samoura.

"We have given more girls and women the chance to play football, even in countries where it would have been considered almost impossible only a few years ago."

Going further in her acceptance speech, Ms Samoura urged women to “invest in African football” as it offers a huge untapped potential.

She said, “Then of course, you women need to invest in football. I will be retiring peacefully in my beautiful country Senegal if at least I got a phone call, by the next Women’s World Cup from many of you saying: ‘Madam, because we saw you in Rwanda and decided to invest in football, today we are club owners.’ So, the ball is in your court, make it happen because you have many talents.”

“Remember one thing: football is the future for Africa, football is the future for building peace across the world. Football is a universal message, football is something that transmits love, that gives mind, that also transcends borders and brings people together.”

Irene Ochem, AWIEF Founder and CEO, in her AWIEF Awards 2023 ceremony and gala dinner opening remarks said, “Fatma Samoura has shown exceptional leadership in such a male-dominated sector as sports, and in particular, football. She is an inspirational role model for us other women, and we are truly excited about honouring and celebrating her tonight.”

The Winners of AWIEF Awards 2023 are:

Salamba Diene, CEO, Biosene Sarl, Senegal

Kidist Tesfaye, Founder & CEO, YeneHealth, Ethiopia

Nonopa Tenza, Founder & MD, Kevinot Farming, South Africa

Ifeoma Malo, Co-Founder & CEO, Clean Technology Hub, Nigeria

Yasmina Belahsen, Founder, MayaDigital, Morocco

Mundih Noelar Njohjam, Medical Doctor, Epilepsy Awareness, Aid & Research Association, Cameroon

Zulfat Makarubega, Founder, University of Tourism, Technology & Business Studies, Rwanda

Dalia Ibrahim, CEO, Nahdet Misr Publishing House, Egypt

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