Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship (AAE)

Entrepreneurship is essential to our vision of a prosperous, self-sufficient Africa. No region in the world has become prosperous without entrepreneurship, and Africa will only be able to solve its challenges through the innovation and creativity of entrepreneurs. 

ALN has hosted the Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship (AAE) since 2012. Dubbed the ‘Oscars of Entrepreneurship in Africa’, this prestigious awards program identifies 13 of the leading entrepreneurs in Africa each year. AAE was established in 2007 by the Legatum Group to recognize business leaders who demonstrate innovation, profitability, and business excellence while serving as role models to inspire Africa’s next generation of entrepreneurs. Over the last 7 years, AAE has attracted over 7,000 applications and awarded over $1.8 million in prizes to 35 entrepreneurs in the following categories:

  • Lifetime Achievement (senior African business leader who has served as an entrepreneurial icon for several decades) 
    • Past Winners: Mr. Gervais Djondo of Ecobank, Togo; Mr. Richard Maponya of Maponya Mall, South Africa
  • Transformational Business (revenues exceeding USD 50 million)
    • Past Winners: Choppies, Botswana; Interswitch Limited, Nigeria
  • Outstanding Mature Business (revenues between USD 5 million and 50 million)
    • Past Winners: Ostec, Ghana; Secure ID, Nigeria
  • Outstanding Growing Business (revenues between USD 500,000 and 5 million)
    • Past Winners: Trust Industries, Rwanda; Guanomad, Madagascar
  • Outstanding Social Entrepreneur (an organization with revenues between USD 150,000 and 2.5 million that is addressing a social problem for communities in Africa)
    • Past winners: BanaPads, Uganda; Sustainable Development for All, Kenya

We are accepting nominations for the 2015 Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship. If you would like to nominate an exceptional African business, please do so below. If you would like to apply for the AAE for your own company, please use the application form.

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2014 Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship Winners


Lifetime Achievement

Mr. Gervais Djondo, Togo


Mr. Gervais Djondo of Togo is the co-founder of Ecobank, one of Africa's leading banks with a presence in 33 countries, and founder and chairman of Asky Airlines, a low-cost airline operating in West and Central Africa. Mr. Djondo has dedicated his career to building pan-African businesses. Born and raised in Togo, he began his career with the Administrative District of Lomé, and became head of Togo's Chamber of Commerce, Agriculture, and Industry in 1978.





Transformational Business

Choppies, Botswana


Choppies has grown from a single store in 1986 to become the largest retailer in Botswana, with a meaningful presence in South Africa and Zimbabwe. It now has more than 100 stores. Choppies’ core market is low to middle income consumers, and it has expanded by targeting under-served small towns and peri-urban locations.  The company sells almost all international and regional grocery retail products including Unilever, Nestle, Kraft, and Tiger Brands along with Choppies’ own private label products.  It currently employs over 100 physically handicapped people and has donated more than $325,000 to various charities in the past year. 


Mature Business

OSTEC, Ghana


OSTEC is a leading IT infrastructure services provider. It provides a single source of technology, skills, and expertise to help companies and organizations realize greater value from their technology investments. OSTEC’s service capabilities span three key areas: technology sourcing, infrastructure integration, and managed services. It is a market leader for connectivity solutions, with a strong presence in Ghana, Benin, Côte D’Ivoire, Sierra Leone, Mali, Gabon, and the Central African Republic.



Growing Business

Trust Industries, Rwanda


Once a small trading firm established in 2009, Trust Industries is now engaged in manufacturing, supplying, and exporting high quality tissue paper products as well as detergent liquids and cosmetics. Trust operates in Rwanda, Burundi, DRC, and southern Uganda. The company currently manufactures 50 products and employs between 50 and 100 staff members. Their range of eco-friendly products is manufactured using modern machines and equipment built with advanced technologies. These machines are handled and operated by a proficient team of experts, which holds immense expertise in the industry. In addition, Trust owns a quality control unit which is entirely focused on testing the quality of products at all stages.


Social Entrepreneur

BanaPads, Uganda


BanaPads manufactures affordable, eco-friendly (100% biodegradable) sanitary pads through a simple technology that converts banana pseudo stems, an abundant and free organic waste, into absorbent paper using natural and recycled materials. BanaPads are distributed using a micro-consignment model, which provides local women entrepreneurs with a ‘business in a bag': a complete start-up kit of inventory, training, and marketing support. BanaPads seeks to increase the production of sanitary pads and enlarge the sales force of rural women entrepreneurs to improve sanitation and enable more girls to attend school in Mpigi, Uganda and Bukoba, Tanzania. By 2016, BanaPads seeks to build a network of over 400 entrepreneurs that will reach more than 50,000 rural girls and women.

2014 Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship Finalists

Previous Lifetime Achievement Award winners have included Manu Premchand Chandaria of Kenya and Richard Maponya of South Africa. Winning organizations have included Interswitch (Nigeria), QuantumNet (Gambia), Guanomad (Madagascar), Sustainable Development for All (Kenya), Quality Chemicals Industries (Uganda), SecureID (Nigeria), La Laitere du Berger (Senegal), and Bridge International Academies (Kenya).