Africa’s Business Leaders & Visionaries Celebrated At 10th AABLA

The 10th All Africa Business Leaders Awards (AABLA) in partnership with CNBC Africa joined a prestigious list of iconic events held at the Sun City Superbowl, celebrating Africa’s business leaders and visionaries.


  • The All Africa Business Leaders Awards (AABLA) remain Africa’s largest single-business awards.
  • The AABLA have been telling an African story of perseverance, success, innovation, and accountability for the past nine years.
  • The invitation-only gala event brings together members of the media, C-Suite executives and decision maker with a line-up of world-class entertainment.
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After a two-year pandemic hiatus the prestigious awards’ ceremony paid tribute to some of the most influential business personalities on the continent. Some of the VIP guests included Former Deputy President of South Africa Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan, Premier of North West Bushy Maape, Premier of Gauteng David Makhura and Former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, as well as Rakesh Wahi, Co-Founder of the ABN Group and Founder of the AABLA.


Having donned a tuxedo and hosted the event for the past 7-years, seasoned master of ceremonies Alexander Leibner joined award winning financial journalist Fifi Peters in keeping Africa’s business elite entertained for the night, along with a series of musical performances, including lockdown hit JERUSALEMA.


Master of Ceremonies Alexander Leibner and award winning financial journalist Fifi Peters alongside keynote speaker, Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan. Image: AABLA

The 2022 AABLA judging panel welcomed an esteemed line-up of professionals headed up by Sam Bhembe, Founding Director of the ABN Group. Also tasked with judging this year were:

  • Geoffrey Qhena: Independent Nonexecutive Director and Chairperson Designate of Exxaro
  • Godfrey Mutizwa: Editor-in-Chief of CNBC Africa
  • Renuka Methil: Managing Editor of Forbes Africa
  • Jon Foster-Pedley: Dean and Director of Henley Africa
  • Dr Stavros Nicolaou: Group Senior Executive, Strategic Trade for Aspen Pharma Group
  • Prof Sarah Chiumbu: Associate Professor Department of Communication and Media School of Communication University of Johannesburg
  • Diane Karusisi: CEO of the Bank of Kigali Group
  • Biola Alabi: CEO of Biola Alabi Media


The panel engaged in an open round-table discussion, covering the merits of each entry in relation to the category brief. Entries were scored by consensus against judging criteria to achieve a verdict.


The coveted AABLA trophies, now with an impressive alumni of previous winners spanning 10-years and 3-regions. Image: AABLA

I’d like to extend our heartfelt congratulations to all the 2022 award winners and nominees. It was great that we were able to celebrate their accomplishments in-person this year, and take a moment to acknowledge the sterling work being done, despite the incredibly challenging circumstances. The quality of leadership and talent in Africa is extensive, so I’d also like to say a big ‘thank you’ to our esteemed judging panel. The task of assessing every nominee was, no doubt, incredibly difficult. We truly appreciate the level of professionalism and expertise you brought to the 2022 AABLA.

// Managing Director for the ABN Group, Roberta Naicker,


The 2022 AABLA winners are:


1. All Africa Business Leader of the Year
Mxolisi Mgojo: CEO of Exxaro


2. All Africa Business Woman of the Year
Shirley Machaba: CEO of PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Southern Africa


3. All Africa Young Business Leader of the Year
Theo Baloyi: CEO of Bathu Shoes


4. All Africa Chief Financial Officer of the Year
Boipelo Lekubo: Financial Director of Harmony Gold


5. All Africa Industrialist of the Year
Portia Mngomezulu: Founder of Portia M Skin Solutions


6. All Africa Company of the Year
MTN Group


7. All Africa Innovator of the Year
Yoco South Africa


8. All Africa Philanthropist of the Year
Tsitsi Masiyiwa: Co-founder and Executive Chair of Higherlife Foundation


9. All Africa Lifetime Achievement Award
Dr Reuel J Khoza: Chairman of Aka Capital


10. 2022 FORBES WOMAN AFRICA Impact in Leadership Award
Naseem Lahri: Managing Director of Lucara Diamonds, Botswana


The 10th All Africa Business Leaders Awards (AABLA) winners at the Sun City Superbowl. Image: AABLA


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