All Africa Business Leaders Awards

Africa’s Best In Business Awarded: Meet The AABLA Class Of 2023

The 11th All Africa Business Leaders Awards (AABLA) took place on Friday evening, bringing together a distinguished audience from across the continent to honor and celebrate Africa’s exceptional business leaders.


  • The event, held at the King’s Ballroom in Sun City, attracted government ministers, ambassadors, entrepreneurs, CEO’s, and influential voices in corporate Africa.
  • The evening included a red carpet experience, where guests from all corners of Africa and beyond arrived dressed in bespoke traditional and glamorous attire.
  • As promised, the event was a feast for the senses, featuring captivating performances and high-profile winners.
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Some of Africa’s most notable business leaders and decision makers gathered at Sun City to witness the announcement of the winners of the 11th All Africa Business Leaders Awards (AABLA) in partnership with CNBC Africa. This was the second year that the AABLA were held at Sun City celebrating some of the brightest minds on the continent.


All Africa Business Leaders Awards
Two time Grammy-winning musician Wouter Kellerman performing at the 11th All Africa Business Leaders Awards (AABLA). Image: AABLA (MaruPix)

During his welcoming speech, Rakesh Wahi, Co-Founder of the ABN Group, shed light on the challenges Africa still faces, including transparency, political uncertainty, currency volatility, poverty, inequality, and limited access to healthcare and education. Rakesh called upon African leaders to foster collaboration, build partnerships, and share knowledge to address these complex issues.


He stressed the role of governments in providing a level playing field through consistent policies, while acknowledging that businesses also have a part to play in unlocking opportunities across the continent.


All Africa Business Leaders Awards
Master of Ceremonies, Alexander Leibner alongside award-winning financial journalist Fifi Peters and CNBC Africa anchor Terryanne Chebet from Kenya. Image: AABLA (MaruPix)

The AABLA winners were announced, recognizing exceptional individuals and companies across various categories. Melvyn Lubega, the Executive Chairman of Boabab Group, was named Young Business Leader of the Year, while Dr. Mukhtar Adam, CFO of Zenith Bank, received the Chief Financial Officer of the Year award. Daniel Ndima, CEO of CapeBio, was honored as the Innovator of the Year, and Afreximbank was awarded African Company of the Year.


All Africa Business Leaders Awards
Mohammed Dewji, President of MeTL Group, received the Industrialist of the Year award. Image: AABLA (MaruPix)

Mohammed Dewji, President of MeTL Group, received the Industrialist of the Year award, and Lumbie Mlambo, Founder and CEO of JB Dondolo, was recognized as Philanthropist of the Year. Dr. Owen Omogiafo, President and Group CEO of Transnational Corporation, was named Businesswoman of the Year, while the prestigious Business Leader of the Year award went to Prof Benedict Oramah, President and Chairman of Afreximbank.


In addition to the category awards, special recognitions were presented. The Trade and Investment Facilitation Agency of the Year award was granted to The Rwanda Development Board, and Dr. James Mwangi, Group Managing Director and CEO of Equity Group Holdings, received the Lifetime Achievement Award. The African of the Year accolade was bestowed upon Dr. John Nkengasong, U.S Global AIDS Coordinator and Special Representative for Global Health Diplomacy at the U.S. Department of State.


The All Africa Business Leaders Awards (AABLA) showcased the remarkable achievements and contributions of Africa’s business leaders while highlighting the importance of collaboration, infrastructure investment, and consistent policies. The event was complimented by performances by acclaimed artists such as Grammy-winning musician Wouter Kellerman, saxophonist Kani Naidoo, poetess Lebo Mashile, and renowned local DJ Jazzy D.


The event served as a platform to inspire and encourage the next generation of African entrepreneurs and leaders. With the collective efforts of businesses, and individuals, Africa’s potential for economic growth and development is set to flourish, paving the way for a brighter future for the continent and its people.


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Sandton Times Correspondent

Sandton Times Correspondent

Curated content from The Sandton Times newsroom desks.


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