CATEGORY 4: AFRICA’S BEACONS OF HOPE AWARDS FOR INNOVATIVE BUSINESS AND IMPACTFUL INVESTMENT- to recognize Top-Ten African intellectuals and most innovative entrepreneurs whose innovative business ideas and investments have had significant impacts on Africa, Africans and the world at large.

The nominees are:

Mr. John Momoh (born July 1, 1957) is a Nigerian broadcast journalist and the Chairman and CEO of Channels Television, an independent and multiple award winning 24-hour news and media television channel based in Lagos. He is widely recognized in Nigeria as a transformative industry pioneer with 37-year-long career in news television broadcasting.

Channels TV, is the only Nigerian and indeed African Broadcaster to have won the “Television Station of the Year” Award, a record Ten times, five of them consecutively. Channels is the Most Awarded Television station in Africa.

In addition to providing employments for people within and outside Africa, Channels Television has been used as a platform for peoples all over the world to showcase their talents, products and services, thereby, promoting patronage and creating wealth for the people.

Prior to starting Channels Television, which he founded in 1995, John Momoh worked variously as news anchor, senior reporter and senior producer for Nigeria’s National Radio and Television Stations, Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria and the Nigerian Television Authority.

In December 2005, he was proclaimed "Officer of the Order of the Niger" by the Nigerian Government. In 2006, he was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Nigerian Information Society and, two years later, he was nominated as Nigeria’s Entrepreneur of the Year by the Fate Foundation. And in In November 2014, John Momoh was honoured the Leadership Award at the 2014 Planet Africa Awards held at the Grand Victorian Convention Centre in Canada.

Garry Milne is the Chief Executive Officer of Romatex Home Textiles, one of the largest household textile manufactures in South Africa. Its Head Office is situated at its highly mechanized manufacturing facility in Cape Town. Romatex also has a factory in Durban with advanced automated machinery that specializes in the manufacturing of all bedlinen products.

Romatex Home Textiles is impacting millions of lives within and outside Africa as its showcases African made products to the outside world and thereby, giving Africa its pride of place among the committee of nations.

One of the company’s key strengths is its product diversification and highly automated manufacturing equipment. “We source our raw materials both globally and locally ensuring our products are of the highest quality standards whilst remaining competitively priced”, said Garry Milne. Romatex has sales representation with product support in all regions with sales support call centres in both Cape Town and Durban. The company has a proud and successful history with a strategic sustainable vision for the future to support and grow with its valued customers.

Tonye Cole is a Nigerian business mogul, co-founder and CEO of Sahara Group, a leading privately-owned energy and infrastructure conglomerate with operations in every aspect of the energy chain. It has offices in Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, UAE, Switzerland, Singapore, and United Kingdom. Mr. Cole began the Sahara Group out of a very small office and focused solely on trading excess fuel oil from 2 refineries, building a foundation upon which the company could enjoy significant growth over time. It was Mr. Cole’s vision for growth and innovative business idea that allowed the Sahara Group to become what it is today, as he correctly identified a number of global trends that enabled the company to prosper in a very meaningful way.

A devoted philanthropist, Tonye Cole once said that, ‘impacting lives gives him a sense of purpose. He has supported countless charitable organizations and has been an outspoken advocate for the youth of Africa. According to Tonye Cole, his company regularly generates billions of dollars in revenue each year, and his efforts have supported about 680 direct employees, excluding the 2,600 employees in their power company.

Christo Wiese is a South African Billionaire Businessman and the Executive Chairman of Shoprite, the largest retail chain in Africa, with subsidiaries in Namibia, Zambia, Nigeria, Uganda, Botswana, Mozambique, Madagascar, Angola, Congo DR, Ghana, Congo, Swaziland, Lesotho, Mauritius, and other African countries. The company also owns a number of franchising brands through its OK Franchise Division. These include OK Foods, OK Grocer, Sentra, Enjoy, etc. This South African retail firm was established in 1979 by Christo Wiese.

Wiese is also the largest individual shareholder and chairman of other retail giants, Pepkor and Tradehold. He is one of the continent’s most successful entrepreneurs, with a net worth of $3.1 billion on Forbes' 2012 World's Billionaires List, while also creating thousands of jobs in Africa.

As at June 2016 some 76% of South Africa's total adult population shops at one of the Group’s supermarket brands. The Shoprite Group employs almost 138, 000 people of whom 21,000 work outside South Africa. For the third year in a row, the Shoprite brand was voted SA's No. 1 supermarket in the 2010 Sunday Times Top Brand Survey. Deloitte’s Global Powers of Retailing 2014 ranks The Shoprite Group as the 94th largest retailer in the world.

His Royal Highness, Prince Karim Aga Khan, the Aga Khan IV, is and has been involved in multiple business ventures, in such areas as communications media and luxury hotels. In 1959, he founded the Kenyan media company, Nation Media Group. In the 1990s, the Aga Khan had a group of US$400 a night Italian luxury hotel, called Ciga. Currently the Aga Khan, through his for-profit Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED), is the largest shareholder in the Serena Hotels chain. The Aga Khan's racing horse businesses also bring in considerable income. He owns and operates the largest horse racing and breeding operation in France, the French horse auction house, Arqana, Gilltown Stud near Kilcullen in Ireland, and other breeding/stud farms in Europe.

The Aga Khan is unique among the richest royals as he does not preside over a geographic territory. He owns hundreds of racehorses, valuable stud farms, an exclusive yacht club on Sardinia, a private island in the Bahamas, two Bombardier jets, a £100 million high speed yacht Alamshar, named after his prize racehorse, and several estates around the world, with his primary residence at Aiglemont estate in the town of Gouvieux, France, north of Paris.

The Aga Khan's philanthropic institutions spend about US$600 million per year – mainly in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. The Aga Khan is the founder and chairman of the Aga Khan Development Network, which coordinates the activities of over 200 agencies and institutions, employing approximately 80,000 paid staff, the majority of whom are based in developing countries]. The AKDN’s annual budget for non-profit development activities in 2010 was approximately US$625 million. The network operates in more than 35 of the poorest countries in the world.

Phuthuma Freedom Nhleko (born 7 April 1960) is a South African businessman, currently serving as the Executive Chairman of MTN Group, which is an Africa-focused holding group involved primarily in the operation of GSM cellular telephone networks. The group which employs over 6,000 people in South Africa alone, also has several thousands of employees in other countries of Africa. Nhleko is also the chairman and one of the founding members of Worldwide African Investment Holdings, an investment holding company with interests in the petroleum, telecommunications, and information technology industries. He helped build the company to a book value of investments of about R3,5bn. As the CEO of MTN group, Mr. Nhleko has been appointed in 2007 to the Board of Directors of the GSM Association (GSMA), the global trade association for mobile phone operators. He served the board during a two-year term from January 2007.

MTN has always being at the forefront of innovation. In 1996, MTN was the first company to pioneer the pre-paid solution and is the first company to launch the highly acclaimed MTN Zone, the dynamic tarriffing billing system. Thanks to the enhanced MTN Zone and prepaid data offerings among others, MTN’s prepaid customers have soared to over 17 million customers.

Michael Adeniyi Agbolade Ishola Adenuga Jr is a Nigerian business tycoon, and the second richest person in Nigeria according to Forbes. He is the founder and chairman of Globacom Limited, a Nigerian multinational telecommunications company headquartered in Lagos. It currently operates in four countries in West Africa, namely: Nigeria, Republic of Benin, Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire. As of June 2009, the company has employed more than 2,500 people worldwide. Adenuga also owns stakes in Equatorial Trust Bank-now merged with the Sterling Bank, and an oil exploration firm, Conoil Plc (formerly Consolidated Oil Company).

Conoil Plc is a Nigeria-based company engaged in the marketing of refined petroleum products, manufacturing and marketing of lubricants, household and liquefied petroleum gas for domestic and industrial use. The Company operates through three segments: White products, Lubricants and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG). The White products segment is involved in the sale of premium motor spirit (PMS), aviation turbine kerosene (ATK), dual purpose kerosene (DPK), low-pour fuel oil (LPFO) and automotive gasoline/grease oil (AGO). The products under the lubricants segment are lubricants transport, lubricants industrial, greases, process oil and bitumen. Products traded under LPG segment include liquefied petroleum gas-bulk, liquefied petroleum gas-packed, cylinders and valves. The company has a huge number of employees.

BARR. ALLEN IFECHUKWU ONYEMA is the Chairman and CEO of Air Peace Limited, The Most Outstanding Nigerian Airline of the Year 2016. Allen Onyema is an outstanding Nigerian with a commendable passion for humanity. He is a lawyer by profession and a certified Kingian Nonviolence Conflict Management Expert.

Allen Onyema, is a reputable Entrepreneur whose dogged determination has contributed immensely to the growth of the Nigerian Economy creating global impact. His dedication towards philanthropy finds visible bearing in his fleet of companies – The Foundation for Ethnic Harmony in Nigeria (FEHN) – the fastest growing Civil organization in Africa, All Time Peace Media (APMC), International Center for Nonviolence and Peace Development (ICNPD) and recently he ventured into the aviation sector – Air Peace limited, Nigeria’s newest face of Aviation safety that has tremendously excelled. His main aim for going into the aviation sector was to create jobs for Nigerians as a way of giving back to society.

Air Peace comes on board with an exceptional start up coverage – Abuja, Lagos, Enugu, Port Harcourt, Asaba, Owerri, Kebbi, calabar and has continued to expand its routes. Till date he has employed over 600 Nigerians and expatriates alike. Air Peace encourages the Nigerian Military both serving and retired as they get a N10,000 rebate on all flights daily and 3 free seats making a total of 102 seats daily. Allen Onyema has also built a police station in Uli, Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State and donated it to the Police to enhance the security of the area.

Strive Masiyiwa is a London based Zimbabwean businessman and entrepreneur. He is Zimbabwe’s richest man and founder of Econet Wireless and a philanthropist of international repute who has spread his philanthropic work to several African countries, including Zimbabwe. He established a $6.4 million trust in 2012 to pay for the education of 40 students mostly orphans. He has used his wealth to provide scholarships to over 100,000 young Africans over the past 20 years through his family foundation and has as well sponsored so many students at universities in America, The United Kingdom, and China. He also supports organizations that help orphans in Zimbabwe and also funds initiatives in public health and agriculture across the African continent. Masiyiwa is a member of the Africa Progress Panel (APP), a group of ten distinguished individuals who advocate at the highest levels for equitable and sustainable development in Africa. As a Panel Member, he facilitates coalition building to leverage and broker knowledge, and convenes decision-makers to influence policy for lasting change in Africa. Masiyiwa also sits on two United Nations Advisory Panels and is the only African member of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum's Committee on Conscience.
Raymond Ackerman (born 10 March 1931) is a South African businessman, who purchased the Pick 'n Pay supermarket group from its founder, Mr. Jack Goldin (subsequent founder of the Clicks Group). He purchased four stores from Jack Goldin in the sixties. Raymond Ackerman was chairman of Pick 'n Pay until he stepped down in 2010. He is also well known for his philanthropic activities.

After graduating from the University of Cape Town with a Bachelor of Commerce, he joined the Greatermans group in the Ackermans division in 1951 at the age of 20 as a trainee manager. Ackerman was eventually offered a position at Greatermans head office in Johannesburg. In the early 1950s, food retailing supermarkets first began to appear on the scene in South Africa. Norman Herber, chairman of Greatermans decided to start a food retailer called Checkers. Ackerman was eventually put in charge of Checkers, making a resounding success of the business. Ackerman won the Outstanding Young South African award in 1965, along with Gary Player and by 1966, at the age of 35, he was the managing director of 85 Checkers stores. However, he was fired in the same year. In response, using his severance pay and a bank loan, Ackerman bought four stores in Cape Town trading under the name Pick 'n Pay. Under his leadership, Pick 'n Pay eventually grew into one of Africa's largest supermarket chains, with a thirty-seven billion Rand turnover (2006 figure) and more than 124 supermarkets, 14 hypermarkets and 179 franchised outlets. The Pick 'n Pay Group employs more than 30,000 people in several Southern African countries.

Raymond Anthony Aleogho Dokpesi is a Nigerian media businessman born in 1951 in Ibadan, Nigeria. He entered the Nigerian mass media industry with his company DAAR Communications.

In the early 1990s, as a result of the historic National Broadcasting Commission decree, according to Muyiwa Oyinlola (2004) Nigerian media was dominated by the government only. Information was only made possible from government owned broadcasting firms. However, the Head of State then General Ibrahim Babangida, issued another decree which allowed private broadcasting in Nigeria. After this decree came the first private television network in Nigeria, Africa Independent Television (AIT), pioneered by Dokpesi. AIT was Africa's first satellite Television station.

High Chief, Raymond Dokpesi decided to put his dream to reality when he conceived the idea of starting a radio station during the Ibarahim Babaginda regime when the atmosphere was conducive enough due to the deregulation of broadcasting in Nigeria. In 1994, he launched the first Nigerian private FM radio station. Two years later, he launched Africa Independent Television. Thus, becoming the pacesetter in the world of Nigeria media for the likes of Galaxy TV, Silver bird TV, MBI television, Rhythm FM and a host of others.

On 20 September 2003, Africa Independent Television launched its signals in the United States. Presently, AIT is received in America, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Europe-wide on the Hotbird satellite as well as countries within Africa.

Raymond Dokpesi is also a great supporter of education for all. He has built schools for communities and also offered scholarships to prospective students into tertiary institutions in Nigeria.