CATEGORY THREE: AFRICA’S BEACONS OF HOPE FOR OUTSTANDING BUSINESS MANAGERS AWARDS -to recognize Top-Ten African business icons who took over family businesses and have turn around the fortunes of such businesses, expanding their scopes, improving quality, increasing productivity and creating more job opportunities for Africans.
The Awardees are:
In 1972, Uganda dictator Idi Amin expelled all Asians from Uganda, regardless of citizenship. Mayur, with other family members relocated to London. After Amin was deposed in 1979, the Madhvanis returned to Uganda and reclaimed their assets. And after a period of reassessment by the shareholders, Mayur was named the Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Kakira Sugar Works (KSW), the flagship company of the Madhvani Group. Under his stewardship, he has steered KSW to become the largest producer of refined sugar in East Africa.
As Group CEO, Madhvani has led the group to diversify into other areas such as electricity generation, insurance, construction and hospitality, in addition to agriculture, the traditional focus of the group. He is also the political head of the Muljibhai Madhvani Foundation, a charitable trust that was established in 1962, just before Uganda gained its independence, to honor the vision of Muljibhai Madhvani (14 May 1894 – 11 July 1958). The foundation awards scholarships to deserving undergraduate and postgraduate university students to study in Ugandan universities. One of the foundation's primary objectives is to maintain and promote scientific and technical education among the people of Uganda.
Bidco Africa is the sponsor of Bidco United Football Club an association football club based in Kenya competing in the Kenyan National Super League, and Bul FC a Ugandan football club based in Jinja and plays in the Ugandan Super League.
Alhaji Dantata currently serves as the President/CEO of TAMIDAN GROUP Nigeria Ltd, the parent company for Dantata Foods & Allied Products Ltd (DFAP).
Gareth is also chairman and co-founder of Pleiad Capital Management, which engages in private equity investment and corporate finance and strategic consulting advisory activities. He is a trustee of the Ackerman and Pick n Pay Foundations, which engage in philanthropic and charitable activities and a passionate contributor to the issue of global food security and sustainable development.
Pick n Pay is the second largest supermarket chain store in South Africa, established in 1967. It can also be found in other regions of southern Africa, such as Botswana, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, and Namibia as well as Mauritius and had planned to open in Malawi soon.
The founder of the chain was Jack Goldin, he was born in Obeliai Lithuania but moved to South Africa when the Nazis invaded his town. Raymond Ackerman, Gareth’s father, purchased three Pick n Pay supermarkets (in Cape Town) from Goldin, and served as executive chairman until his retirement in 2010. His eldest son, Gareth, took over as the chairm and turn around the fortune of the company to what it is today.
Nassef oversaw the construction activities as the CEO of Orascom since 1990 and he is the secret behind the success story of Orascom Construction Industries since the company's incorporation in 1998. He was also a board member of NASDAQ Dubai from July 2008 - June 2010 where his is still a board member. He currently sits on the boards of Besix (Belgium) and NNS Holding (Luxembourg), and is a director at Lafarge Holcim.
Nassef Sawiris also runs OCI, one of the largest nitrogen fertilizer producers in the world. It has plants in Texas, and is building facilities in Iowa. Originally Orascom Construction Industries, Sawiris split the company into two entities in 2015. Orascom Construction now trades on Egypt's exchange and Nasdaq Dubai, while OCI, the fertilizer and chemicals business, trades on the Euronext Amsterdam exchange. Sawiris also owns nearly 5% of cement giant Lafarge Holcim, and 7% of Adidas.
A University of Chicago graduate, Nassef donated $20 million to the school in 2015 to establish a scholarship program named after his father, Onsi. The funds benefit Egyptian students in the school.
Starting in 1957, Ibru was a pioneer in distributing frozen fish in Nigeria. Although freshwater fishing was a major agricultural activity in Nigeria at the time, Ibru saw that this would change with economic development, opening a market for frozen fish. At first, he ran into technical problems with supply and also met consumer resistance. The two joint ventures both failed. He then formed Ibru Sea Foods as the sole owner, importing the frozen fish and at first trading from the back of a truck. He expanded quickly, chartering his first fishing boat in 1963, and in 1965 founding a fishing company with three freezer trawlers as a joint venture with a Japanese firm.
Despite setbacks, the fishing fleet had grown to as many as 25 trawlers in the 1970s, and Ibru had 200 transport vehicles. Ibru had also expanded into vehicle distribution and fruit growing.
BMCE Bank is a large commercial bank in Morocco. According to the company's website, it operates over 500 branches in Morocco alone and has offices in France, Spain, United Kingdom, China, Italy, Germany, UAE, Belgium, Canada and Netherlands.
Tunde Folawiyo is Chairman of the Yinka Folawiyo Group, an organisation with interests in energy, agriculture, shipping, and real estate. A conglomerate that was founded by his father, Wahab Folawiyo, Tunde took over the organisation in 2008 when his father passed on. He also serves as Director of MTN Nigeria Ltd, Executive Director of Yinka Folawiyo Group of Companies. Tunde also founded Folawiyo Energy Ltd, a subsidiary of the Yinka Folawiyo Group of Companies.
In 2010, Tunde was the recipient of the African Leadership Award. He is a member of the global advisory board of the African Leadership Academy, a pan-African institute dedicated to developing and mentoring new generations of African leaders. He is also a fellow of the Duke of Edinburgh’s World Fellowship.
Upon graduation from university, Dewji returned home and assumed the management of Mohammed Enterprises Tanzania Limited (METL), a commodities trading business founded by his father. After two years of working with the company, he became Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at MeTL. In the early 2000s when the Tanzanian government privatized loss-making companies, he acquired them inexpensively and turned them into profit centers by trimming personnel expenses. MeTL Group of Companies is the largest privately owned conglomerate in Tanzania.
Mohammed Dewji is known for his commitment to the advancement of Tanzania most notably in Singida where he improved the number of people with access to clean water from 23% to 75% during his tenure as MP. Dewji established the Mo Dewji Foundation in 2014, covering educational assistance, improving accessibility to basic needs such as water and healthcare and agri-business community projects. Dewji has visited donation sites and patients, and played a key role in encouraging others about the importance of philanthropy. Dewji has spent more than US$3 million on projects that have directly improved the lives of Tanzanians. He is the first Tanzanian and one of the three Africans that have made the pledge in this group of 150+ billionaires, including Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Mark Zuckerberg, Strive Masiyiwa and Patrice Motsepe.
Jeffrey Wapnick’s companies, Octodec and Premium are regarded as being among the leading companies in the field of real estate space in the Gauteng region of South Africa, with particular interest in the middle to upper end residential sector of the market.
Jeffrey Wapnick has held the triple role of Managing Director at Octodec Investments Ltd, Premium Properties Ltd and City Property Administration since 1998 as well as a number of associated companies, having taken over the running of the company from his father Alex Wapnick, who founded the Pretoria-based company in nineteen thirty-eight. The Wapnick family is known for their generous contributions towards the building and maintaining of public parks throughout Israel.