The Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF) has announced the 24 finalists for its awards.

AWIEF is a leading pan-African non-profit that provides business networking, information and equal opportunity platform for women business owners and entrepreneurs. And the annual AWIEF Awards identifies and celebrates the best female entrepreneurs across multiple industries in Africa.

The winners of the 2020 AWIEF Awards will be announced at the sixth edition of the annual AWIEF conference taking place virtually on December 2—3, 2020. The theme of the conference is "Reimagining Business and Rebuilding Better". Register to attend the 2020 AWIEF Virtual Conference.

The second edition of the APO Group African Women in Media Award that recognizes the support of female journalists for women entrepreneurship in Africa will also be held during AWIEF Awards.

Four out of the 24 AWIEF Awards finalists are Nigerians. They are listed in the Young Entrepreneur, Tech Entrepreneur, Social Entrepreneur, and Creative Industry Award categories.

The founder of KJK Online Communications, Olajumoke Odumola, is one of the four finalists in the Young Entrepreneur category. KJK Communications helps businesses to improve and build their online brand. It also provides digital marketing services.

Abimbola Adebakin, CEO of Advantage Health Africa, is vying for the Tech Entrepreneur Award. Advantage Health is "a health solution company rendering technology, products, and services to promote access to affordable and quality healthcare across Africa".

The founder and director of The Green Institute, Adenike Akinsemolu, is among the four finalists in the Social Entrepreneur category. The Green Institute is "the first Nigerian research institution that subsidizes college tuition cost through a waste management program".

Among the three finalists announced in the Creative Industry category is Ayanfe Olarinde, the director and curator of Unearthical. Through Unearthical, Ayanfe explores the fashion and fine art genres of photography.

Other finalists of the 2020 AWIEF Awards

In addition to the four Nigerians, a total of 24 women founders and entrepreneurs driving economic growth and development in Africa have been selected as finalists for the 2020 AWIEF Awards across eight categories.

1. Young Entrepreneur Award

  • Sazia Souza, Managing Partner, Technoplus (Mozambique)
  • Hannah Lavery, Founder, Hannah Lavery (South Africa)
  • Asomaniwaa Owusu-Ansah, Founder and Chief Pharmacist, Erith Health Services (Ghana)

2. Tech Entrepreneur Award

  • Claudette Akinpaye, Founder and Managing Director, Agrizilla (Rwanda)
  • Marlize Holtzhausen, Founder and CEO, Response24 (South Africa)

3. Social Entrepreneur Award

  • Rita Stryker, CEO, Willette Safehouse (Liberia)
  • Doris Mollel, Founder and Executive Director, Doris Mollel Foundation (Tanzania)
  • Mariam Mell'Osiime Mpaata, Founder and CEO, Junior Stars Youth Development Programme (Kenya)

4. Agri Entrepreneur Award

  • Victoria Mwafulirwa, Managing Director, Homes Industries (Malawi)
  • Jacqueline Mukashyaka, Chief Executive Officer, Champion Grocers (Rwanda)
  • Armelle Sidje Tamo, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, PRA (Product Related to Agricultural Sector (Cameroun)

5. Creative Industry Award

  • Hannellie Coetzee, Visual Artist, Wild Wall Tiles/Hannelie Coetzee (South Africa)
  • Alice Muyambo, Visual Artist, Fortitude Arts Gallery (Zambia)

6. Energy Entrepreneur Award

  • Enoyonam Mosia, Co-founder, Easy Solar (Sierra Leone)
  • Amma Serwah Boateng, Co-founder, Destra Energy Group (Ghana)

7. Empowerment Award

  • Porcho Marguerite Sogoba, CEO, MUSODEV (Mali)
  • Nasreen Aleey, Founder and CEO, Afrikapu (Kenya)
  • Qabale Duba, Founder and CEO, Qabale Duba Foundation (Kenya)

8. Lifetime Achievement Award

  • Robyn de Villiers, Chairman and CEO, BCW Africa (South Africa)
  • Daisy Molefhi, Founder and Executive Director, ABM University College (Botswana)

The 2020 AWIEF Virtual Conference: Reimagining Business and Rebuilding Better

The sixth edition of the annual AWIEF conference is supported by APO Group, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), Nedbank and Wesgro — the official tourism, trade and investment promotion agency for Cape Town and the Western Cape.

According to AWIEF, the two-day conference taking place on December 2—3, 2020, would reflect on the structures that underpin African economies as the continent emerges from COVID-19 pandemic. The conference would also explore ways to recover from the aftereffects of the global pandemic.

Stakeholders would also reflect on the role of entrepreneurship, leadership, technology and innovation, agriculture, intra-Africa trade, impact investing, women, and youth in a post-pandemic world.

Since 2015, the annual AWIEF conference has provided a platform where more than 1,300 participants and stakeholders from across the world connect and build new business relationships while engaging in thought-provoking sessions on issues such as innovation, entrepreneurship, economic empowerment for women, trade and investing in Africa.

AWIEF 2020 Virtual Conference Speakers

This year's line-up of speaker include global subject-matter experts and industry stalwarts:

  • Lana Marks, US Ambassador to South Africa;
  • Wamkele Mene, Secretary General, Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA);
  • Hon. Vera Kamtukule, Deputy Minister, Labour, Skills and Innovation, Malawi;
  • VĂ©ronique Haller, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Switzerland to South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mauritius and Namibia;
  • Landry SignĂ©, Senior Director and Full Professor at Thunderbird School of Global Management, Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Global Economy and Development Program, Distinguished Fellow at the Stanford University’s Center for African Studies;
  • Ayodele Odusola, Resident Representative, UNDP South Africa;
  • Kunle Elebute, Senior Partner, KMPG Nigeria and Chair, KMPG Africa;
  • Pat Thaker, Editorial Director, Middle East & Africa, The Economist Intelligence Unit;
  • Robyn De Villiers, Chairman & CEO: Africa, Burson Cohn & Wolfe (BCW);
  • Vanessa Adams, VP Strategic Partnerships and Chief of Party, AGRA;
  • James Mwangi, Executive Director, Dalberg Group;
  • Aida Diarra, Senior VP and Head of VISA Sub-Saharan Africa;
  • Cathy Smith, Managing Director, SAP Africa;
  • Jonathan Smit, Founder & Managing Director, PayFast;
  • Dorothy Nyambi, President & CEO, MEDA;
  • Katya Blouin, Chief Business Officer, APO Group;
  • Onyeche Tifase, Head Strategy, Technology & Innovation, Siemens Energy Industrial Applications Division;
  • Monica Delores Hooks, Executive Director, Atlanta’s Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative (WEI), USA;
  • Amith Singh, Head: Energy Finance, Nedbank;
  • Marieme Esther Dassanou, Coordinator, Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA), African Development Bank (AfDB);
  • Sara Mbago-Bhunu, Regional Director, East and Southern Africa, IFAD;
  • Moulay Lahcen Ennahli, SVP West Africa, OCP Africa;
  • Nidhi Tandon, Policy Advisor to UNWomen, East and Southern Africa Region;
  • Ononuju Irukwu, Head, Private Banking, FBN Bank UK.