PUBLICATION:  ITNEWS AFRICA
DATE:  13 NOVEMBER 2008

 
Two SA companies to win R3.5 million technology awards
November 13, 2008 in Top Stories
TWO information technology companies have made the list of 10 finalists for the OTF – Legatum Pioneers of Prosperity Awards, which carry a total of US$350 000 (about R3,5 million).

Integr8IT Pty Ltd, a South African information technology and communications company, and Regional Reach Limited K24TV KAMEME FM, an information technology and communications business entity from Kenya, have both been nominated for the prestigious awards, whose ceremony will be held in Kigali, Rwanda, on November 19.
The awards, in their second year, are aimed at identifying, showcasing and rewarding entrepreneurs across the African continent.
Legatum, a privately owned international investment group, in collaboration with the OTF Group and the Social Equity Venture (S.E.VEN) Fund, named the 10 companies on Monday, out of more than 1 400 entries.
Announcing the companies, Legatum managing director, Alan McCormick, said the finalists were selected for being some of the most talented entrepreneurs in Africa, representing a new generation of business owners who have demonstrated the qualities of ingenuity, a commitment to business excellence, innovation and profitability.
“The Legatum Pioneers of Prosperity Africa Award is one of a kind that identifies and recognises the very best business leaders in Africa, who also serve as role models to talented young people across the continent,” said McCormick.
His OTF counterpart, Eric Kacou, echoed the same sentiments, when he described the finalists, drawn from seven African countries, as representing a fascinating mix of enterprises, with each one of them having a compelling success story to tell.
“Whatever the final results, every one of them are winners. With four women entrepreneurs among the finalists, we also see evidence of a dynamic trend in entrepreneurship across the continent,” said Kacou.
The other finalists are Athena Foods LTD, an agricultural business from Ghana, AAR Health from Kenya, United Africa Group, a financial services company from Namibia and Superflux International Limited, a manufacturing business from Nigeria.
Also nominated for the awards were Gahaya Links, a wholesale trade firm from Rwanda, Anamazing Workshop Pty Ltd, a media organisation from South Africa, Africa Polysack Industries Limited, a manufacturing company from Uganda and Safi Cleaning Services from Uganda.
The prize money will be distributed to six winners at next Wednesday’s award ceremony, with the funds directed towards growth and strategic re-investment in their businesses.
Over 1,400 small and medium-sized enterprises from Botswana, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa and Uganda submitted applications.
The number was narrowed down to 31 semi-finalists, who represented businesses ranging from small enterprises with 10 employees up to medium-sized firms with 800 members of staff.
They also covered diverse industry sectors including manufacturing, healthcare, agriculture, financial services, media, ICT services, education and wholesale trade.
Last year’s awards, also held in Kigali, attracted over 450 firms from five countries in east Africa and saw AAA Growers winning the Grand Prize, while Good African Coffee and Entreprise Urwibutso, KenCall, Tele–10 and Virtual City were also honoured, during a ceremony hosted by Rwandan President Paul Kagame, who will again play the same role this year.
Mpendulo Ngwenya, Johannesburg