The Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF) has announced the winners of the 2023 AWIEF Awards.
Tailored for women entrepreneurs, the AWIEF Awards recognises, honors, and celebrates outstanding innovators and business owners in Africa and across industry sectors, for their economic performance and contribution to Africa’s growth and social development.
Held at Kigali, Rwanda, the winners include inspirational and outstanding African women entrepreneurs who excelled this year in creating opportunities and positively impacting lives and communities, driving growth for Africa.
Out of the 24 innovative women founders and entrepreneurs selected in September as top finalists by an international and independent panel of judges, 8 winners emerged.
This year’s event unveiled the inaugural AWIEF Lifetime Leadership Award which was bestowed on Fatma Samoura, FIFA Secretary General, in recognition of her outstanding leadership and contributions to the world of sports. It was also a tribute to her inspiring impact and accomplishments on a global scale, as the first non-European, the first African and first-ever female to lead FIFA as Secretary General in its 116-year history.
Fatma Samoura has shown exceptional leadership in such a male-dominated sector as sports, and in particular, football. She has played a key role in increasing the prize money for the Women’s World Cup and promoting gender equality in football. She is an inspirational role model for other women, and we are truly excited about honoring and celebrating her tonight.
Winners of AWIEF Awards 2023
- Young Entrepreneur Award – Salamba Diene, CEO, Biosene Sarl, Senegal, is a young entrepreneur and scientist who is passionate about using technology to solve environmental problems. Her company develops and produces biofertilizers and biopesticides that are safe for the environment and help farmers to increase their crop yields.
- Tech Entrepreneur Award: Kidist Tesfaye, Founder and CEO of YeneHealth in Ethiopia, is a tech entrepreneur who is using technology to improve access to healthcare in Africa. Her company provides an affordable and accessible telemedicine platform that connects patients with doctors and other healthcare professionals remotely, supporting African girls & women in achieving their reproductive health goals.
- Agri Entrepreneur Award: Nonopa Tenza, Founder and MD of Kevinot Farming in South Africa, is an agri entrepreneur who is passionate about empowering rural communities through sustainable agriculture. Her company provides training and support to small-scale farmers, helping them to improve their productivity and profitability.
- Energy Entrepreneur Award: Ifeoma Malo, Co-Founder and CEO of Clean Technology Hub in Nigeria, is an energy entrepreneur who is working to make renewable energy more accessible and affordable in Africa. Her company provides solar power solutions to businesses and households, helping them to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels and save money on their energy bills.
- Creative Industry Award: Yasmina Belahsen, Founder of MayaDigital in Morocco, is a creative entrepreneur who is using technology to promote Moroccan culture and heritage. Her company develops and produces digital content, including apps, games, and animations, that showcase the best of Moroccan culture to a global audience.
- Social Entrepreneur Award: Mundih Noelar Njohjam, Medical Doctor and Founder of the Epilepsy Awareness, Aid & Research Association (EARA) in Cameroon, is a social entrepreneur who is dedicated to improving the lives of people with epilepsy in Africa. EARA provides support and education to people with epilepsy and their families, and advocates for better access to healthcare and social services.
- Empowerment Award: Zulfat Makarubega, Founder of the University of Tourism, Technology & Business Studies (UTB) in Rwanda, is an empowerment advocate and entrepreneur who is passionate about empowering women and youth through education and skills development. UTB is a private university that offers affordable and high-quality education in tourism, technology, and business studies.
- Lifetime Achievement Award: Dalia Ibrahim, CEO of Nahdet Misr Publishing House in Egypt, is a businesswoman and publisher who has made significant contributions to the development of the publishing industry in the Arab world. Nahdet Misr is one of the largest and most prestigious publishing houses in the Arab world, and it publishes a wide range of books, including fiction, non-fiction, children’s books, and textbooks.