Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), has been named the African of the Year at the 2019 All Africa Business Leaders Awards (AABLA), in recognition for his bold leadership and the innovation of the Africa Investment Forum which “opened up billions of dollars of investment into the continent.”
The ninth edition of the awards, organized by AABLA in conjunction with CNBC Africa, seeks to honour leaders who have contributed and shaped the African economy.
The Africa Investment Forum (https://AfricaInvestmentForum.com/), inaugurated in 2018, has been a trailblazer in tilting investments into the continent. The second edition of the Forum which was held in Johannesburg, South Africa ended on 13 November. It was attended by over 2,000 delegates and secured investor interest worth $40.1 billion – up from $37.1 billion the previous year.
“It is indeed a great honour especially since my heartbeat is to serve the people of Africa,” Dr Adesina said during the exclusive gala dinner held at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg last week.
The AfDB president went on to label Africans as the inspiration that drives him to push for reforms that will in the long run change the continent for the better.
The awards are decided by a jury of continent-wide judges led by Sam Bhembe, CNBC Africa Non-Executive Director, following evaluation of a shortlist of finalists to determine the overall category winners.
Mr. Bhembe said the award reflected how the winner would “shape the future of the African continent,” and that the winner would brace the cover of a special edition of Forbes Africa.
In other categories of the 2019 awards, Nigerian Co-Founder of Kobo360, Obi Ozor won Young Business Leader of the Year; Naspers CEO: South Africa, Phuthi Mahanyele-Dabengwa took the Business Woman of the Year award; while Nedbank, won the Company of the Year award.