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MTN, Yoco win African business leaders awards

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Qaqamba Mgengo and Bianca Muratu, Yoco South Africa’s account managers.
Qaqamba Mgengo and Bianca Muratu, Yoco South Africa’s account managers.

Local firms MTN Group and Yoco were among the African companies that scooped top awards at the 10th edition of the All Africa Business Leaders Awards (AABLA), held in partnership with CNBC Africa and Henley Business School Africa.

Introduced in 2012 by Australia-based construction, property and finance company ABN Group, the AABLA acknowledge business perseverance, success and innovation across the African continent.

The awards recognise and honour African business leaders who advocate for positive change and are committed to social and economic transformation on the continent, according to a statement.

They also seek to celebrate the achievements of organisations that thrive through adding value to the societies they serve within the continent and beyond.

After a two-year pandemic hiatus, Africa’s business leaders and innovators had the opportunity to meet in person at the 10th edition of the AABLA, presented on Friday.

South African multinational telco MTN Group scooped the award for the All Africa Company of the Year category, and local fintech Yoco received the All Africa Innovator of the Year award.

Yoco is a financial platform that develops omni-channel payment solutions for merchants serving over 230 000 business owners, and processes more than $2 billion in transactions annually.

Bianca Muratu, senior key account manager at Yoco, told ITWeb: “We are extremely excited to be awarded as Innovator of the Year − it's been an incredible and exciting journey.

“We are building a growing ecosystem of financial software and tools to help our customers grow. We are now concentrating on providing them with every tool they need to get paid and run a successful business.

“We are confident the hard work we have put in to establish Yoco as a strong global financial services provider, with very solid technology and talent foundations, has positioned us well to quickly achieve, and exceed, our vision.”

Nompilo Morafo, group chief sustainability and corporate affairs officer at MTN Group.
Nompilo Morafo, group chief sustainability and corporate affairs officer at MTN Group.

The 2022 AABLA judging panel consisted of a line-up of professionals headed up by Sam Bhembe, founding director of ABN Group.

Entries were scored by consensus against judging criteria to achieve a verdict.

“I’d like to extend our heartfelt congratulations to all the 2022 award-winners and nominees. It was great that we were able to celebrate their accomplishments in-person this year, and take a moment to acknowledge the sterling work being done, despite the incredibly challenging circumstances,” says Roberta Naicker, MD of the ABN Group.

“The quality of leadership and talent in Africa is extensive, so I’d also like to say a big ‘thank you’ to our esteemed judging panel.”

The AABLA 2022 winners:

1. All Africa Business Leader of the Year

Mxolisi Mgojo, CEO of Exxaro.

2. All Africa Business Woman of the Year

Shirley Machaba, CEO of PwC Southern Africa.

3. All Africa Young Business Leader of the Year

Theo Baloyi, CEO of Bathu Shoes.

4. All Africa Chief Financial Officer of the Year

Boipelo Lekubo, financial director of Harmony Gold.

5. All Africa Industrialist of the Year

Portia Mngomezulu, founder of Portia M Skin Solutions.

6. All Africa Company of the Year

MTN Group.

7. All Africa Innovator of the Year

Yoco South Africa.

8. All Africa Philanthropist of the Year

Tsitsi Masiyiwa, co-founder and executive chairman of Higherlife Foundation.

9. All Africa Lifetime Achievement Award

Dr Reuel J Khoza, chairman of Aka Capital.

10. 2022 Forbes Woman Africa Impact in Leadership Award

Naseem Lahri, MD of Lucara Diamonds, Botswana.

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