Three Nigerian Women Entrepreneurs, Others for AWIEF Awards


By Precious Olisa

Three Nigerian women entrepreneurs have been selected among 24 finalists for the 2023 African Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF) awards.

The Nigerians are the CEO of Bridge Merchant Enterprise (Agri Entrepreneur Award), Ms Chinwendu Nweke; the CEO of Clean Technology Hub (Energy Entrepreneur Award), Ms Ifeoma Malo; and the co-founder/CEO of D-Olivette Global Enterprise, (Social Entrepreneur Award), Ms Damilola Aminat Adeyemi.

Launched in 2017, the annual AWIEF Awards is an initiative to recognise, honour, and celebrate women entrepreneurs and business owners in Africa across various industry sectors for their achievements and contribution to the continent’s inclusive economic growth and social development.

An international and independent panel of judges selected the 24 finalists across eight categories. These outstanding women founders and business leaders operate in a diverse range of sectors and represent companies from 14 different African countries: Cameroon, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

The 2023 AWIEF Awards winners will be announced and celebrated at a special ceremony and gala dinner at the AWIEF 2023 Conference and Awards, taking place on November 9 and 10 at the Kigali Convention Centre, Kigali, Rwanda.

The founder and CEO of AWIEF, Mrs Irene Ochem, said, “Given the huge number and calibre of the nominations received this year, it is clear that female entrepreneurship and business leadership is thriving across Africa.

“It is our honour to recognise and celebrate the achievements and contributions of these women to the inclusive growth of their respective sectors, their countries and the continent’s economy.”

A member of the 2023 AWIEF Awards panel of judges, Mr John-Paul Iwuoha, said, “As a judge, I was thoroughly impressed by the quality of applications in all the categories. It is great to see how AWIEF continues to attract innovative women across Africa who are creating enormous value for society.”

The finalists for the 2023 AWIEF Awards are (listed in alphabetical order):

Young Entrepreneur Award

Salamba Diene, CEO, BIOSENE SARL, Senegal

Joyce Kamande, Co-founder & CEO, Safi Organics, Kenya

Jovia Kisakye, CEO, Sparkle Agro Brand, Uganda

Tech Entrepreneur Award

Norah Magero, Founder & CEO, Drop Access Limited, Kenya

Kathryn Malherbe, CEO, Med Sol AI Solutions, South Africa

Kidist Tesfaye, Founder & CEO, YeneHealth, Ethiopia

Agri Entrepreneur Award

Chinwendu Nweke, CEO, Bridge Merchant Enterprise, Nigeria

Forget Shareka, Founder, Chashi Foods, Zimbabwe

Nonopa Tenza, Founder & MD, Kevinot Farming, South Africa

Energy Entrepreneur Award

Linda Mabhena-Olagunju, Founder & CEO, DLO Energy Resources Group, South Africa

Ifeoma Malo, CEO, Clean Technology Hub, Nigeria

Margaret Yainkain Mansaray, Founder & CEO, Women in Energy Sierra Leone Limited, Sierra Leone

Creative Industry Award

Yasmina Belahsen, Founder, MayaDigital, Morocco

Gladys Chibanda, Founder & CEO, Krafted Ink, Zimbabwe

Ararat Tamirat, Founder & GM, Tuba By Ararat, Ethiopia

Social Entrepreneur Award

Damilola Aminat Adeyemi, Co-founder & CEO, D-Olivette Global Enterprise, Nigeria

Kayumba Chiwele, Founder & Principal Psychologist, MindAid Zambia, Zambia

Mundih Noelar Njohjam, Medical Doctor, Epilepsy Awareness, Aid and Research Association, Cameroon

Empowerment Award

Aya Chebbi, Founder & President, Nalafem Collective, Tunisia Zulfat Mukarubega, Founder, University of Tourism, Technology and Business Studies, Rwanda

Catherine Wijnberg, Founder & CEO, Fetola, South Africa

Lifetime Achievement Award

Rina Gunter, Founding Partner, Gunter Attorneys, South Africa

Dalia Ibrahim, CEO, Nahdet Misr Publishing House, Egypt

Anke Weisheit, Co-founder & Chair, PHARMBIOTRAC, Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Uganda

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