IPP Executive Chairman Dr Reginald Mengi has become the first Tanzanians to win the annual international Business for Peace Award. It will be presented to him and six other prominent members of the world business community at a ceremony in Oslo on Monday.
The award is the highest form of recognition that can be bestowed upon a person engaged in business.
Aloys Mwamanga, President of the Tanzania Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (TCCIA), told journalists in Dar es Salaam yesterday that the award is organised by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the Oslo-based Business for Peace Foundation.
He noted that TCCIA, which is an ICC member, serves as the coordinator of the award in Tanzania.
“TCCIA sincerely congratulates Dr Mengi on this award, but more importantly for making Tanzania proud and visible globally. We call upon other businesspersons to emulate him by sharing their success with their underprivileged compatriots as a way of supporting the war on poverty and vices in society,” he added. Announcing the winners for 2012, the Awards Committee of Nobel Laureates said in a letter to TCCIA and the organising coordinator that Dr Mengi was among 90 strong nominees for the prestigious award from more than 60 countries.
Mwamanga explained that Tanzania (through TCCIA) had submitted four other contenders, “who equally did well but who did not emerge winners for this year”.
He said this was the first time for Tanzania to participate in this process and the first time to be represented by a winning nominee.
The other winners of the 2012 Award, with their countries in brackets, are Ibrahim Abouleish (Egypt), Anil Agarwal (India), Eduardo Eunekian (Argentina),Vladas Lasas (Lithuania), David W. Maclennan (US), and Latifur Rahman (Bangladesh).
Mwamanga described the seven honourees as “businesspersons who, through their own actions and commitments, promote socially responsible and ethical business practices in an outstanding way and stand out as examples to others”.
The TCCIA president said the Business for Peace Award is meant to accelerate the development of ethical business practices by enhancing public awareness of the benefits of conducting business ethically.
“The vision is to inspire and encourage business people to foster peace and stability for the benefit of humanity,” he noted, elaborating: “A key goal is to seek to increase awareness of ethical business practices and to influence and redefine the public’s perception of what it means to be a successful businessperson.” He said success in business success is these days primarily measured through the one-dimensional prism of financial success, adding: “Through introducing the broader normative concept of the worthiness of business, the aim is to add to the public image of what constitutes success.”
The award-giving process started with the ICC receiving the nominees’ list through its global network of chambers of commerce and national committees until the names of the 90 nominees were shortlisted and submitted.
Previous recipients of the award include leaders and entrepreneurs from large and small businesses alike: Ratan Tata (India), Francis Yeoh (Malaysia), Venkataramani Srivathsan (Saudi Arabia), Zhengrong Shi (China/Australia) and Josephine Okot (Uganda).
Only days ago, Dr Mengi was honoured with two international awards at a historic ceremony in Dar es Salaam in recognition of his contribution to the development of humankind at national, regional and global levels. These are the 2010 Global Leadership and Humanitarian Award and the first United Nations NGO Lifetime Achievement Award.
He accepted the awards with an impassioned appeal to the rich in Tanzania and around the globe to share their wealth selflessly with the poor and disadvantaged, including people with disabilities.