Two local firms among six African finalists for AFIF Award

11Jan 2017
Prosper Makene
The Guardian
Two local firms among six African finalists for AFIF Award

TWO local firms, Kimolo Super Rice which specialized in processing and marketing branded rice and sunflower oil and EcoAct Limited which deals with urban waste management,

Lazaro Mwakipesile (with trophy) after winning AFIF Award last year

are among six African firms in the finals of Africa Finance and Investment Forum (AFIF) Entrepreneurship Award 2017.

The AFIF entrepreneurship award 2017 presentation ceremony which will be held in Nairobi, Kenya next month, is convened by European Marketing Research Centre (EMRC) and supported by Rabobank Foundation.

A record 51 projects from around the continent, took part in the competition which recognizes innovation and entrepreneurship.

“We are delighted to announce the finalists for the AFIF Entrepreneurship Award 2017 after a really difficult selection process. The innovation and creativity of African-based SMEs makes our job more difficult every year. We look forward to welcoming these and many more entrepreneurs at the AFIF 2017 in Nairobi,” Ines Bastos, Senior Project Manager for AFIF, said.

Other finalists are from Ethiopia, Kenya and Nigeria and have been picked because of their social, economic and ecological impact in addition to their potential for growth and job creation.

Firms which join the two local peers are: Aybar Engineering from Ethiopia. The company has developed the “Aybar BBM,” a technology that prevents excess water from suffocating crops and stores it for later use. There is no other similar technology in the market currently.

The R n G Company Limited from Kenya, sells packaged groundnut inoculums, a bio-fertilizer that ensures a more efficient groundnut production. It also collects the groundnuts from local farmers to produce affordable cooking oil.

EuroFresh Exotics also from Kenya produces and exports fresh fruits and vegetables using innovative farming techniques. The firm also organizes capacity building training for smallholder farmers.

Nigerian based First Atlantic Semiconductors and Microelectronics has developed the “Zenvus”, an intelligent solution to collect soil data using a system of electronic sensors and enables to improve farming productivity.

The AFIF Entrepreneurship Award aims to provide African-based innovative small and medium size enterprises with support to grow their businesses.

The six finalists will receive a free accreditation to join the AFIF 2017 full programme conferences and be eligible for training, business to business (B2B) meetings and networking opportunities. The award winner will also receive a cash prize and a yearlong national and international media promotion.

Local firm, Raphael Group won AFIF Award last year which is jointly organized by Brussels-based European Marketing Research Centre (EMRC) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

“I am now internationally known,” said Lazaro Mwakipesile General Manager of Raphael Group adding that last year he travelled abroad four times to present his company to international audiences.

“I expect to travel to the United States soon for a meeting with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation,” Mwakipesile revealed.

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