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Monday, August 23, 2010

ICT firms scramble for entrepreneurship awards 2010

Over 2,000 firms are now scrambling for the 2010 Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship, including Information and Communication Technology (ICT) entities from Nigeria among other 14 African countries for the 2010 session.

The Entrepreneurship awards is organised by Legatum, a privately owned international investment group based in Dubai, in conjunction with Omidyar Network, a philanthropic investment firm, which promotes commerce as a driving force on the continent of Africa for economic growth.

ITRealms Online gathered that the some ICT firms in the country have expressed interest in contesting for the 2010 Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship, including Teledom, Omatek, Zinox, SystemSpecs to name a few.

Confirming this, the Managing Director, Legatum, Mr. Alan McCormick, said that the Africa Awards focuses on celebrating the standards of business excellence within Africa and building a strong network of African entrepreneurs as a source of learning and shared best practices.

According to him, the total number of entries has exceeded previous years by 40 per cent with over 2,000 companies making entries to compete for the grand prize of US$ 100,000, about N15 million and five other prizes of US$ 50,000, estimated N7.5m, each.

He pointed out that the competition remains open for applications at www.AfricaAwards.com, until Tuesday, August 31, 2010.

“This year’s Africa Awards has far surpassed our expectations and sends the message again that Africa is open for business. We know that entrepreneurs play a vital role in the development of any economy and through the Africa Awards, Legatum is able to identify and support the leaders of remarkable companies and the contribution they are making to promoting prosperity across the continent,” McCormick.

He also said, entrepreneurs from 15 countries on the continent are participating in the 2010 awards and submissions are being accepted from Botswana, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zambia.

McCormick noted that a total of US$350,000 will be awarded to the winners, with the funds directed towards growth and strategic reinvestment within the respective companies, stressing that the competition is open to all profitable businesses that have been in existence for a minimum of three years and have annual revenues between US$2-$25 million.

“With the August 31 deadline for applications fast approaching, interested companies are encouraged to visit the Africa Awards website soon to ensure their submissions are included,” he said.

Finalists, he said, would be invited to make formal presentations to an international jury of business leaders, entrepreneurs and investors in Ghana early this December.

Equally, the Managing Director, Omidyar Network, Mr. Matt Bannick said his firm and Legatum share the conviction that entrepreneurs are vital to creating new opportunities in Africa.

“As we approach the final weeks of the entry period, we encourage dynamic business leaders to share how they are driving innovation, economic growth and opportunity across the continent,” he concluded.


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