The Africa CEO Forum awards leaders: Ethiopian clinches top prize

The Africa CEO forum went into overdrive Tuesday night with four awards being dished out to some of Africa’s finest business entities. The winners have impacted the continent with their leadership and have the potential to becoming multinationals.

The list of nominees for the inaugural Africa CEO awards was quite long and impressive too, 37 in all, vying for four awards: Private Equity Investor of the Year, International Corporation of the year, African Company of the year and CEO of the year.

Organised under the auspices of the African Development Bank and Groupe Jeune Afrique, The Africa CEO Awards are a thumbs up for companies and investors who have demonstrated a continued determination to advance the continent’s development by virtue of their promotion and development of the African private sector, intra-African trade, regional integration as well as Social and Environmental responsibility.

There was little surprise when Tewolde Gabremariam of Ethiopian Airlines clinched the most coveted CEO of the year award. Explaining that the success of the company comes from the “total independence” of its corporate governance, the public owned Ethiopian airlines is one of the most dynamic and profitable airlines in Africa, with 80 destinations. It joined the global Star Alliance at the end of 2011 and was the first African company to start flying the Boeing 787 Dreamliner last September. Tewolde Gabremariam who became CEO of the company in 2010, is the quintessential image of the CEO who has climbed through the ranks since joining the Airlines in 1985 as an agent at Addis Ababa Airport.

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