THREE Zimbabwean business executives and entrepreneurs have been nominated for the All Africa Business Leaders Awards (AABLA), established to honour business excellence among business leaders from around the continent.
BY TATIRA ZWINOIRA
The nominees are Collen Tapfumaneyi, the chief executive officer of Escrow Group; Divine Ndhlukula, the founder and managing director of Securico Security Services and Natalie Jabangwe, the CEO of EcoCash.
The awards ceremony is held annually by the AABLA in partnership with African television network CNBC Africa.
The Zimbabwean trio was announced as finalists for the southern region at a gala dinner held in Johannesburg, South Africa, on September 20.
The AABLA grand finale to crown the All Africa winners in the particular categories will be held at an exclusive gala dinner next month.
“Considering the history and prestige of the awards, as well as the quality of previous winners, I was both shocked and excited at the same time to have been recognized at such a grand stage. Representing my country on such a platform made me feel proud to be Zimbabwean,” Tapfumaneyi said in emailed responses to NewsDay last Friday.
“There is no better feeling than to realise your effort and toil is recognised. The recognition is motivating, not only to me personally, but my team at the Escrow Group whose hardwork and commitment has culminated in this award.”
Tapfumaneyi is a finalist for the Entrepreneur of the Year award, Jabangwe has been nominated for the Young Business Leader of the Year while Ndhlukula is vying for the Businesswoman of the Year.
Tapfumaneyi was behind the creation of the country’s first mobile trading platform C-Trade allowing for direct trading from investors, and in 2016 helped create Zimbabwe’s second securities exchange, the Financial Securities Exchange (Private) Limited (FINSEC).
Ndhlukula is recognised for growing Securico into one of the leading security services providers in Zimbabwe, which has operated for the past 18 years. She was appointed the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce president in June last year, becoming the second woman in the history of the business association to be appointed to that position.
“It is an honour to be recognised, obviously, among Africa’s top business people and in particular for Zimbabweans to compete in a competition where we are competing with South Africans, Kenyans and other peoples whose economies are pretty much stable,” Ndhlukula said.
“I think it is really an extraordinary achievement for Zimbabwean companies, in particular, the three (Escrow Group, Securico Security Services and EcoCash) which is about to be its own company. It is also a huge achievement for us to be recognised when our economy is not that stable.”
Jabangwe, on the other hand, has attracted attention for her sterling achievements in growing EcoCash into the largest mobile money platform in the country with a market share of about 97%.
At the end of the first quarter of the year, Ecocash had hit 4 847 014 active mobile money subscribers.
Econet Zimbabwe, the EcoCash holding company, announced last week that it would be unbundling EcoCash from the group and list it on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange as a standalone company.
Jabangwe was not available to comment on her achievements at the time of going to print.