Finalists and judging panel announced for the 10th All Africa Business Leaders Awards

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The highly anticipated 10th edition of the All Africa Business Leaders Awards (AABLA) in partnership with CNBC Africa is set to take place on Friday, 3 June at The Sun City Superbowl after a two-year pandemic hiatus. And to celebrate the return of this signature business event, organisers have announced another quality judging panel alongside a list of finalists, all of whom are renowned African visionaries of the business world. 

“It’s wonderful that we’re finally able to celebrate distinguished leaders on the African continent in person again,” said Roberta Naicker, managing director for the ABN Group. “I’d like to congratulate everyone who made it to the list of finalists. Each nominee is analysed on the values of strength, innovation, ingenuity, knowledge and foresight that have created some of the most powerful businesses in a Pan-African and global economy. The task of assessing the impact of our many candidates is an incredibly difficult one, which is why we’re also proud to announce our panel of professionals to award those who exemplify the best in African leadership.”

Finalists for the 2022 All Africa Business Leaders Awards

Chief Financial Officer of the Year                           

·        Lolu Akinyemi: Lafarge

·        Mukhtar Adam: Zenith Bank

·        Modupe Kadri: MTN

·        Boipelo Lekubo: Harmony Gold

Business Woman of the Year Finalists                    

·        Shirley Machaba: PWC

·        Winnie Ngumi: Space and Style

·        Naseem Lahri: Lucara Botswana

·        Miriam Olusanya: Guaranty Trust Bank

Industrialist of the Year Finalists                              

·        Ndumiso Madlala: Soweto Gold

·        Portia Mngomezulu: Portia M

Business Leader of the Year Finalists                      

·        Mxolisi Mgojo: Exxaro

·        Segun Ogunsanya: Airtel

·        Ralph Muphita: MTN

Company of the Year Finalists                   

·        Multichoice

·        MTN

·        Safaricom

Young Business Leader of the Year Finalist                          

·        Theo Baloyi: Bathu

·        Lekau Sehoana: Drip Footwear

·        William Elong: Will Brothers

Innovator of the Year                   

·        Sim Shagaya: uLesson

·        Brett Thompson: Mzansi Meat

·        Katlego Maphai: Yoco

·        Arnold Nyendwa: AFNON Tech Industries Ltd

Judges for the 2022 All Africa Business Leaders Awards

The judging will take place as an open roundtable discussion, covering the merits of each entry in relation to the category brief. Entries are scored by consensus against judging criteria to achieve a verdict.

–        Head judge is Sam Bhembe: Founding Director ABN Group

Bhembe is a founding director of the ABN360 Group with an extensive career in the economics sector. Starting as a teacher of economics, he rose to managing executive at Nedbank. He was also vice president at the Industrial Development Corporation, and has sat on the boards of Kimberly-Clark South Africa, Mondi South Africa, and Hans Merensky. He was a trustee at the Nedbank Foundation as the Chairman, St David’s Marist College as the Deputy Chairman, and at the National Film and Video Foundation of South Africa.

–        Geoffrey Qhena: Non-Executive Director Exxaro Resources

A chartered accountant, non-executive independent member of Investec Bank and the chairperson of the South African Airways interim board, Qhena has extensive board leadership, as well as having served as CFO and CEO of the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa (IDC).

–        Godfrey Mutizwa: Editor-in-Chief CNBC Africa

Mutizwa has covered African business affairs for the past 36 years across print and broadcast media, working for both regional and international media. He spent a decade at Bloomberg News and Reuters, as well as being in charge of CNBC Africa’s editorial content and policy, and moderating high-level debates for banking institutions.

–        Renuka Methil: Managing Editor Forbes Africa

Renuka Methil is the managing editor of FORBES AFRICA and FORBES WOMAN AFRICA, both award-winning pan-African titles published by the ABN Group, and has been with the group for over eight years in Africa. She has covered the emerging economies of India, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Africa working with leading publications. She is the recipient of the 2019 Global Women Super Achiever Award at the 6th World Women Leadership Congress and Awards.

–        Jon Foster-Pedley: Dean and Director of Henley Africa

Foster-Pedley is a former pilot and senior executive in the European aerospace industry. For nearly 30 years, he has been an academic or business school leader, specialising in strategy and learning. He has guided and facilitated international and local multicultural sales, marketing and management teams; while also working as a consultant, coach, a writer and speaker. He is currently the Chairman of the British Chamber of Business for Southern Africa.

–     Dr Stavros Nicolaou: Group Senior Executive, Strategic Trade for Aspen Pharma Group

Nicolaou was previously CEO of Aspen’s Export Business with Aspen Africa’s largest pharmaceutical manufacturer and a world leader in anaesthetics and injectable anti-coagulants. Aspen is one of South Africa’s most globalised multinational companies, with Nicolaou instrumental in introducing the first generic ARV’s on the African Continent.

–        Prof Sarah Chiumbu: Associate Professor Department of Communication and Media School of Communication University of Johannesburg

Before joining the department in 2018, Chiumbu was the senior research specialist in the Human and Social Development Research Programme at the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC). She also spent time at the University of the Witwatersrand where she was a senior lecturer in media and communication studies. She holds a PhD and MA in media studies from the University of Oslo, Norway.

–        Diane Karusisi: CEO Bank of Kigali Group

Under her leadership, the largest financial services group in Rwanda has undergone an extensive digital transformation journey. Karusisi has driven the expansion of BK Group into General Insurance, Investment Banking and Technology. Before joining BK Group, she served as the Head of Strategy & Policy and Chief Economist at the office of the President of the Republic in Rwanda.

–        Biola Alabi: CEO of Biola Alabi Media

This award-winning filmmaker, entrepreneur, investor, public speaker, and television anchor heads the fast-growing media company dedicated to telling authentic African stories to the world. She is the founder of leadership development programme ‘Grooming for Greatness’ and a Non-Executive Director of Unilever Nigeria.

CNBC Africa is also hosting its 15th annual Corporate Golf Challenge at the Lost City Golf Course on Saturday, 4 June. This forms part of the group’s fundraising efforts for the Africa Business News (ABN) Education Trust, which helps young people from previously disadvantaged backgrounds pursue an education in commerce, media, or business journalism.

The 2022 All Africa Business Leaders Awards are proudly presented in partnership with CNBC Africa, FORBES AFRICA, SNG Grant Thornton, Henley Business School Africa, the Gautrain and Olivia Jones Communications.

For more information regarding the All Africa Business Leaders Awards, please visit, or contact:



Events: Events: Alice Maile|