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Women entrepreneurs honoured as 2018 Awief Awards announced

The Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (Awief) has announced the eight winners of its 2018 Awief Awards. They include a Kenyan innovator who harvests drinking water from air and a South African entrepreneur who runs a fibre optic cable manufacturing company.

The awards, which took place in Cape Town on 9 November after the conclusion of the Awief conference, featured 40 finalists drawn from over 1200 applications from across the continent.

Through the awards, Awief aims to promote excellence in entrepreneurship and innovation among women-owned businesses in all sectors and across the 54 African countries.

Awief received over 1200 entries for this year’s awards

In a statement yesterday (19 November), Awief founder and CEO Irene Ochem said the finalists were “rigorously assessed” assessed in terms of terms of the sustainability of their businesses, as well as the documented or prospective impact on community development and the economy.

“Thereafter, our judges decided on five finalists in each category and one winner,” explained Ochem.

South African Nomso Faith Kana who runs fibre-optic cable manufacturing company Sun n Shield Technologies was awarded the Young Entrepreneurs Award. Kenyan innovator Beth Koigi, whose startup Majik Water harvests drinking water from air for off-grid communities in Kenya received the Tech Entrepreneur Award.

EcoPosts‘ Lorna Rutto won the Social Entrepreneur Award. Rutto’s Nairobi-based company uses recycled plastics to make durable and environmentally friendly plastic lumber for use in applications ranging from fencing to landscaping.

Other winners include SoleRebels‘ Bethlehem Tilahun-Alemu who won the Global Brand Award, Exotic EPZ‘s Jane Maigua who won the Agri-Entrepreneur Award, and Nigerian Kate Ekanem who won the Empowerment Award for Kate Tales Foundation.

Ghana’s Winnifred Selby was awarded the Creative Industry Award for Afrocentric Bamboo, while South African Wendy Luhabe of the Women’s Private Equity Fund received the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Read moreHere are the 40 finalists that were nominated for 2018 AWIEF Awards