South African entrepreneurs flew the flag high after they were recognised for their contributions at the Forty Under 40 Africa Awards.
The awards took place on Saturday 26 March 2022 in Accra, Ghana. The aim of the Forty under 40 awards is to identify, honour and celebrate a cross-section of the continent’s most influential and accomplished young business leaders under the age of forty. The nominees are from a wide range of industries and are committed to business growth, professional excellence and community service and have risen to the ranks of their companies or industries at a relatively young age as a result of this. The event was attended by dignitaries from about 16 African countries with about 65 nominees.
The award winners for this year’s event were from South Africa, Niger, Egypt, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Tanzania, Togo, Namibia, Cameron, South Sudan, Swaziland and Morocco. First to accept an award from South Africa was Group CEO and Founder of Ariston Global, Reginald Pillay. The business advisor wizard walked away with the Honorary Award for Business Support Services, leaving South African beaming with pride. With close to two decades worth of experience in the business advisory sector, it was a no-brainer that Pillay would come out top.
Pillay said: “I am honoured to have been awarded the Honorary Business Advisor Award. The award recognises the impact Ariston Global has made in the Small, Medium, and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) sector, both locally and abroad. It was such an honour to be acknowledged, particularly in front of all my fellow entrepreneurs, who have done exceptionally amazing things in Africa.”
According to Pillay, the Ariston Team’s ethos is to make business simple for entrepreneurs. He adds that SMMEs are the largest contributors to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and his contribution is to cater to SMMES to promote sustainability, thus contributing to the economy, and keeping the level of unemployment at a minimum. According to research by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), small enterprises employ between 50 and 60 per cent of South Africa’s workforce and contribute around 34 per cent of GDP.
South African High Commissioner to Ghana, HE Grace Jeanet Mason was also present at the awards to support the South African recipients of the prestigious Forty under 40 awards. Mason said: “I was honoured to celebrate the winners’ achievements as young entrepreneurs. It was inspiring to see their commitment to professional excellence, service, innovation and strategy and contribution to job creation. As Pan African Entrepreneurs and economic catalysts, the trajectory of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is a reality and creating the Africa we want.”
The event saw Africans coming together to celebrate and showcase their skills beyond the borders. It was a platform for all African entrepreneurs to identify collaboration ideas with other entrepreneurs for the augmentation of the African economy. The event also recognised the growth of the African economy and its contribution to the rest of the world. Other African winners include entrepreneurs from Nigeria, Kenya Ghana, Niger, Egypt Uganda etc.
Among other South African winners was Ngela Ntabiseng Senosha who is the founder and CEO of Positive Switch PTY (LTD. She also won an award in the area of “Human Resource Development (Female Category) Divide”, as well as CEO of Tharika M Health, DR Eurika Mogane. She walked away with the Entrepreneurship Honorary Award. Others include Mondli Kunene – Mondli Art Projects, Nakeledi Pule Malahlela – Turfloop Football Club, Kwanele Boltina – Riley Auctioneers LTD and Masonwabe Fuma (Youth Empowerment and Development, Mentorship. The Forty under 40 event organisers believe that putting the spotlight on these young achievers will not only celebrate them but also build a strong platform for them by giving a voice and opportunities to the next generation of industry pacesetters whiles building a positive attitude in our youth to strive for excellence at a tender age.
Pillay’s concluding message was: “Africa rising begins here, platforms like the Forty Under 40 Awards allow businesspeople and entrepreneurs to collaborate and showcase their skills to the rest of the world. The wealth of Africa is not projected in the way it should be to the rest of the world. It doesn’t always portray the amazing talent that we have in this country. Therefore, such platforms grant entrepreneurs the opportunity to see their impact beyond their countries.”