The 2010 Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship Finalists

The judges have now concluded on-site business reviews for the 2010 Legatum Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship and selected the final 10 small and medium-sized businesses from more than 2,700 applicants across 15 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. A Grand Prize of US $100,000 will be awarded with a further five entrepreneurs winning prizes of US $50,000 each, at a final presentation in Nairobi on December 5th, 2010.

Speaking about the Awards, Alan McCormick, Managing Director of Legatum, commented, “This year’s Africa Awards has far surpassed our expectations in terms of quality and leadership and trumpets the message that Africa is open for business. The 10 finalists from diverse sectors and geographies all demonstrate the vital role played by entrepreneurs in creating opportunity and growth within their economies, and through the Africa Awards, Legatum is pleased to recognise these leaders of remarkable companies and the contribution they are making to promoting prosperity across the continent.”

The competition was launched in July 2010 and entrepreneurs submitted applications from Botswana, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

Finalists will make formal presentations to an international jury of business leaders, entrepreneurs and investors in Nairobi early this December. The jury will be chaired by Tokunbo Talabi of Superflux International, the Grand Prize Winner of the 2008 Africa Awards and will include some of Africa’s most prominent business leaders amongst whom are Dr. Manu Chandaria, Chairman of Comcraft Ltd.; Dr. James Mwangi, CEO of Equity Bank; and Mr. Kibuga Kariithi, ex-CEO of Nairobi Stock Exchange. The 2010 Africa Awards winners will be announced at a Gala Banquet, attended by an invitation-only audience of Africa’s business leaders, policymakers and investors, on Monday December 6th in Nairobi.

“Omidyar Network and Legatum share the conviction that entrepreneurs are vital to fostering new opportunities in Africa,” said Matt Bannick, Managing Partner of Omidyar Network. “We congratulate the 10 finalists. They clearly demonstrate the dynamic leadership, entrepreneurial spirit, and commitment to innovation that has enabled them to achieve success and create opportunity in their counties of operation.” The finalists are:

Biodeal Labs Ltd.
Nairobi, Kenya

Biodeal is a manufacturer of generic drugs: equipped with modern manufacturing equipment and state-of-the art instrumentation, Biodeal also boasts a chemical and microbiology laboratory, and a product development laboratory, to ensure the highest quality manufacture of tablets, dry syrups, capsules, creams and ointments, liquid syrups and suspensions, veterinary products, and disinfectants.

Craft Silicon Ltd.
Nairobi, Kenya

Craft Silicon is a global software company, based in Kenya, providing software solutions for core banking, microfinance, switching and electronic payments across 4 continents.

Malcom-Ezindaleni Hydraulics & Engineering (PTY) Ltd.
Middelburg, South Africa

Since 1976, Malcom Hydraulics and Engineering has been providing a specialist engineering service, and offers a total engineering capability to the mines, power stations, heavy industry, engineering contractors and agriculture.

Mellech Engineering & Construction Ltd.
Nairobi, Kenya

Mellech is a construction and infrastructure engineering company offering services in construction of building projects, roads, and water & sewerage projects and related civil engineering infrastructure projects.

NTR Technology Holdings (PTY) Ltd.
Gaborone, Botswana

NTR is a citizen-owned provider of world class cost effective, time saving and high performance engineering solutions and services in the areas of industrial automation and controls; electrical distribution; telecommunications; ICT; and electrical and mechanical engineering.

Planbuild Technology Services Ltd.
Kampala, Uganda

Incorporated in Uganda in December 2000, Planbuild Technical Services Limited operates in the broad fields of the Civil, Electrical and Mechanical Engineering sectors, and provides services in civil construction, environmental studies, road construction, mechanical works, community water supply, electrical work, ground water investigations and construction of telecom masts.

Sigma Electric PLC
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

SIGMA Electric PLC is a multi-disciplinary Electro-Mechanical Engineering Company established in 1999, operating in four business areas of power system services; industrial service; commercial activities; and telecommunication.

Steel & Tube Industries Ltd.
Kampala, Uganda

Steel & Tube Industries Ltd (STIL) was incorporated in 2003, starting with bulk manufacture of steel tubes and plates and today is one of the leading producers of steel products in the region, manufacturing galvanised iron sheets, MAT-Tiles sheets, hollow sections, expanded metals, bottle sections and fascia boards.

Tutuka Software (Pty) Ltd.
Johannesburg, South Africa

Tutuka provides innovative and simple software solutions for gift vouchers or cards, prepaid cash replacement and loyalty programmes, and recently. created the official VISA FIFA World Cup card for the 2010 tournament held in South Africa.

Wilkins Engineering Ltd.
Accra, Ghana

Wilkins Engineering Limited was established in 1993 as an engineering firm. Since its inception, it has grown from a one-man consulting business to the forefront of the electrical engineering field, specialising in three areas: low voltage services – including street lighting and domestic and commercial wiring; high voltage services – including HT network construction for urban to rural electrification; and solar applications – including solar-powered lighting to replace traditional kerosene lamps.