By Etop Ekanem
On Friday,October 26, 2018, African Economic Merit Awards, AEMA, hosted Pan African ambassadors at the World Plaque and Nominees unveiling. These include distinguished youth and renowned personalities that seek for an Africa with economic growth and stability in Abuja, Nigeria. During the event, an elite panel had an informed discussion on two key economic issues:
From left: Abdoulaye Salifou, Regional Advisor for Higher Education and ICT, UNESCO; Charles Onunaiju, Director of Center for China Studies; Tonia Shoyele, D-G, Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry; McEva Temofe, Founder/President African Economic Merit Awards; Moses Siasia Siloko, Chairman, Nigeria Young Professionals Forum; Dr. Sherif Ghali Ibrahim and Abdulai Baba Imoru, Regional Procurement Manager- African Development Bank, during the World Plaque and Nominees Unveiling, in Abuja.
First was on Effects of Youth in the African Economy: This panel was moderated by McEva Temofe and the Panelists include Thembakazi Taki (SOUTH AFRICA), Adebola Williams (NIGERIA), Japhet Omojuwa (NIGERIA), Seun Ologun Williams (NIGERIA), Hamzat Lawal (NIGERIA) and Williams Uchemba (NIGERIA).
The second panel, AFRICA AND CHINA ECONOMIC RELATIONSHIP was moderated by Oscar Oyinsan Gbemileke and the Panelists include Tonia Shoyele (Mrs) (NIGERIA), Dr. Sherif Ghali Ibrahim (NIGERIA), Abdoulaye Salifou (Cote d’ivoire), Abdulai Baba IMORU (AFRICAN), Moses Siasia Siloko (NIGERIA) and Charles Onunaiju (CHINA)
This gathering was to prepare for the World SummitAwards scheduled for 2019 in South Africa. The delegate from South Africa, Ms. Thembakazi Taki solicited for the South African government to intervene in putting an end to the killing of foreigners to avoid economic collapse in the region and by doing so, there will be a boost in the tourist industry for the South Africa economy.
The Founder, African Economic Merit Awards Mr. McEva Temofe gave a welcome address by introducing the organisation saying, “it is aimed at awarding successful African Entrepreneurs, celebrating and rewarding unrecognized NGOs that have contributed immensely to the development of communities through humanitarian and empowerment initiatives. African Economic Merit Awards is driven by young African professionals to promote innovative ideas for entrepreneurial, economic and social development to all Africans.”
He stated that AEMA is aimed at boosting economic growth in African communities by uniting the successful business entrepreneurs with the latent talents also to enrich the soil and giving hope to Africans with Agricultural, Educational, Technology and Business initiatives.
“All we are pursuing is to give hope to Africans who have given up the creative ideas and business skills to power ideas of craftsmanship into a successful future. In 2009, as the creative director of an international communication outfit, I had an encounter with a brilliant young man before I got kidnapped in Lekki, Lagos, Well, what an awkward experience. That’s a story for some other day. This young man graduated as a mechanical engineer. He had invented so many creative work that could have changed the phase of Africa. Severally, he lamented of lack of funds to project his work and non-recognition. All I could do was advise him to keep up with his good work, SOMEDAY, there would be a breakthrough. Few months later, I learnt this young man committed suicide and nobody knew why he took his life.
I knew he took his life out of frustration of not being able to get recognition. This encounter is one of the major inspiration for AEMA. Recognizing those who do not have access to realizing their potential in life”.
He said they are working to connecting them with successful African entrepreneurs and making sure they become employers of labor and an added value in the African economy.
“My drive towards seeing AEMA become a huge success is not for me, neither for my generation. This is an organization created for generations unborn. I don’t want a city neither do I need a nation. All I desire is a continent with massive economic freedom leading other continents towards economic growth”.
He said this was created in anticipation for the upcoming SUMMIT/AWARDS in 2019 which would be the first of its kind to happen in the Africa continent and the purpose is to make a difference, coin significant impact and initiate verifiable development.
Talking of the plaque, it is stated that the plaque is made of pure bronze and fine stone. The nominees are made up of fine personalities who have contributed to the economic growth of Africa. People from different background and a mindset for a great Africa.
Mr. McEva rounded up by saying he has a message for African entrepreneurs. To unite and become an irresistible force, work together, cause a drastic economic change in Africa for Africans. And I believe, this will cause a shift in the global commerce industry.
Afterwards, the unveiling of the nominees took place immediately the panel discussion was over and the unveiling of the plaque.
AEMA SHORT LISTED NOMINEES
1. AFRICAN ECONOMIC MERIT AWARDS AFRICAN PRESIDENT OF THE YEAR
President Paul Kagame (Rwanda), President Uhuru Kenyatta (Kenya), President Nana Akufo-Addo (Ghana); Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (Ethiopia)
2. African Economic Merit Awards African Philanthropist Of The Year
Tony Elumelu (nigeria); Tsitsi Masiyiwa (zimbabwe); Manu Chandaria (kenya) and Williams Uchemba (nigeria).
3. African Economic Merit Awards african Woman Of The Year
Yolanda Cuba (South Africa), Mo’abudu (Nigeria), H.E Rhoda Peace Tumusiime (Uganda), Dr Lulu Gwagwa (South Africa), Saran Kaba Jones (Liberia).
4. African Economic Merit Awards african Man Of The Year
Tony Elumelu (Nigeria), Vérone Mankou (Congo), Akinwunmi Adesina (Nigeria); H.E Abiy Ahmed (Ethiopia)
5. African Economic Merit Awards Ngo Of The Year Award
Green Belt Movement (Kenya), High Atlas Foundation (Morocco), Nelson Mandela Foundation (South Africa), Tony Elumelu Foundation (Nigeria).
6. African Economic Merit Awards Africa’s Brand Choice Awards
Multi Choice, Globacom, Safaricom, Airpeace, Peak Milk
7. African Economic Merit Awards Hero Of The Year Award
Tony Elumelu (Nigeria), Akon (Senegal), Kingsley Holgate (South Africa); Aliko Dangote (Nigeria).
8. African Economic Merit Awards African Shining Star Of The Year
Lupita Nyong’o (kenya), David Adedeji Adeleke (Nigeria), Mohammed Salah (Egypt).
9. African Economic Merit Awards Africa’s Leading Voice Awards of Year
Mallence Bart-Williams (Sierra Leone), Obiageli Ezekwesili (Nigeria), Leyla Hussien (Somali), Patrick Lumumba (Kenya)
10. African Economic Merit Awards Monarch Of The Year
Sultan Abubakar III (Nigeria), King Mohammed VI (Morocco), King Goodwill Zwelithini (South Africa), Oba Ewuare II (Nigeria), Otumfuo Osei Tutu II (Ghana).
11. African Economic Merit Awards African Economic Merit Awards Youth Of The Year
Jamie Pujara (Kenya), Adebola Williams (Nigeria), Amr Sobhy (Egypt), Hamzat Lawal (Nigeria)
12. African Economic Merit Awards Posthumous Hero Of The Year Award
Wangari Maathai, Kofi Annan, Nelson Mandela, Dora Akunyili
13 African Economic Merit Awards Entrepreneur Of The Year
Gina Din-Kariuki (Kenya), Alan Knott Craig Jr. (South Africa), Jason Njoku (Nigeria), Ashifi Gogo (Ghana)
14. African Economic Merit Awards Invention Of The Year Award
Save A Soul App (Nigeria), Charging Shoes (Kenya), Mamaope (Uganda), Repurpose Schoolbags (South Africa).
15. African Economic Merit Awards Undiscovered Entrepreneur Of The Year
To Be Unveiled In South Africa.