By Dounia Ben Mohamed, in Abidjan
It was undoubtedly the event of the year in Abidjan. For the first edition of the Apartés d’Abidjan, Forbes Afrique made no mistake in choosing the Ivorian economic capital, the Mecca of business in the region. For the occasion, the cream of Abidjan’s business world gathered at La Résidence, Abidjan’s very own private club, which provided the perfect backdrop for the ceremony.
The debates on topics at the heart of the continent’s challenges – finance, energy, entrepreneurship or digital technology – were led by very frank and high-profile speakers, including Cyrille Nkontchou,
the Cameroonian financier who recently launched Enko Education, Siriki Sangaré, founder of Opes Holding SA and President of the Côte d’Ivoire National Chamber of Developers and Licensed Constructors (CNPC-CI). After the debates, the media, which is dedicated to African entrepreneurial success stories, honored four individuals and institutions that have shaped the year 2023.
Starting with the local symbol of entrepreneurial success, Alain Kouadio, CEO of Kaydan, who was awarded the Entrepreneur of the Year prize in recognition of his commitment to supporting young entrepreneurs, among other things.
Another figure on the pan-African business scene, Henri-Claude Oyima, CEO of Central Africa’s leading banking group, BGFIBank, as well as Chairman of the Fédération des entreprises du Gabon (FEG) and of the Board of Directors of the Bourse des valeurs mobilières d’Afrique centrale (BVMAC), was named “Financier of the Year”. The award was presented in his absence to Malick Ndiaye, Managing Director of BGFIBANK Côte d’Ivoire.
Maryse Mbonyumutwa, winner of the Women’s Leadership of the Year award
Women were not absent from the list of winners. Rwandan Maryse Mbonyumutwa, CEO of Pink Mango and Founder of pan-African ready-to-wear brand Asantii, which employs 5,000 people at its manufacturing facilities in Kigali, Rwanda, received the ‘Women’s Leadership’ award.
Brandon Wanguep named Startupper of the Year
Last but not least, the Forbes Africa editorial team’s favorite, Brandon Wanguep, the Cameroonian founder of addressing solution FindMe, has been named “Startupper of the Year” in the Forbes Africa TOP 30 Under 30 ranking.
The evening continued in a jazzy atmosphere, thanks to the Ivorian singer Santé, with exchanges, connections and business, no doubt. This was the idea behind Forbes Africa’s first Apartés. We look forward to a second edition in 2024, in another French-speaking African capita…