Trailblazers, innovators and entrepreneurs have been honoured with Best Practices Awards by global market research and consulting firm Frost & Sullivan.
The company held its Growth, Innovation and Leadership awards banquet, in Cape Town, this week, to recognise the achievements of people in South Africa and other African countries in a range of categories, from energy and environment to transformational health and digital transformation.
Frost & Sullivan global research director Tonya Fowler said the judging had been a robust and rigorous process and had singled out best-in-class performance in specific sectors and markets.
Some of the winners are small companies that are “punching way above their weight in a David and Goliath-type scenario”.
“Some of you know what it is like to be the Davids and outliers in a world full of giants. You can now revel in your victory,” said Fowler.
In the energy and environment category, the judges considered how leaders and entrepreneurs are helping to address current trends and challenges within industries such as energy and power, waste and wastewater, power supplies and building technologies.
Enviro Loo, won the 2017 Southern African Dry Sanitation Company of the Year Award. Enviro Loo sales executive Rowan Snyman said the world was waking up to alternative green technologies to solve its problems.
He said Enviro Loo was proud to be playing its part in the face of water scarcity.
The first 4 MW hydro project in Tanzania, Rift Valley Energy Tanzania, scooped the 2017 East African Renewable Energy Development and Distribution Competitive Strategy Innovation and Leadership Award.
“Years ago, when we started our company there was nothing but a river and a road far away from the national grid,” explained Rift Valley Energy Tanzania group financial manager Deograsias Massawe.
“There were 32 villages without access to electricity. Power lines now connect those villages. Dozens of small businesses are using our electricity to earn a living. At night, there’s light in the houses where children come to learn together and share a hot meal with their family. It’s a good feeling.”
Utility Systems won the 2018 Sub-Saharan African Smart Water Management Solutions Competitive Strategy Innovation and Leadership Award for bringing smart water management solutions to people in Cape Town at an affordable price.
Nigerian company, Fidson Healthcare won an award in the Transformational Health category. It is fast becoming a leading player in the pharmaceutical space in Nigeria.
Dr Skhumbuzo Ngozwana of Kiara Health accepted the award for 2018 African Health Product and Technology Distributor. He described his company as “a bridge between Western technology and African need” which distributes diagnostics and pharmaceuticals products.
A unique taxi hailing service, Afta Robot, as well as pioneering on-demand logistics company, Empty Trips, won New Product Innovation Awards in the Mobility category.
Empty Trips founder and CEO Benji Coetzee said her company used artificial intelligence to fill a gap in the transport and logistics industry.
“We use machine learning and smart matching algorithms to create a marketplace where shippers, agents and transport carriers can connect, bid for cargo, find transport assets to move their cargo, and even store or insure it.”
Afrique Telecom, Gemalto, NuRAN Wireless, redPanda Software, SqwidNet and Vodacom won awards in the Digital Transformation category. Winners were recognised for impacting an array of industries including enterprise communications, mobile and wireless technologies and network security.