Johannesburg - African Equity Empowerment Investments (AEEI) group CEO Khalid Abdulla, was named the Business Leader of the Year – Southern Africa 2017 at the 7th All Africa Business Leaders Awards (AABLA) in partnership with CNBC Africa.
The awards, held in Johannesburg on Thursday, gave the nod to Abdulla for his "willingness to serve and contribute to his community making him a leader in changing social and business landscape".
The AABLA distinguishes leaders who have contributed and shaped the economies in Africa and who are the visionaries behind today’s outstanding businesses, as well as honouring business excellence across the African continent.
It also recognises bold leaders and change-makers of the East, West and Southern Africa and hosts three regional events in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria, before moving on to the AABLA Finale, which will be hosted in South Africa in November.
Of being acknowledged for his contributions to business and community, Abdulla said he is truly humbled yet extremely excited at receiving this particular award.
"Being judged against the formidable calibre of my fellow finalists - who are all champions for the work they are doing, not only in their respective businesses, but in standing as strong moral compasses for all South Africans in how we should all do business - is a deep honour and one I shall uphold, as we continue to walk through these turbulent economic times," he said.
“Mr Gerrie Fourie, CEO of Capitec Bank Holdings and Mr Jabulane Mabuza, chair of Telkom SA – let us celebrate together – for we are all winners here tonight, as we are all driving change in Africa for the betterment of Africans.”
Abdulla said leadership is often a lonely path, but in actual fact, the award is really testament to the whole of AEEI, and its commitment to broad-based black economic empowerment and enterprise development "that allows us to deliver strong financial performance with a holistic and sustainable business model, and which is now ready to expand into Africa".
He said despite all the negative news in the country at the moment, including the ratings downgrade, there is still much to be positive about in Southern Africa.
"As business leaders, we need to keep hope alive for our citizens so that together, we can work towards building the nation on a sustainable basis beyond 2030,” he said.
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