Tuesday, December 31, 2013

KK urges Africa's concerted effort to alleviate poverty, disease
By Masuzyo Chakwe
Mon 11 Nov. 2013, 14:01 CAT

DR KENNETH Kaunda says he believes that Africans can work together to ensure the liberation of the continent from economic underdevelopment, poverty and disease.

And National Bank of Commerce Tanzania chief executive officer Mizinga Melu and Zambeef Products Plc's managing director Francis Grogan on Friday won the African Business Woman of the year and Entrepreneur of the year awards respectively, during a gala dinner organised by ABN360 and CNBC Africa in Durban, South Africa.

Speaking when he officiated at the 3rd African Consciousness Leadership Award 2013, Dr Kaunda said the awards event signified the resilience and determination of the continent's founding fathers and the aspirations of young people that the struggle for Africa's total liberation must be won.

He said despite the many challenges faced, African people can rise and unleash their creative potentials like other peoples of the world.

Dr Kaunda congratulated the award recipients and hoped that the recognition would spur them to greater exploits for the continent.

"To whom much is given, much is expected," he said, according to a statement issued by first secretary for press and public relations at Zambia's High Commission in South Africa, Patson Chilemba.

Dr Kaunda said he hoped other men and women of goodwill would emulate the awards recipients' selflessness and commitment to the enthronement of a just society where people would have an opportunity according to their abilities to contribute meaningfully for the good of all.

He said African countries should build a critical mass to collectively address challenges such as malaria, HIV and AIDS and maternal death.

"Let us sharpen our resolves to do more and to overcome; let the faint-hearted pick courage and cynics, faith," said Dr Kaunda. "For like our brother Barack Obama across the sea would say: Yes, We Can!"

During the celebrations, Nigeria's Central Bank Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, who won the Africa Central Bank Governor award, paid tribute to Dr Kaunda for the role he and other forefathers such as Julius Nyerere, Jomo Kenyatta, Kwame Nkrumah and Nelson Mandela played during the liberation struggles on the continent.

Sanusi said his greatest honour from the ceremony was that he had finally met Dr Kaunda.

He said he would often talk about the leaders who spearheaded the continent's liberation struggles during family time, but he was now honoured that he had met one of them.

Sanusi said the recognition he had received as Nigeria's Central Bank Governor world-over was good for Africa.

Stabilising Nigeria's banking sector and reducing inflation to single digit are some of the many successes credited to Sanusi's reign.
In a related development, Melu and Grogan were awarded winners in two of the four categories on contest.

Speaking shortly after receiving the award, Melu dedicated the award to women, whom she said had a lot to offer, but were disadvantaged in terms of access to financing.

She said she would focus on mentoring women and promoting them to think beyond mental and physical barriers.

Grogan said the award was a huge honour not only for Zambeef but Zambia in general.

Grogan said he felt proud to receive the award following stiff competition from the rest of the continent.

Melu and Grogan recently won the Southern Africa regional All Africa Business Leaders Awards and automatically qualified for the finale in Durban, which they also won.

In the businesswoman of the year category, Melu overcame Biola Alabi (Nigeria) and Priya Budhabatti (Kenya), while Grogan overcame the challenge of Peter Nduati (Nigeria) and Shim Shagaya (Kenya) in the entrepreneur of the year category.

And at the event in Pretoria where Dr Kaunda also officiated, Nigeria's Speaker Aminu Waziri Tambuwal won The Speaker of the Year Award.

The Kenneth Kaunda Children of Africa Foundation in collaboration with the Africa Media company hosted the Consciousness Leadership Awards.

This is in recognition and honour of African leaders who have worked tremendously hard to make a positive difference in Africa and the world.

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