Chude Jideonwo, 29 and Adebola Williams, 28 have been announced as winners of the CNBC Africa All Africa Business Leaders Awards 2014 – for the Young Business Leader of the Year 2014, West Africa. This was announced at the awards event held on Thursday, 23 October at the Oriental Hotel in Lagos, Nigeria.
Jideonwo and Williams are co-founders of Red Media Africa, credited as Africa’s leading youth media network. The omnimedia group houses high-impact media platforms including The Future Awards Africa, Y! Africa – the magazine, YNaija.com and Red Communication.
“Now into the 4th year, the AABLA has become the most credible business leaders’ awards on the continent,” said Ricki Wahi, who is founder of Forbes Africa and CNBC Africa. “The AABLA is given to those captains of industry who have made a qualitative and quantitative difference.” The awards celebrate the African continent’s most impactful visionaries in a variety of categories.
Finalists for the Young Business Leader of the Year Award included Seth Akumani (Ghana), Oluseun Onigbinde (NIgeria) and Christian Ngan (Cameroon). Other winners announced were Tayo Oviosu of Paga for Entrepreneur of the Year, Arunma Oteh (Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Nigeria) for Business Woman of the Year and Atedo Peterside (Chairman, StanbicIBTC) for Business Leader of the Year.
“It is certainly not easy to build a young business in West Africa,” said Jideonwo, who is managing partner of Red Media Africa, at the event. “Especially to build one organically, without debt, external investment or even a famous last name. It is even more difficult to build a media business in a region famously hostile to sustainable media enterprise. Therefore, this is a reminder that much is possible in spite of the difficulties of our environment and it definitely inspires; to keep creating value and to keep building a new model of enterprise and relentless. Thanks go to the incredible guys at #TeamRED, and special thanks go to the leadership of the team, including Mfon Ekpo, Cheta Nwanze, Damilola Oyedele, Chioma Agwuegbo, Bukonla Adebakin, Isime Esene, Emilia Tobi, Oluwatobi Soyombo, Sola Odetola and Nkoyo Eze.”
Guests at the event included Atedo Peterside, Arunma Oteh, Folusho Phillips, Bismark Rewane, Ben Bruce, amongst others. The Keynote Address was delivered by Mustafa Chike-Obi, chief executive office of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria.
It will be recalled that, in 2013, Jideonwo and Williams were listed by Forbes as one of Africa’s best entrepreneurs under 30. They have also been listed by BusinessDay as one of Nigeria’s 40 leading entrepreneurs under 40.