The Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF) has announced the call for nominations for the 2023 AWIEF Awards.
In its seventh edition, since 2017, the prestigious awards recognise, honour, and celebrate the achievements of female entrepreneurs and business owners in Africa, across various industry sectors, for their contribution to the continent’s inclusive economic growth and development.
Nominees for the AWIEF Awards are both emerging and established female entrepreneurs and founders who have demonstrated outstanding vision, leadership, inspiration, and success in their businesses in line with AWIEF’s core areas of innovation, technology, entrepreneurship, leadership, and socio-economic development.
The AWIEF Awards cover eight categories, each with specific criteria for qualification:
- Young Entrepreneur Award
- Tech Entrepreneur Award
- Agri Entrepreneur Award
- Creative Industry Award
- Empowerment Award
- Energy Entrepreneur Award
- Social Entrepreneur Award
- Lifetime Achievement Award
Nominations for the 2023 AWIEF Awards are open and will close on 17 July 2023. Candidates can either self-nominate themselves or be nominated by anybody else. Entries will be judged by an esteemed panel of business leaders and professionals.
The winners will be announced at a special ceremony and gala dinner in Kigali, Rwanda, during the AWIEF2023 Conference which will take place on 9 and 10 November 2023.
To nominate someone for an award, follow these steps:
- Click here
- Register your entrant profile by clicking “Submit an entry” in the top right-hand corner of the page.
- Fill in the nomination form and submit.
Nominations close at 23.59 CAT on 17 July 2023.
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Industry Experts Highlight Urgent Need to Combat Influx of Substandard Auto Spare Parts in Nigeria
In the Nigerian automobile sector, industry experts are sounding the alarm about the escalating influx of substandard spare parts and its detrimental impact on vehicle safety and consumer trust.
According to a report by the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), 95 percent of auto spare parts imported into the country fail to meet the minimum acceptable standards.
This alarming revelation has ignited concerns among automotive professionals and stakeholders.
Yusuf Adah, Chairman of Automedics Motor International, emphasized the gravity of the issue, attributing the surge in substandard vehicle spare parts to unscrupulous dealers and importers within the industry.
Adah lamented the lack of commitment to excellence and integrity among these elements, making it exceedingly challenging to confront the problem effectively.
Adah also underscored the significance of Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), despite their higher prices. He asserted that OEM parts prove their value over time by consistently delivering superior performance and safety.
“Car owners have several options to choose from. But it is very easy to differentiate between OEM and substandard spare parts,” Adah stated, reiterating the urgency of addressing this menace.
Moreover, Adah voiced concerns about customer satisfaction and the shortage of skilled talent within the Nigerian automobile industry.
He called for collective efforts to tackle these challenges and enhance the overall health of the sector.
Pankaj Bohhra, Chief Operating Officer of Fixit45, echoed these sentiments, emphasizing the critical role of high-quality spare parts in prolonging the lifespan of vehicles and improving workshop efficiency.
He also highlighted skill gaps and infrastructure limitations as pressing issues hampering the sector’s growth.
The Nigeria Customs Service has recognized the need for collaboration among stakeholders to combat smuggling, a primary driver of counterfeit automotive spare parts in the country.
Their document titled “Enhancing the Role of Nigeria Customs Service and Fostering Collaborative Efforts with Stakeholders to Prevent the Inflow of Substandard or Counterfeit Spare Parts” outlines the formidable challenges in curbing this illicit trade.
As concerns grow over the safety and reliability of vehicles in Nigeria, industry experts are advocating for immediate action to combat the proliferation of substandard auto spare parts and safeguard the nation’s roadways.
Government’s Concrete Road Plan Threatens Cement Prices, Warns Nigerian Cement Producers
The Cement Producers Association of Nigeria has issued a stern warning that the Federal Government’s ambitious plan to introduce concrete roads could lead to a significant hike in cement prices, potentially reaching an alarming N9,000 per bag, up from the current N5,000.
The association is urging the government to tackle the persistent issue of cement price fluctuations and ensure Nigerians do not have to pay more than N5,600 per bag.
In a joint statement released by the National Chairman, Prince David Iweta, and National Secretary, Chief Reagan Ufomba, the association commended the Works Minister’s advocacy for cement-made roads but cautioned against potential consequences if the supply-side challenges are not addressed comprehensively.
The cement producers proposed a solution, emphasizing the need for road designs that facilitate the concurrent use of cement technology and asphalt pavement. They argue that such designs would allow contractors ample time for investment in necessary equipment and retooling, ensuring a smoother transition.
According to the statement, “Our findings across the country indicate that cement prices can surge to as high as N6,000 per bag during the rainy season. With the Minister of Works’ endorsement of cement technology and the President’s housing directives, we predict prices could exceed N9,000 per bag in the dry season if proactive measures are not taken.”
The association also urged the government to expedite the backward integration policy initiated during the late Yar’adua administration, which had started to positively impact cement availability and affordability.
They emphasized the necessity of breaking monopolies and favoritism in the sector, urging the government to expand participation with companies demonstrating verifiable local investment.
They further called for harmonization between fiscal and monetary policies, intervention in the foreign exchange market, restructuring of manufacturers’ bad loans, and a review of palliative measures to revive manufacturing concerns and reduce dependence on elusive foreign direct investment.
The Cement Producers Association of Nigeria’s statement underscores the urgency of addressing these issues to ensure the stability of the cement industry and maintain affordable prices for Nigerians, especially amid ambitious infrastructure projects.
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