Gahaya must beat competition from nine other African firms from across seven countries to benefit from the $350,000 (Rwf192.2m) growth and strategic reinvestment fund that will be rewarded to six best companies.
Gahaya Links, a local crafts company populary known for the Rwanda peace basket, is the only Rwandan firm that has been nominated for this year’s ‘Legatum Pioneer of Prosperity Africa Award’ slated for the 19th of this month in Kigali.
Gahaya Links is also a basket weaving training facility which has transformed many women’s lives through baskets commonly known as peace baskets.
The news of its nomination was revealed by On The Frontier (OTF) Group officials Monday. OTF group is a competitive consulting firm that is co-organiser of the awards together with Legatum, a privately owned international investment group and S.E.VEN a Social Equity Venture Fund.
Gahaya must beat competition from nine other African firms from across seven African countries if it is to benefit from the $350,000 (Rwf192.2m) growth and strategic reinvestment fund that will be rewarded to six best companies.
Gahaya’s Rwanda peace basket, the Agaseke has proving to be bringing back a glimmer of hope in the lives of many under privileged Rwandan women.
The baskets have become very popular in the USA. Last year alone more than 50,000, hand-woven baskets were in exclusive deals sold to Macy’s department store in the United States through their Path to Peace project and ‘O’, the Oprah Magazine.
In a press statement, Alan McCormick Managing Director of Legatum said that the ten companies come after an exhaustive review process that identified some of the most talented entrepreneurs in Africa.
“The selection represent a new generation of business owners who demonstrate the quality of ingenuity, commitment to business excellence innovation and profitability,” he added.
The award identifies and recognises the very best business leaders in Africa, which serve as role models to talented young people across the continent. It is said to be the only one of this kind.
Winners will be selected by an international panel of leading business experts.
The finalists were selected from over 1,400 small and medium-sized enterprise covering diverse industrial sectors such as agriculture, ICT service and financial service.
Eric Kacou, Managing Director of OTF said that business finalists represent a fascinating mix of enterprises, and that each one of them has a compelling success story to tell.
“Whatever the final result, every one of them is a winner. A dynamic trend in entrepreneurship across Africa is expected since four women entrepreneurs are finalists,” he continued.
This year’s awarding programme was built on the success of the inaugural Legatum awards in 2007 which attracted over 450 firms from five countries in East Africa.
Six companies were recognised and awarded at a ceremony that was hosted in Kigali, Rwanda.
Enterprise Urwibutso and Tele-10 both local companies were part of the six winners.
Gahaya links has over 700 members weaving baskets as their source.
It exports exclusively to US retailer Mac. Last year, it sold nearly 30,000 baskets and fetched about $316,000 (Rfw173.5m).