The East African Business Council (EABC) Secretariat has outlined a number of activities and events to celebrate the 20th Anniversary milestone. At a media event held in Nairobi, EABC Executive Director Ms Lilian Awinja said the 20th Anniversary provides an opportunity for EABC to take stock of where we have come from, celebrating achievements across various fronts as well as re-positioning ourselves for the future in line with the evolving and dynamic policy and business environments both regionally and globally.”

Awinja noted that the planned activities and events would provide an opportunity not only to celebrate but also to demonstrate the critical importance of private sector participation in the EAC integration process.

They including the inaugural EABC Business Excellence Awards (BEA) aimed at showcasing and celebrating businesses that have achieved excellence in various aspects of their operations across East Africa, keeping with the spirit of the East African integration.

Speaking during the launch of the awards, Awinja said: “The Business sector is a driving force in East Africa’s economy through the creation of jobs and opportunities that enable citizens to earn a living and thrive as well as being a major player in the integration process. The idea to host these awards was thus born out of the need for a platform upon which the Council will honour businesses that have achieved success through their vision, operations and business ethics.”

The Awards will be organised across three categories. The first category will see one company feted as the Overall East African Regional Company. A second category of awards will recognize business that have excelled in cross cutting categories, namely Manufacturing, Services, SME, Woman owned enterprise, Green Economy, Innovation and Corporate Social Responsibility. A third category will award companies excelling in a specific industry and will reward outstanding companies across 7 industries, namely Financial Services, Transport and Logistics (including airline), Media, Tourism & Hospitality, Building & Construction and Extractive & Mining sector.

Entries are open for companies established in any of the EAC Partner States with each company eligible to submit bids for at most three categories of the awards. This may include one entry for the overall award and any two entries for either the cross cutting category or the sector specific categories. The three entries may also be from the cross cutting and sector specific categories only.

Entries will be completed online through a dedicated portal (page) that will sit within the EABC website. Entrants will register in the portal, giving basic information about the individual/organization. Once registered in the portal, entrants will choose the category that they wish to enter and complete the official entry form. The entry forms detail all the information required for each of the categories.

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The EABC BEAs has a six-member Panel of Judges to adjudicate entries. The Panel comprises individuals who command in-depth understanding of the EAC integration processes, the business dynamics of the EAC region as well as the role that the private sector can play in shaping the development of the region. The members of the Panel are:

1. Ms. Consolata Ndayishimiye, former Chairperson of EABC, Leading business person in Burundi.

2. Eng. Patrick Obath, Associate Director, Adam Smith International Africa Limited and business leader in Kenya.

3. Mr. Faustin Mbundu, former Chairperson of EABC, former chair of Private Sector Federation (PSF) Rwanda, Chairman MFK Group and leading business person in Rwanda.

4. Mr. Moses Ogwal Goli, Director of Policy, Private Sector Foundation, Uganda.

5. Mr. Godfrey Simbeye, Executive Director, Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF)

6. Ms. Jennifer Gache, Senior Industrial Engineer, East African Community Secretariat.

To ensure objectivity, transparency and accuracy in the judging process, Ms. Awinja highlighted that EABC will work with PriceWaterhouseCoopers as Audit partners whose mandate will be to review the end to end process of the Business Excellence Awards.

The EABC Business Excellence Awards process will commence on 10th January, 2018 and will run until 7th February, 2018. The judging and verification process will run from 8th February to 7th March, 2018. Each category will have three finalists, who will be announced on Monday 12th March, 2018. The ultimate winners will be feted at a Gala Dinner scheduled for 23rd March, 2018 at the Hotel Intercontinental, Nairobi. Winners will receive a trophy and certificate of recognition in addition to earning the ultimate accolade of business excellence among peers in the East African region.

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