The 2010 Legatum Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship is receiving applications from small and medium-sized businesses in 15 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The Grand Prize is US$100,000 with a further five runners-up winning prizes of US$50,000 each.

2010 Africa Legatum Awards

Eligible applicants from Botswana, Cameroon, Cote D’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia can submit their online entries until 31 August 2010.

Apart from location, your company will need to meet a range of criteria covering revenue, profitability, size, and more.

You can also recommend another company which meets the eligibility criteria.  The organizers will invite them to make an application for the 2010 Africa Awards.

These awards will conclude with a Gala Awards Banquet in December 2010 in Accra, Ghana, where finalists and winners will be honoured in the presence of an international audience of leading business people, policy makers, and entrepreneurs.

I know some of you, just like me, are surprised as to why these awards are targeting only 15 countries. Why are the likes of Malawi, Zimbabwe, Angola etc. not considered? When I put this question to the organizers, they had this to say:

In answer to your question, we decided to start the process with a small number of countries this year so we could make sure the process we had in place functioned properly and worked successfully. Our goal beginning next year is to roll the program out further until, eventually, all African nations are included.

I am satisfied with this reply. I look forward to seeing these Awards expanding to more countries in Sub-Saharan Africa next year.

Meanwhile, those of you, who are eligible for this year’s round of applications, should make it a point that you submit your entry. The rest of us should feel free to either recommend other companies which meet the eligibility criteria, or spread the word to your friends and even enemies :).