Somali business award crowns 90 hitherto hidden laureates

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A total of 90 leaders of home-grown Somali companies have received this year’s awards for the successes they continue to make in promoting the country’s economy, sources said Monday.

During this year’s ceremony, Hass Petroleum Somalia emerged the best overall company while Banadir Logistics’ Mohamed Ahmed was voted the CEO of the year. Sagal Travel and Tours emerged the best in the youth SME category.

Somalia’s Commerce and Industry Minister Mohamed Maareey graced the event at the weekend in Mogadishu, and expressed the hope that the initiative would boost investor confidence in the battered country’s economy.

Local media reports said the chief judge of the awards, Sultan Omri, explained that the annual awards give companies an opportunity to identify their hidden potentials by putting up sound business structures and benchmarking with leading industry players globally.

“There are a lot of hidden potential in the Somalia business sector. We have to wake up and build, we must show that we want to be the best.

“So far some of the parameters we used to access the companies have pushed some of the participants to change the way they are doing business,” he said.

Mr Omri said companies were judged based on overall leadership, technology, human resources practices and corporate social responsibility, Kenya’s Daily Nation quoted the chief judge as saying.

He explained that since the launch of the awards three years ago, the event continues to attract more competitors rising from 30 the previous year to 60 this year.

“Some companies have even embarked on internal reforms of their processes, including hiring experts to streamline their operations to enhance efficiency,” Omri said.

Somalia business community has for a long time operating with proper structures due to lack of manpower and stability due to the over-drawn war.

In the recent past, investor confidence in Mogadishu has seen the return of international airlines such as Kenya Airways, Ethiopian Airlines and Qatar Airways, while Maersk Line shipping company was running in collaboration with the Mogadishu port.

The city buildings, once riddled by bullet holes have now been replaced by high-rise office and residential buildings.

The awards an initiative of the Mogadishu based Somalia Investor Magazine consortium aims to award best business practices and individual managers who perform exceptionally, with the aim of sharing best practices, increasing competitive and nurturing leadership.

African Daily Voice

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