DBA Award

The winner of the Doing Business in Africa award is announced annually. The current holder of this title is: Afriwise.

Doing business in Africa award

Each year NABC has the honour to hand out the “Doing Business in Africa” Award to one of its members. During the annual Ambassadors’ Dinner at the end of the year, three pre-selected companies are given the floor to pitch themselves and their successful business activities in Africa. The audience votes on the company that has achieved an honourable success and thus wins the Doing Business in Africa Award.

Criteria for the pre-selection:

  • Innovative: The company offers a service or a product that applies new methods, ideas, or delivery procedures. The service or the product delivers recognisable results and has a positive impact on the business itself and those it serves.
  • Sustainable: The business model and the processes of delivering a service or a product (supply chain) have been developed to minimise negative impact on the ecological balance. The service or the product adds value locally in Africa and has a clear link to the SDGs.
  • Inclusive: The company is working in and with Africa. The beneficiaries are included in the company’s core business as suppliers, distributors, retailers or customers.

Photo L-R: Sammy Reynaert (NileDutch), Marina Diboma (NABC), Joost de Kluijver (Closing the Loop), Peter de Ruiter (NABC), Adel Lünz (Van Vliet Automotive Group) and Mackenzie Masaki (NABC) at the 2019 DBA edition. Photographer: Ruben May.

Selection Process


The Doing Business in Africa Award process starts by the NABC inviting its member companies to submit their application for a eligibility screening. The application must include an explanation on the key three pillars of the criteria: does the company provide innovative solutions to the African challenges? Is the company sustainable in their activities? And, is the company inclusive in their activities? The submission should not exceed more than 300 words. Email your motivation to Guna Alvika by the 13th of November.


Once the submissions are in, the carefully selected Doing Business in Africa Award committee (consisting of a mixture of Senior NABC staff (2) and the Supervisory Board members (2)) reviews the submissions to ensure that they meet the specific criteria: Innovation, Sustainability, and Inclusiveness. The purpose of the screening is not to make business or technical judgements about the submission, but rather to make sure that each entry is eligible.


Once the list of eligible company submissions have been drafted, each company is contacted and informed of their nomination as well as the voting procedure.

First Round of Voting

The first round of voting involves the NABC and the nominated companies to follow a  two week promotion period inviting people to vote for the company they believe deserve the award.

Selection of Finalists

After the two-week voting period, the top three companies with most votes are selected as the finalists for the Doing Business in Africa Award ceremony that takes place at the Ambassadors Dinner. The finalists are asked to prepare a pitch to present at the annual Ambassadors Dinner.

Final Voting

The final voting takes place live during the annual NABC’s Ambassadors Dinner. Each finalists has the opportunity to pitch why they believe they should win the Doing Business in Africa award. The pitch should be based on the three pillars of the DBA Award criteria: Innovative, sustainable, and inclusivity. Once the finalists have pitched their company, the audience is invited to use any device with an access to internet to vote for the company they believe should win the DBA Award. The company with most votes is announced as the winner of the DBA Award.

Winners of the DBA award

  • 2020: Afriwise – Steven De Backer
  • 2019: Closing the Loop – Joost de Kluijver
  • 2018: Delft Imaging Systems – Mohammed Harbiye
  • 2017: Safi Sana – Aart van den Beukel
  • 2016: FORM International – Paul Hol
  • 2015: Bejo Zaden – André Dekker
  • 2014: Waka Waka – Merijn Havinga
  • 2013: Portside – Bas de Vaal
  • 2012: Kroftman Structures B.V. – Oscar Tiedink and Patricia Tiedink
  • 2011: Remco Afrique – Angelique Mbundu
  • 2010: Intercommerce – Jan Slange
  • 2009: BIG Machinery – Ron de Bruijn