DBA Award

The winner of the Doing Business in Africa award is announced annually. The submission period for the Doing Business in Africa Award 2023 is now closed.

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 for the company that has achieved honourable success and thus wins the Doing Business in Africa Award.

Future-proof criteria* for the pre-selection:

  • Financially sustainable: The company/organisation has a  long-term sustainable business model.
  • Innovative: The company offers a service or a product that applies new methods, technologies, 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. 
  • Environmentally sustainable: The business model and the processes of delivering a service or a product (supply chain) have been developed to minimise the negative impact on the ecological balance. 
  • Promotes inclusive economic development: The company is working in and with Africa. In addition, the company contributes to local employment opportunities and/or entrepreneurship.

*Applicant company must at least be Financially Sustainable and meet one additional criterion from the above-outlined criteria.

Photo L-R: Rosmarijn Fens (NABC), Jeff van der Laan (BUKU), Wout Dingenouts (BUKU)

Selection Process


The Doing Business in Africa Award process starts by the NABC inviting its member companies to submit their application for an eligibility screening or nominate a company that is based in the Netherlands that does sustainable and impactful work on the continent. The application/nomination 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, including if the company is financially viable? And, is the company promoting an inclusive economic-development via their activities i.e. does the company use local suppliers in their value-chain? Does the company generate local employment opportunities? And does the company clearly demonstrate a future-proof business model?

The submission period for the Doing Business in Africa Award of 2023 is now closed.


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) and a Doing Business in Africa Award recipient (1)) 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 judgments about the submission, but rather to make sure that each entry is eligible.

First Round of Voting

The first round of voting involves the NABC and the nominated companies following a three-week promotion period inviting people to vote for the company they believe deserves the award.

Selection of Finalists

After the two-week voting period, the top three companies with the 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 finalist 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 access to the internet to vote for the company they believe should win the DBA Award. The company with the most votes is announced as the winner of the DBA Award.

Winners of the DBA award

  • 2023: BUKU – Jeff van der Laan
  • 2022: Tunga – Ernesto Spruyt
  • 2021: Coach Africa – Danny den Hartog
  • 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