Key industries crucial to Africa’s future development

Newly-elected African Union (AU) Commission Chairperson, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, recently stated that infrastructure is the key to linking African countries. Although the continent may face challenges, the potential for growth and expansion is vast in sectors such as infrastructure, mining, environment and mobile communications; an industry which has recently demonstrated one of the highest growth rates in the world.

During this year’s GIL 2012: Africa event, four Africans, representing four very vast industries will be recognised for their visionary leadership in paving the way for continued growth for Africa. Herman Heunis, Sipho Nkosi, Naadiya Moosajee and Noel De Villiers will be honoured as visionary leaders, receiving the firm’s prestigious Growth, Innovation and Leadership Award.

“Only a select few each year are considered for this exclusive award. When examining the tremendous growth emerging from the region, such progress is a direct result of visionary leaders,” explains Brian Denker, Frost & Sullivan’s Vice President & Global Head Growth, Innovation and Leadership.  “We look forward to celebrating their achievements at this year’s GIL 2012: Africa event”.

Herman Heunis, founder of one of the fastest growing mobile social networks, Mxit, will be recognised for revolutionising the mobile telecommunications industry. Under his leadership, the company grew from its launch in 2005 to more than 15 million users across the developing world, including 6 million alone in South Africa, making it the largest mobile social network in Africa. The Mxit service continues to grow by 25,000 users a day and operates in 120 countries as it creates communities across the globe.

Sipho A. Nkosi, CEO of Exxaro and President of Chamber of Mines of South Africa, is celebrated for his leadership in industry and extensive background in the mining and power industries. Nkosi set up Eyesizwe Coal in 1998, which subsequently bought the “Newcoal” mines and resources from Anglo Coal and Ingwe. These were sold back to Anglo through the deal where Eyesizwe gained control of Exxaro.

Naadiya Moosajee, co-founder of South African Women in Engineering (SAWomEng), an organisation promoting the attraction, development and advancement of women in South Africa. Moosajee is currently the Engagement Manager for Pegasys Strategy and Development focusing on public transport, climate change and natural resources, as well as Managing Director at SAWomEng.

“Moosajee is a well renowned business woman within the engineering and infrastructure industry and inspires women in business across the globe”, asserts Denker. “She is also the recipient of numerous awards, including ‘Top 100 Brightest Young Minds in South Africa’ and CEO magazine’s ‘Most Influential Woman of the Year’”.

Noel De Villiers, founder of Open Africa, is also being awarded this year’s 2012 GIL Award for his advancement within the conservation field. Open Africa is a social enterprise promoting self-drive travel destinations in Southern Africa, with the aim of directing tourism to create and sustain employment opportunities for rural communities in Africa. In addition, the organisation also educates local communities about conservation and how the preservation of indigenous plants and animals can attract visitors, thereby providing long term income generation.

African entrepreneurial leaders, along with CEOs and their management teams, will convene at GIL 2012: Africa to gain insights from these industry leaders and be inspired by the latest industry developments and future growth opportunities in the Energy & Power, Chemicals, Materials & Food Manufacturing, Mining, ICT, Environmental & Building Technologies and Healthcare industries.

GIL 2012: Africa takes place on 22 August 2012 at the Table Bay Hotel in Cape Town, South Africa. For more information please e-mail Samantha James at

Visit for more information on Frost & Sullivan’s Global Community of Growth, Innovation and Leadership.

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