Tuesday, November 25, 2008

2008 AfricaCom Awards Take Place

The 2008 AfricaCom Awards took place in Cape Town recently with Warid Telecom Uganda and Kenya's Safaricom taking two awards each.  Zain Africa also took two awards for its pan-African operations.

The AfricaCom Awards are a unique celebration of the outstanding achievements of the African telecommunications market. They recognise the achievements and success within the African communications market during the last twelve months.

At hand to witness the awards were top business leaders from all major telecom operations in Africa including guest host François Pienaar who captained and played flanker for the South African Springboks national rugby union team from June 1993 until August 1996. 

The inaugural AfricaCom Awards were the highlight of Informa Telecoms & Media convention held in Cape Town, South Africa at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. The event brought together a total of 3,500 attendees from 72 countries, a record 221 operator companies who have been attending the convention organized by Informa Telecoms & Media a leading provider of business intelligence and strategic marketing solutions to the global telecoms and media markets.

The Winners
The Winners for the different categories are as follows:

New Entrant of the Year: Warid Telecom Uganda

For this Award, judges were looking for an operator or service provider that developed a unique business model to offer new services in a region. Judges looked at both the company's network deployment strategy and effective branding and marketing campaign for the launch of its services. The entrant had to have shown outstanding results following its launch, in terms of customer uptake, revenues and growth prospects.

Best Network Quality Initiative of the Year: Cell C

The initiative had to have achieved extensive coverage (or improvement of coverage) of population and geographical area, with a particular attention to how it used cost-effective solutions to improve quality of service. The provider had to show measurable results that demonstrated significant improvement of services to end-users.

Most Innovative New Service of the Year: Ericsson

The entity had to demonstrate new thinking in the concept and provision of a service. The service should have answered a real need for customers in the market concerned, which has been been echoed in outstanding and measurable uptake following the launch.

Best Solution for Rural Services: Safaricom

The initiative should have beeen specifically targeted to under-served rural areas, with characteristics that are different from other network initiatives and deployment solutions. The provider had to demonstrate a long term impact on the rural communities involved.

Best Marketing Campaign of the Year: Zain

For this award judges looked for a stand-out campaign that significantly raised awareness of the brand or product or its profile. The application had to highlight the campaign's creativity in terms of concept, design and delivery, and a measurable impact on consumer's perception of the brand or product.

Best Customer Services Provider of the Year: Warid Telecom Uganda

Nominees had to show an innovative use of technology to improve customer relations and further develop the services provided.  It had to demonstrate how the initiative helped the company differentiate from its competitors and improve its business. This had to be endorsed with testimonials from customers.

Best Enterprise Solution in Africa: Wana Enterprises

The Award recognised a product or service that it tailored to the specific needs of enterprises based in African markets. The provider had to demonstrate innovation in terms of technology solutions used to deliver effective results, with proven benefits to customers.

Best Pan-African Initiative: Zain

This award was for an outstanding initiative developed across a sub-region of Africa or across the continent. It had to show specific benefits for the markets, organisations or consumers involved.  The initiative had to demonstrate innovation in terms of cross-country partnerships, management structure and sharing of best practice and skills.

Changing Lives Award: Safaricom

This Award was open to operators and service providers, not-for-profit organisation or telecoms solutions vendors who have implemented a project that has delivered a social or economic improvement to a community or region.  It could be: a Corporate Social Responsibility campaign, a new business initiative, a charitable or environmental project. The application had to show a measurable impact on the community or region involved, and the model should had to be able to be reproduced in other communities or regions.