By Amin Kef (Ranger)
The first and leading fruit juice producer in Sierra Leone, Capitol Foods Limited has made Sierra Leone proud when it bagged the most coveted and prestigious African Achievers Awards at an auspicious ceremony held in London, United Kingdom recently.
Capitol Foods Sierra Leone was listed among several other prominent African personalities and businesses that were nominated and received awards during the African Achievers Awards (AAA) and International Summit held on 20th September 2022 in Queen’s Gate, London, United Kingdom. The Theme for this Year’s Ceremony & Summit was: “Sustainable Development in Africa: Through Innovation, Preservation and Green Energy.”
In a special invitation letter to Hamza Hashim, Chief Executive Officer Capitol Foods Limited in Sierra Leone, the AAA organizers wrote: “We are pleased to inform you that you have been shortlisted and selected as an Honouree for the 12th Edition of the African Achievers Awards under the ‘Outstanding Business Award’ Production Category.”
The citation reads: “For Capitol Foods – Sierra Leone’s exceptional stride and contribution towards the growth and development of Business and Production in Sierra Leone, this Award is in recognition of continued excellent service delivery.”
Capitol Foods Limited’s mission is to nurture lives whilst empowering farmers. It is the first and leading bottled natural fruit juice producer in Sierra Leone under the iconic Sierra® brand.
Capitol Foods’ story began in Tiama, Bo District, Southern Sierra Leone. Its products are made from locally, ethically and sustainably grown ingredients. Farmers in the surrounding communities rely on farming pineapples. However, the community could barely make ends meet.
Their traditional planting practices gave low yields. Market inefficiencies, on the other hand, left their fruits rotting without a buyer. Ironically, at the same time the imported fruit juice, that is not affordable to the majority, continued filling shelves in shops.
Capitol Foods became the missing link between the farmers and the market becoming Sierra Leone’s first and only natural fruit juice producer.
Ambitious to do more for the country, President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Dr. Julius Maada Bio officially commissioned a cocoa processing factory established by Capitol Foods in Tissor Village – with an annual production capacity of 4,000 metric tons. Sierra Leone has been growing large quantities of organic cocoa for export but this is the first cocoa processing factory in the country that is creating employment for dozens of local people.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Capitol Foods Limited, Hamza Hashim, says his company is one of the earliest post-war cocoa traders and exporters that still play a crucial role in reviving the flagging cocoa and coffee sector in Sierra Leone.
He added that with support from the World Bank, and Ministry of Agriculture through the Sierra Leone Agribusiness Development Fund, (SLADF), they have conducted training for 2,831 farmers on several topics including best agricultural practices, integrated pest control, and disease management techniques. They have provided 60,000 improved seedlings and 100,000 local seedlings to farmers to rehabilitate their farms and increase their production.
The African Achievers Awards has consistently honoured great African Achievers from African Leaders, Young Achievers, Community Builders to Captains of Industries across the continent. The Awards ceremony has fast become established as one of the biggest gatherings of influential and global African Achievers on the continent.
This Award ceremony has been rated by FORBES Magazine as one of the most prestigious award ceremonies on the African continent.
Host for the prestigious event was Susan Fajana Thomas @susanfajanathomas (Chair of the African Achievers Awards Board), Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Regulatory Services and former Mayor of London Borough of Hackney, UK.
The event, which also took the form of a Red Carpet & Dinner reception, was supposed to be held at the Palace of Westminster, Houses of Parliament, UK, however, due to the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II it was shifted to Queen’s Gate, London, United Kingdom.
The AAA partnered with top Global reputation management firm; Reputation Poll International (United Kingdom) for the 12th edition of the awards. Among the high point of the ceremony, was the African Achievers Awards, presented to Africans making a difference.
This year’s AAA International Summit included a broad range of discussions by top facilitators from Africa and Europe bringing theoretical and practical experiences to guide on how various sectors can work together to promote sustainable development across Africa. Key stakeholders included top organizations, donors, investors, policymakers and regulators.