By Foday Moriba Conteh
All roads led to the Radisson Blu Hotel in the evening hours of Saturday, 18th March, 2023 where, at a black tie banquet dinner and red carpet reception, the 6th annual National Business Awards (NiBA) was held by the Sierra Leone Business Council, African SME Forum and Ecomedia Corporation Ltd, in collaboration with other partners, to honour large companies and small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) that were identified as making tremendous contributions to Sierra Leone’s socio-economic trajectory and growth.
Well attended by personalities from various walks of life, the glitz and glamour that permeated the air, the soft music in the background, the cacophony of laughter, taking of selfies and voices of those chatting all added pomp and pageantry to a splendid occasion which many were expectantly looking forward to.
Peter SaSellu, President of the Business Council and President & CEO of Corporate Group of Companies and African Consulting Group, in a charming manner, intimated the audience present that regardless of the challenges currently affecting the global economy and Sierra Leone in particular, the companies and SMEs in particular are leading the way with local investments to improve socio-economic growth and human development across the country.
He further informed that since 2016 they have been identifying and recognizing companies, SMEs and entrepreneurs based on a basket of quantitative and qualitative criteria with a focus on growth, outstanding performance over the years, entrepreneurship spirit, leadership, innovation, dedication to excellence and resilience (best practices, sustainability and vision).
On his part, the Chairman of the Council and Managing Director of LAPO Microfinance Co. Ltd, Gabriel Eshiague, stated that this year’s honourees were chosen based on different set of criteria, considering outstanding performance and commitment to corporate excellence.
He continued by revealing that Companies and SMEs were carefully selected based on business excellence, high ethical standards, integrity and social responsibility also maintaining that the National Business Awards are the highest recognition for the private sector in Sierra Leone.
The highpoint of the prestigious event was the presentation of Awards to deserving entities and individuals.
Emerging as one of the entities that bagged a prestigious Award was The Calabash Newspaper. The citation before the presentation reads, “In recognition of your dedication to business growth, excellent corporate services and outstanding performance in the private sector in Sierra Leone.”
Publisher/Managing Editor of The Calabash Newspaper, the erudite and prolific investigative journalist, Amin Kef aka Ranger, in reaction to the accomplished feat first expressed profound thanks and appreciation to the organizers for the consideration and honour. He said receiving a meritorious award will now serve as an impetus to continue to stand for the truth and to work even harder in order to continue to enlighten the public on topical issues as well as to reveal the wrongs in society. He dedicated the Award to all the staff and fans of The Calabash Newspaper.
Since the news break out, the barrage of congratulatory messages that have been pouring in have been overwhelming and Management of The Calabash is only grateful for the nice compliments.
About The Calabash Newspaper:
The Calabash newspaper was established in 2017 as a print media news and general information dissemination platform that targets a wide-ranging Sierra Leonean audience at home and abroad via the traditional and social media presence.
The medium seeks to engage its various reading communities in discussions about topical news happenings in Sierra Leone complemented with editorials and commentaries on burning issues of the day.
The medium ventures further to take on board topics of general interest to the continent as published and commented on in various international publications that focus on continental political, economic and social development issues.
Issues that interest The Calabash Newspaper that finds space in its pages include the following:
- Current Affairs
- Culture and Entertainments