Chief Executive Officer of UT Bank Prince Kofi Amoabeng and mPedigree?s Bright Simmons have been named as the first recipients of the 2013 Lifetime Achievement for Innovation in Africa Award by the International Foundation for African Innovation (iFAI).

The two received their awards at last week?s first Africa Innovation Forum organised by iFAI with support from the Business and Financial Times (B&FT).

Speaking in an interview with the B&FT, Prof. Kwaku Atuahene-Gima, iFAI founder and President, said the two awards were given to the two men for using innovations in overcoming a major problem in their respective industries.

?Mr. Amoabeng?s UT Bank started operations at a time when a housing address system was non-existent; at a time other financial institutions shied away from the informal sector. Through innovation, he has managed to grow his organisation into a reputable one in the country,? Prof. Atuahene-Gima said.

Formerly UT Financial Services, a non-bank financial services provider, the organisation metamorphosed into UT Bank following its acquisition of BPI Bank in 2008.

mPedigree CEO Bright Simmons was awarded for creating a mobile health platform that allows consumers to instantly verify the safety and efficacy of drugs. According to Prof. Atuahene-Gima, the success of mPedigree has prompted other organisations to reproduce similar platforms.

The platform partners more than 24 telecom operators and regulatory agencies in several countries around the world to help battle the prevalence of counterfeit drugs.

The first Africa Innovation Award, which was under the theme ?Unleashing Innovation Leadership in Africa?, provided a platform for thought-leaders and top corporate executives to acquire insights and knowledge of new trends in innovation and leadership from renowned practitioners.

Founded in late 2011, iFAI is dedicated to developing and transferring innovation-management best practices into organisations in Africa. It is an individual and corporate membership-based organisation dedicated to promoting the acceptance of innovation management as a respectable profession in Africa.

By Richard Annerquaye ABBEY

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