A highlight of the 9th edition of Forum Afrique Expansion 2019 occurred during the Gala des bâtisseurs, when the organizers presented the event’s first award in honour of Africa’s builders to Samuel Dossou-Aworet, founder and president of the Petrolin Group and president of the African Business Roundtable. Mr. Dossou-Aworet today plays a strategic role in the creation and development of major projects in several African countries, including South Africa, Morocco and Nigeria.
With more than 40 years’ experience in developing solid partnerships between national and international companies in Africa, Mr. Dossou-Aworet and his Petrolin Group have a wide-ranging presence on the continent that spans sectors as varied as oil and gas, mining, aviation, media, telecommunications and infrastructure.
The Benin-born businessman has a strong pan-African perspective and is resolutely optimistic about Africa’s future and its economic potential. Indeed, he told Afrique Expansion Magazine in a 2018 interview, “What drives me is Africa and its flourishing.”
One of his current pet projects is Épine Dorsale (“backbone”), a vast program for West Africa’s interdependent rail, port, airport and road infrastructures. The project directly impacts Benin and Niger, though neighbouring Nigeria will also benefit from it, as will several other landlocked countries, such as Burkina Faso, Mali and Chad. The initiative comes at a cost estimated at 1.5 billion euros and will undoubtedly have a large impact on the integration and economic development of these countries.
Humble, discreet and generous, Dossou-Aworet possesses a simplicity that is a trait of great men. He believes in the need to give back to society a portion of what he has received from it. And he has been doing so for over 30 years, through an NGO he founded, Fondation Espace Afrique, which contributes to the improvement of living conditions in African communities. Among the organization’s achievements is the establishment of a free boarding school in rural Gabon and the construction of the Centre International d’Expérimentation et de Valorisation des Ressources Africaines (CIEVRA) in Benin.
It is in acknowledgement of this impressive track record and of his other projects currently in the pipeline that Afrique Expansion wished to honour him with this much-deserved tribute.