2023 Africa Award Winners – Australians Pioneer Positive Change in Africa

By AAMEG | 8 September 2023

Orion Minerals – Emerging ESG Leader Award for an Explorer/Developer
South32 – Established ESG Leader Award for a Resource Producer
Geodrill – Established ESG Leader Award for a Services Provider
Australian Doctors for Africa – The Change-Maker Award for a Not-For-Profit/Charity

The Australia-Africa Minerals and Energy Group (AAMEG) is delighted to announce the winners of the 5th annual Africa Awards, a prestigious event celebrating excellence in environmental, social and governance practices (ESG) from Australian mining companies and charities making a difference in Africa.

Held as part of Paydirt’s annual ‘Africa Down Under’ Conference, the AAMEG Africa Awards have established themselves as a leading platform for recognising companies that go above and beyond in promoting transparency, equity and mutual benefit in their operations on the African continent.

One of this year’s eight judges was Co-Founder of Vaka Health Foundation Yangama Jokwiro, who said the Awards were a testament to the commitment of Australian companies doing good things in Africa.

“The high quality of applicants and the impact they are having demonstrates their commitment to making a meaningful difference. I am proud to have represented Vaka Health Foundation, an organisation dedicated to promoting healthcare and well-being in Africa.”


Orion Minerals won the Emerging ESG Leader Award for an Explorer/Developer for its stakeholder engagement work and creation of a Community Participation Framework (CPF) in South Africa in a turbulent social and political environment. The CPF was crafted after extensive community and stakeholder consultation, not only exceeds regulatory requirements but also generates substantial employment, social and economic benefits for its host community, setting an model for other junior mining and exploration companies.

South32 took out the Established ESG Leader Award for a Resource Producer for its construction of the Kotulong Community Centre, which is a newly built sustainable facility for vulnerable children in Meyerton, South Africa. Developed in consultation with the local community and generating local jobs during construction, the centre has the capacity to accommodate 60 children in a safe and nurturing environment resembling a stable family unit.

Geodrill won the Established ESG Leader Award for a Service Provider for its sponsorship of Lvolution Academy, a local sporting taekwondo academy in Côte d’Ivoire. With finance a major barrier for local martial arts athletes competing on the global stage, this support enabled athletes to attend international tournaments in Egypt, France and Rwanda, helping put the country on the map. The team won big in Egypt taking home 13 medals and 4 trophies.

The Change-Maker Award for a Not-for-Profit/Charity was taken out by Australian Doctors for Africa (ADFA), a volunteer not-for-profit working to develop healthier environments and build capacity through the provision of voluntary medical assistance across Madagascar, Ethiopia, Somaliland and Comoros. ADFA has supported hundreds of babies and children recover their walking ability by treating clubfoot while they are little.

AAMEG Chief Executive Officer Roger Staley said:

“The Africa Awards have become a beacon of excellence for Australian mining and energy resource companies operating in Africa. These awards highlight and celebrate the visionary approaches that are delivering long-term benefits for local communities. All of the winners and nominees offer inspiration to others, showing that it is possible to create a positive impact which benefits both shareholders and host communities.”


The esteemed judging panel included:

• Nkandu Beltz – Founder & Director of Beltz Mining
• Chris McCombe – General Manager Sustainability at the Minerals Council of Australia
• Kellie Benda – Non-Executive Director FAICD
• Yangama Jokwiro – Co-Founder & Director of Vaka Health Foundation
• Catherine Bell – Partner (Climate & Sustainability Services) at RSM
• Helen Bathurst – Partner (Assurance) at PwC
• Sherif Andrawes – Global Head of Natural Resources & Partner (Corporate Finance) at BDO
• Ross Hamilton – Vice-President Sustainability at Perenti

2023 Africa Awards judge Kellie Benda said:

“I am profoundly inspired by the exceptional quality of applicants who have showcased their remarkable achievements within the realm of ESG. These awards not only celebrate excellence but also underscore the significant contributions of Australian companies in Africa, reaffirming the transformative power of responsible business practices on the continent. Together we witness the impressive impact when vision, commitment and sustainability converge to shape a brighter future for all.”

2023 Africa Awards judge Catherine Bell said:

“RSM chose to sponsor the AAMEG Africa Awards to help advocate for companies who are striving to integrate and lead with sustainability at the core of their business. In today’s complex operating environment, competing priorities and growing risks, companies leading on sustainability are paving the way for many others and are showing what is possible.”

Learn more about the 2023 Africa awards here. To learn more about the nominees, read here.