10 Businesses That Solved Problems and Won Awards in 2017

  | 6 min read

Problem-solvers win big at the Tanzania Leadership Awards

On the evening of Friday 27th January, members of the business community in Tanzania gathered at the Hyatt Regency Hotel to celebrate the most accomplished businesses of 2016. The event was the Tanzania Leadership Awards (TLA), which honours successful businesses that range from conglomerates with more than 500 employees, to small start-ups with a staff count of 2 to 4 employees.

What makes a business successful?


While you may say that profit is what determines a business’s success, there is something else that matters even more – relevance to the target audience. You see, all the businesses that won a TLA have something in common; they offer a unique solution to a problem. For instance, ZoomTanzania, won the ‘Website of the year’ award for the second time. This was informed by the fact that it is a reliable and easy-to-use online platform that enables people to buy and sell goods and services, and offers businesses visibility to a wide-range of online consumers.

Simply put, first comes relevance then comes profit. In fact, here are 10 relevant businesses that won at the TLAs this year.

1. Category: Best place to work

   Winner: Smart Codes

Numerous studies have shown that happy employees are more productive.  Smart Codes, a digital advertising agency, is run by a young entrepreneur who understands and makes it easy for his employees (who are his agemates) to have a better working experience. Smart Codes’ work environment encourages creativity, open communication, and innovation. These values enable the company to offer one-of-a-kind digital advertising solutions to businesses across Tanzania, and also landed the CEO on the Forbes Africa 30 under 30 Entrepreneurs list in 2016.

2.  Category:  Innovative company of the year

    Winner: E-Fm Radio

If innovation means that you do things differently from others in your industry, and experience rapid growth while at it, then E-Fm totally fits the category.  Founded in 2014, and in just 3 years, E-Fm (93.7 FM in Dar es Salaam) has become one of the most popular radio stations in Tanzania, especially amongst university-age youth. This is because they understand how young people like to be entertained, and incorporate social media personalities and trending topics in their programming. In fact, they are doing so well that they also won the fastest growing company at the TLAs.

3.  Category: Domestic airline of the year award

    Winner: Coastal Aviation

What started off as a single flight to Selous Game Reserve in 1987 has now become one of the leading aviation-services company in the country. Coastal Aviation offers more than 15 flights to tourist attractions in Tanzania, as well as some international flights to Kigali and Nairobi. Over the years, the company has helped boost Tanzania’s economy by making destinations that are difficult to get to, easily accessible through air travel.

4. Category: NGO of the year

   Winner: GSM Foundation

One of the biggest barriers to the eradication of poverty in Tanzania, is the lack of access to quality education and health, due to the lack of facilities. That’s why the GSM Foundation focuses on improving the accessibility of health care and education for people in Tanzania mostly through the development of infrastructure. Their motto is, ‘We build you to build others’, which illustrates the development projects that they’ve undertaken across Tanzania.

5. Category: Telecom company of the year

   Winner: Tigo Tanzania

As the fastest growing telecom in the country, many Tanzanians clearly live and love Tigo. From launching the first ever Swahili smartphone to offering free WhatsApp for its users, Tigo has invested heavily in providing products and services that are relevant to everyday Tanzanians, and it’s paying off.

6. Category: Restaurant of the year

Winner: Cape Town Fish Market

Located on the peninsula, with a one-of-a-kind view of the Indian Ocean, Cape Town Fish Market is more than just a bar and restaurant with a view –  it’s an experience. Patrons frequent it for the awesome Happy Hour deals, live music, and of course, delicious seafood. With beautiful people and a great vibe, what’s not to love about ‘Cape Town’? (as it’s popularly called).

7. Category: Hotel of the year

   Winner: Hyatt Regency Hotel

The personification of luxury. Staying at the Hyatt means that you are part of the upper echelons of Tanzanian society. However, in addition to being a status symbol for overnight guests, the Hyatt also knows how to attract day visitors. They achieve this through world class facilities like the Anantara spa, international cuisine restaurants, modern conference rooms, and elegant event halls. It’s also incredibly popular on Sunday’s when family and friends gather for their 5-star brunch.

8. Supermarket of the year

Winner: Food Lovers Market

Food Lovers Market make sure that their shoppers don’t have to go anywhere else to fulfil their grocery needs. From freshly baked bread, fresh produce, organic cereal, internationally renowned wine, detergents, and other items that are difficult to find in most stores, Food Lovers is really the place for foodies. And if you get tired, you can always relax at their outdoor restaurant and have a smoothie, coffee, beer, lunch, and more.

9. Category: TV Channel of the Year

  Winner: Azam TV

A relatively new station, Azam offers high-quality programming by using modern technology and equipment, as well as creating engaging content for an incredibly affordable price. They keep viewers engaged by frequently inviting local thought leaders on news shows to talk more about a topic rather than just reporting. They also cater to what people want to see by airing Telemundo series, local and international sporting events, Bongo movies, and more.

10. Category: Website of the year

    Winner: ZoomTanzania

In October 2016, ZoomTanzania launched a new website that is mobile friendly and bilingual (available in English and Swahili). With more Tanzanians than ever before using their phones to surf the Internet, Zoom wanted to make it as easy as possible for people to advertise, buy, and sell goods and services on the platform. And it seems to have worked, as people voted Zoom the best website of the year for the second time in a row.

Excellence never goes unnoticed

Once again, a successful business solves the problems of its clients, and it’s clear that the work done by these brands did not go unnoticed. Not only are the businesses recognised by the TLA committee which nominated them, but they are also appreciated by Tanzanians across the country who voted them ‘the best’.


Iman Lipumba
A digital storyteller, experienced in creating content that improves website visibility on search engines, enhances the user experience, and nurtures brand loyalty. With a background in the social sciences, an expert in researching complex ideas, and communicating them in engaging language to multiple audiences.