The Order of the Baobab

What is the Order of the Baobab?


The order of the Baobab is the highest award that BEN-Africa can bestow on someone for life-time achievements, and the name of this award links directly with BEN-Africa’s logo, the tree. Not any tree, but a big tree; that tree that we will find all over Africa under which elders gather to discuss community matters, and stay in deliberation with one another until they have found a solution that represents a workable consensus on a particular matter, taking into account the views and interests of all stakeholders and affected partners. The award was inaugurated in 2014.


Recipients of the Award


Prof Willie Esterhuyse (2014)

Prof Esterhuyse received the award for his invaluable contribution to pioneering Business Ethics in Africa by introducing a critical discourse on the social responsibility of business as a theoretical discipline in South African Universities and Business Schools and making this discourse accessible to business leaders, policy-makers and the public at large.




Adv Thuli Madonsela (2016)

Adv. Thuli Madonsela received the award for her unquestionable and explicit adherence to the rule of law and the principles of democracy, underpinned by an unequivocal commitment to good governance in practice and ethical leadership. She opened spaces for thought leadership in ethical practice and a values-driven economy, both nationally and globally; and her distinguishing trait of equanimity in the face of adversity makes her the epitome of the esteemed ethical servant leader.



Prof Mervyn King (2016)

Prof Mervyn King received the award for his invaluable contribution to ethical leadership and governance in business and society in South Africa and around the world. His strong advocacy of transparency, stakeholder inclusivity, responsible corporate citizenship, ethical leadership and integrated thinking is embedded in the world-renowned series of King Reports and the work of the International Integrated Reporting Council. His legacy would guide global practice in corporate governance and decision making for many years to come.