25 Young African Entrepreneurs shortlisted For $75 000 Anzisha Prize


Twenty five young entrepreneurs from around Africa have been named as semi-finalists for the prestigious Anzisha Prize, Africa’s foremost youth entrepreneurship awards. They all stand a chance to share in over $75 000 USD in cash prizes.

The 25 semi-finalists were chosen from the hundreds of entries received from 32 African countries and represent 15 different countries where they are actively making a difference by transforming their communities. A large number of the start-up businesses involve turning waste material into cost efficient and environmentally friendly energy sources while there is also an emphasis on web-based endeavours and education.

12 finalists will be chosen from this list of 25 entrepreneurs at the end of July. The 2013 Anzisha Prize Finalist Week will take place from Sunday, August 25 to Friday, August 30. The grand prize winner will be announced at a gala function to be held at The Venue in Johannesburg, South Africa, on the evening of August 30.

Chi Achebe, Anzisha Prize programme manager said: “We are delighted with the high calibre of semi-finalists this year. We undertook a road show throughout the African continent – visiting among other countries Ethiopia, Lesotho, Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania and Zimbabwe – and are delighted with the tremendous response we received from around Africa.”

Finalists will win an all-expense paid trip to the African Leadership Academy (ALA) in Johannesburg, South Africa, to attend a weeklong entrepreneurship conference and awards gala. While there, they will be taught by ALA’s renowned Entrepreneurial Leadership faculty as well as experienced business mentors. Winners will share $75,000 USD, courtesy of The MasterCard Foundation, and be given networking and learning opportunities to take their projects to the next level.

Now in its 3rd year, the Anzisha Prize – hosted by the African Leadership Academy in partnership with The MasterCard Foundation – celebrates initiative and innovation. It identifies exceptional young entrepreneurs who are leading by example and underscores their ability to significantly shape the future of Africa.
The word ‘Anzisha’ is taken from Swahili and translates into ‘initiative’ and is a project that is gaining significant momentum in African business circles as its impact is beginning to be felt.

The 25 Anzisha finalists (in country order) are:

Vanilli Tefegum- BURKINA FASO
Project Title: Biodigester EFA
Industry: Energy and waste
Vanilli Tefegum is a 20-year-old engineering student from Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso. Tefegum teamed up with a fellow engineering student to develop a biodigester prototype which significantly increases fertilisation of fields with bio-compost thereby reducing costs as well as offering a green friendly alternative. Her inspiration for a recycled plastic biodigester, to harvest fertiliser for gardens and fields, came from her mother’s efforts to grow vegetables and raise pigs. An innovative financing plan means that those purchasing the product only pay the first instalment after the first three months while the quarterly instalments thereafter equal the savings made on chemical fertilisers. The company aims to produce 1500 biodigesters in the first year which would impact the lives of more than 10 000 people. Biodigester EFA has enormous potential to improve the lives of poor rural populations and to create both direct and indirect employment. It is also better for the environment.

David Morfaw- CAMEROON
Project Title: Poult-Vault Inc.
Industry: Agriculture and poultry
Nineteen-year-old David Morfaw, from Bafut in Cameroon, has always had an entrepreneurial spirit and started his first business at the age of eight! His current venture is the poultry business Poult-Vault Inc. However, it is not simply about the bottom line but also helping the community he lives in. His business plan maximises each opportunity, whether it is selling chicks after three weeks, keeping them until they are grown at nine weeks or selling the chickens and their eggs. He also provides the waste produced to local farmers for fertile manure.

Khaled Shady- EGYPT
Project Title: Mubser
Industry: Information technology
Khaled Shady, from Shebin El-Kom, is a 21-year-old computer engineering student at Menoufoia University in Egypt. His university curriculum and technical knowledge gave him a unique opportunity to develop a system that could make a difference for the blind community. He decided to develop a cutting-edge product that could aid them in their daily lives. Shady’s invention Mubser is a wearable belt, fully equipped with Bluetooth and Microsoft Kinect, which allows the wearer to navigate safely around objects and obstacles using a system of vibrating motors. It is already making an impact and improving the quality of life for blind people.

Hiwot Gashaw- ETHIOPIA
Project Title: Abugida Fashion
Industry: Fashion design
Twenty-two year old Hiwot Gasha has grown up in Addis-Ababa, Ethiopia, and this is reflected in her fashion designs which can be regarded as original works of art. After design school, Gashaw started her own fashion business with an emphasis on innovative designs and putting a spin on traditional Ethiopian trends. She has won awards and designed for Miss Ethiopia in 2012. However, fashion isn’t the only thing she is passionate about and is determined to help vulnerable women in her community. She is involved with multiple organisations that try to help prostitutes, beggars and orphans turn their lives around.

Paul Barclay- KENYA
Project Title: Impact Africa
Industry: Consumer products
Paul Barclay is a 21-year-old entrepreneur from Kitale in Kenya. His business, Impact Africa, provides inexpensive, reusable and washable sanitary towels for women and young girls. Barclay saw that the prices of regular disposable towels were simply too expensive for families strapped for cash so he and his team developed a product that could help thousands of women while still turning a profit.

Daniel Sawa- KENYA
Project Title: Biogas Digester Plant
Industry: Energy and waste
Daniel Sawa is an 18-year-old innovator from Busia in Kenya. He has created the Biogas Digester Plant which uses raw materials as a source for energy and manure. Starting small, demand quickly increased as Sawa’s innovative energy solutions were often more convenient for the consumer. These alternative solutions – whether it is using cow dung, agricultural waste or raw sewage – provide for a cheaper alternative to traditional energy.

Joan Njoroge- KENYA
Project Title: Rafiki Farming Project
Industry: Agriculture
A native of Nairobi, Kenya, Joan Njoroge got involved with a community that supported children affected by HIV/Aids at a very early age. Through these experiences, she realised a great opportunity in the form of agriculture to not only feed these children, but also make a commercial profit that could fund other experiences and daily necessities. Njoroge believed it would be even more impactful if she taught some of these important skills to the children living in the community.

Gonjetso Chinyama- MALAWI
Project Title: Pakwathu
Industry: Information technology
Gonjetso Chinyama is a 21-year-old student at the University of Malawi in Blantyre where he is studying Management Information Systems with a passion for art, design, and computer programming. He joined these passions to start a creative design agency called Twenty2 Creative. From there he saw a niche in the marketplace and created the Internet real estate venture, Pakwathu. This enables Malawians to find property throughout the country and sift through a plethora of options based on location and price.

Joshua Ihejiamaizu- NIGERIA
Project Title: The Health Book Project
Industry: Health care
Twenty-year-old Joshua Ihejiamaizu is a student from Calabar in Nigeria where he studies electrical electronic engineering. However, he has always had a desire to help people in his local community. This mind-set led him to design a Health Book application for mobile devices which helps address the inadequacies of medical services in his country. Health Book allows university students to report illnesses and get instant feedback and advice based on their symptoms. It also lets university officials see trends developing in the community so that they can react if illnesses seem to be spreading.

Temitayo Olufuwa- NIGERIA
Project Title: JobsinNigeria
Industry: Information technology
Temitayo Olufuwa, from Fadeyi, is a graduate of N.I.I.T. where he focused on computer science and software. The 21-year-old created JobsinNigeria (www.jobsinnigeria.com.ng), a web-based system that allows users to search, find and apply for new jobs at the click of the mouse or even on mobile devices. JobsinNigeria only started in 2012 and yet its impact on the Nigerian community is growing substantially with more than 200 Nigerians already finding jobs.

Greater Oyejobi- NIGERIA
Project Title: COUNTER
Industry: Education
Greater Oyejobi is a 20-year-old innovator from Idaban in Nigeria. As a student at Osun University in Nigeria, Oyejobi saw two big problems in his community; the streets littered with plastic and children who were battling with mathematics. From there, he developed COUNTER in which plastic litter is transformed into a fun and user-friendly maths device to help children. This brightly multi-coloured tool helps youngsters with all facets of mathematics ranging from counting and division to multiplication and subtraction. It also helps clean up the streets.

Joie Laurent Sangwa- RWANDA
Project Title: Domestic Biogas Use Promotion Project
Industry: Energy and waste
Nineteen-year-old Joie Sangwa from Burera in Rwanda realised that her community needed cheap and renewable energy resources. Working with a team, she discovered that human waste is a good source of energy and developed a process to turn it into an effective energy solution. This offers a cheap, alternative energy source while helping with the environment.

Mohamed Mandeen Bah- SENEGAL
Project Title: Recidiviste online magazine
Industry: Media and publishing
Mohamed Mandeen Bah is a 21-year-old Dakar student of graphic and web-design who co-created Recidiviste, a magazine focused on African arts and culture. Originally from Guinea Conakry, Bah was inspired by the idea of providing quality locally produced content and comment on Senegalese arts and culture. Five publications have been produced during the past 18 months with an increasing readership that spans not only Africa but has a global reach to countries like France and the US. Bah’s dream is to build a Senegalese Rolling Stone magazine starting with the release of a more regular edition of the on-line magazine and expanding to a printed version.

Donald Bambara- SENEGAL
Project Title: Green Act
Industry: Energy and waste
Nineteen-year-old Donald Bambara grew up in Burkina Faso but after completing his high school education, moved to Dakar, Senegal, to start international management studies. Bambara quickly came to recognise a big problem in his university community – waste. He came up with a dynamic plan for how to combat the waste problem and started Green Act. This project helps separate trash from recyclable materials on campus. But his quest to clean up his campus, and campuses around him doesn’t end there as he processes the recyclables into plastic pellets, funds cleaning services on campuses, and tries to educate students and young people in Senegal about the impacts of current waste management practices and future possibilities for recycling.

Mouhamad Medoune Boye- SENEGAL
Project Title: SenFree Schools
Industry: Education
Dakar’s Mouhamad Medoune Boye (22) was inspired by the injustice of a friend’s lack of access to higher education. This led him to set up SenFree Schools, the first free, interactive, and virtual university web-platform in Africa. Funded by advertising on their educational videos, this project has already created employment for local professors and technicians while providing access to free quality higher education to many thousands of students in Senegal and across the continent. Boye dreams of expanding the current eight modules while also translating them into different languages.
Siphesile Madlala- SOUTH AFRICA
Project Title: The EmulaRmp
Industry: Energy
Eighteen-year-old Siphesile Madlala from Johannesburg is one of the driving forces behind EmulaRmp, a solar powered lamp manufactured using recyclable materials. It is inexpensive to produce and solves the problem of traditional kerosene lamps, which are harmful to both people and the environment. Madlala is part of a group of like-minded social entrepreneurs called the Emulsified Environmentalists who find problems regarding the environment in their community and look to solve them. In 2012, the team won The Social Innovation Relay, a global competition that challenges secondary school students to come up with a new business concept that has a positive social impact.

Kolawole Olajide- SOUTH AFRICA
Project Title: Funda
Industry: Information technology and education
Kolawole Olajide, 21, was born and bred in Cape Town. He is the chief developer and co-founder of Funda is an online learning management system that brings together educational resources to make the lives of teachers, students and parents easier. For example a teacher can create a website that serves as an online discussion board for students to collaborate on an assignment while students can create a class website to work on and submit assignments electronically He is part of a 5 man team of young entrepreneurs who represent 5 different African nations – Nigeria, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Kenya.  Kolawole and his team have gone on to win a number of awards, recognition from prestigious groups like the UNDP, and an invitation to attend the Davos World Economic Forum.

Victor Mnyawami- TANZANIA
Project Title: The University Entrepreneurship Challenge
Industry: Education
Victor Mnyawami (22) is a student in Dar es Salaam where he noticed the need for a way to challenge students and spark an entrepreneurial mind-set among young Tanzanians. This idea led him to develop a platform for identifying, nurturing, and showcasing emerging entrepreneurs in Tanzania called the University Entrepreneurship Challenge. This challenge is not just about giving money to its winners but also provides advice to start-up companies and promotes entrepreneurship.

Samwel Sevua- TANZANIA
Project Title: Mocobase
Industry: Information technology
Arusha resident, Samwel Sevua, is a 21-year-old computer science engineering student who spends his time investigating how technology can improve the lives of people in their daily lives. He has created a software programme, Mocobase, which improves communication between parents and educational institutions. This helps parents wherever they are to receive a child’s grade report and communicate with teachers and administrators. This idea could revolutionise the reporting system within Tanzania.

Damotila Silayo- TANZANIA
Project Title: Jathropa Soap Production
Industry: Health and wellness
Domitila Silayo is a 21-year-old university student from Moshi, Tanzania. After visiting an agricultural festival, Silayo saw great potential for using the jathropa plant for cosmetic and medicinal uses. She began research on how to produce a soap made from the herbal plant that could heal a variety of skin problems including ringworm and dandruff. Jathropa Soap Production has gone on to help thousands of people in Tanzania fight off skin problems while still turning a healthy profit and creating employment.

Seifallah Mejri- TUNISIA
Project Title: Clean Phosphates
Industry: Environmental
Seifallah Mejri is a 23-year-old electrical engineer from Tunis. South west Tunisia is one of the largest producers of quality phosphate in the world. The downside is the waste product left behind which can have a negative environmental impact. Clean Phosphates offers a solution by transforming waste phosphate, through a series of treatments, into a clay containing kaolin. Clean Phosphates took second prize in the Maghreb Start-up Initiative supported by the US Embassy and a prize at a business competition supported by the German Fredrich Naumann Foundation.

Best Aiyorworth- UGANDA
Project Title: Girls’ Power Micro Lending Organisation
Industry: Microfinance and education
Best Ayiorworth is an advocate for education in her home district Nebbi in northern Uganda. The 21-year-old has started the Girls’ Power Micro Lending Organisation. Its motto is “To help a mother, is to help a girl child.” Girls’ Power is a micro lending business that supports girls through their mothers. They give women starting capital or money to boost their existing businesses so that they are able to support their daughters with school fees and scholastic materials and ensure that they get an education.

Titus Mawano- UGANDA
Project Title: Ffene
Industry: Information technology
Titus Mawano, a 22-year-old from Kampala, is the brains behind Ffene, a business management platform for SMMEs in Africa who are struggling to stay organised, yet still use a loose-leaf notebook to keep record of clients and sales. Ffene’s vision is to get African businesses in the cloud. Whether it is accounting, inventory management or data keeping, Ffene is the one stop shop for SMMEs. With well over 400 current customers just 3 months after launch, Ffene is well on its way to revolutionizing how SMMEs do business in Uganda and beyond.

Matia Ssebiranda- UGANDA
Project Title: Appropriate Rural Technology Development
Industry: Energy
In 2011, 20-year-old Matia Ssebiranda from Masindi witnessed charcoal prices soaring in his home country of Uganda. After doing research, he realised that the problem was not only economic but environmental as people were chopping down whole forests for the production of charcoal. This deforestation, along with the harmful emissions from traditional charcoal use, makes traditional charcoal one of the dirtiest, yet most widely used, energy sources in Uganda. Ssebiranda began to research alternative methods of charcoal production which led to the creation of Appropriate Rural Technology Development. This project teams up with rural farmers across Uganda in an effort to utilise agricultural waste to produce charcoal, an alternative that is both cheaper and more sustainable.

Tambudzai Theresa Mutale- ZAMBIA
Project Title: Floating School, Malabo
Industry: Education
Twenty-year-old Theresa Mutale is an environmental and educational activist who cares deeply about her country and community. She has fought for issues like educational rights for children and environmental protection from floods. These passions ran together as she developed her idea for a floating school in Malabo, which will allow students to go to school despite the flood seasons.

For more information, visit : www.anzishaprize.org
Facebook: www.facebook.com/anzishaprize
Twitter: @anzishaprize
YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/anzishaprize

© 2013, GeneAfrique. All rights reserved.

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