Anzisha Prize is Africa’s premier award for the Continent’s bright and best young entrepreneurs. And it is hosted by the African Leadership Academy (ALA) in collaboration with the MasterCard Foundation.
The aim is to support and accelerate youth-led local innovation for local problems in the Continent by providing much needed mentoring as well as networking opportunities.
This year, Anzisha Prize received 339 applications from 32 countries across Africa. Applicants were between the ages of 15 and 22, and have started inclusive ventures in a diverse range of economic sectors, including energy, health care, tourism, and hospitality. For example, the 22-year-old Sam Kodo from Togo began designing robots at the age of eight and now runs an IT hardware company that assembles low cost computers, has six employees and plans to expand the rest of Togo and neighbouring countries.
This year, there were 12 finalists from 7 countries and five young women are among the 12 finalists in the running for the $75,000 prize money that will be awarded on 23 September.
Nteff Alain, 22, is the Founder of the Gifted Mom project, an e-content platform for pregnant women to combat the high mother and infancy deaths. Gifted Mom is the first mobile health platform in Central Africa which uses low cost technologies to improve the health conditions of pregnant women and newborns in under-served and disconnected communities.
From Ivory Coast
Gabriel Kombassere, 17, is the Founder of Rible Neda, a farming association that produces 20 bags of maize and one cargo of cassava per year feeding its members and their families.
Winifred Selby, 19, is the Founder of the Ghana Bamboo Bikes Initiative, a bamboo bike making technology to manufacture affordable multi-purpose bikes suitable for the Ghanaian terrain. The company has also engaged in exporting its products and makes between US $16,000 to $20,000 in revenue a month.
Chineye Okoro Onu, 19, is the Founder of the Mosaicpiration Project, an initiative that uses recycled material to create art and impact entrepreneurial skills to young people through training and mentorship.
Tom Osborn, 18, is the Founder of Greenchar, a clean energy project that produces smokeless charcoal briquettes and distributes clean cook stoves throughout Kenya.
Martha Chumo, 19, is the Founder of Nairobi Developer School, an institution that provides the youth with computer programming knowledge and skills to build sustainable solutions using technology.
From South Africa
Thato Kgatlhanye, 21, is the Founder of Repurpose Schoolbags, an initiative that designs school bags made from up-cycled plastic shopping bags with integrated solar technology that charges up during the day and transforms into light for learners to study after dark.
Jeffrey Mulaudzi, 22, is the Founder of Mulaudzi Bicycle Tours, a lifestyle tour in Alexandra township that engages members of the community by telling their stories and enveloping them into the business, creating a socio-economic transformation.
Benedicte Mundele, 20, is the Founder of Surprise Tropical, an organic local produce canteen to promote a healthy lifestyle in her community in the suburb of Kinshasa. She has been named one of the promising young World Economic Forum Global Shapers.
Noah Walakira, 21, is the Founder of Namirembe Sweater Makers, a community-based organisation that provides school uniform sweaters to over 40 schools across the country.
Chukwuwezam Obanor, 22, is the Founder of Prepclass, an online platform that provides study content (past tests, answers, etc.) for local Nigerian schools in preparation for national exams.
Sam Kodo, 22, is the Founder of LC-COM (Low-Cost Computer) / Infinite Loop, a company that produces low-cost personal computers for students.
In a press statement, ALA said, “Our 12 finalists will be flown to Johannesburg, South Africa, for the 2014 Anzisha Prize Week scheduled from 18-25 September where a panel of judges from across the entrepreneurial sphere will convene to select the grand prize winners. They will receive training from African Leadership Academy’s renowned entrepreneurial leadership faculty and engage with industry leaders, mentors, as well as engage with change agents from across the continent.”
Since the awards were first held in 2011, 33 Fellows have been selected so far. To highlight a few, 2013 Fellow Kolawole Olajide is a South Africa and Nigeria based developer of online education platform. 2012 Fellow Andrew Mupuya from Uganda was recently featured on CNN for his growing paper-bag manufacturing empire. In 2012, Laetitia Mukungu from Kenya founded Funda a rabbit farm. 2011 Fellow Amr Sohby from Egypt is an information activist and founder of Morsimeter.com
Through Anzisha Prize, a four-year-old initiative, the organizers seek to catalyze innovation and entrepreneurship among youth in the Continent by bringing the most promising young leaders together.
- Mulaudzi Bicycle Tours
- Infinite Loop
- Rible Neda
- MasterCard Foundation
- Namirembe Sweater Makers
- African Leadership Academy
- Winifred Selby
- Chukwuwezam Obanor
- Noah Walakira
- Thato Kgatlhanye
- Benedicte Mundele
- Chineye Okoro Onu
- Jeffrey Mulaudzi
- Tom Osborn
- Nteff Alain
- Laetitia Mukungu
- Martha Chumo
- anzisha prize
- Gabriel Kombassere