Thirteen Young African Entrepreneurs Compete for the 2012 Anzisha Prize
Finalists come from nine countries and have launched businesses ranging from agriculture and consumer products to energy and technology solutions
Johannesburg, South Africa and Toronto, Canada – August 20, 2012 – African Leadership Academy (ALA) and The MasterCard Foundation are proud to introduce the finalists for the 2012 Anzisha Prize. The Prize identifies and celebrates Africa’s young entrepreneurial leaders between the ages 16 to 22, who have identified opportunities in their communities and launched innovative ventures, which this year range from agriculture and consumer projects to energy and technology solutions.
“The Anzisha Prize finalists demonstrate the unlimited potential of Africa’s youth to shape the future,” said Chris Bradford, Founder and Dean of African Leadership Academy. “It is a privilege to welcome these 13 innovators to South Africa as they compete for the Anzisha Prize.”
The Anzisha Prize has garnered interest from young people across the continent. The 13 finalists were selected from a competitive pool of 270 young entrepreneurs from 23 African countries. Before the Prize Awards, these entrepreneurs will participate in a weeklong entrepreneurship workshop with the faculty of African Leadership Academy’s Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership. At the end of the week, they present their initiatives to a panel of judges that includes the South African entrepreneur Wendy Luhabe; the Mozambican entrepreneur Erik Charas, founder of Charas LDA; Zibusiso Mkhwananzi, Founder and CEO of KRAZYBOYZ Digital; and Jasandra Nyker, the CEO of BioTherm Energy. Three grand prize winners will be announced at a gala event on 29th August 2012, and will share $75,000 in prize money. The Anzisha Prize awards will be presented by Ashish Thakkar, Founder and Managing Director of the Mara Group of companies, who also became an entrepreneur at an early age.
“The Anzisha Prize finalists come from a range of economic and educational backgrounds, and all share one common attribute: a desire to make a difference in their communities,” said Reeta Roy, President and CEO of The MasterCard Foundation. “These finalists represent the entrepreneurial energy and leadership of Africa’s youth that will shape the future of the continent.”
The finalists’ initiatives have received local and international attention and are already making positive impacts in their communities. Eighteen year old Nadege Iradukunda, from Rwanda, led a team to deploy innovative biogas solutions in schools serving over 15,000 students. In Uganda, twenty year old Andrew Mupuya launched a paper bag production company that employs 14 people, ranging up to 53 years old. And in a village in Tanzania, 16-year old Faisal Burhan saw that his school was short on funds for gas for bunsen burners. His response was to design and build a bio-digester that produced gas from the school’s organic waste. From education and media, to energy and finance, the Anzisha Prize finalists have collectively impacted thousands of lives across Africa. Other finalists’ enterprises are in education, finance, recycling, technology, media, and energy.
The 2012 Anzisha Prize finalists are:
- Andrew Mupuya of Uganda, 20, founder of YELI, a paper bag production company that produces custom solutions for local hospitals and vendors and employs 14 persons, the oldest of whom is 53.
- David Mwendele of Tanzania, 22, founder of Let God Be You Foundation, an initiative that trains youth to launch their own ventures in book manufacturing, baking, and photography.
- Diana Kerubo Mong’are of Kenya, 16, founder of Waste Value, a local recycling initiative that mobilizes farmers, carpenters, households, and a local recycling company to reduce waste build up, at a profit.
- Faisal Burhan of Tanzania, 17, inventor extraordinaire, who designed and built a gas-producing bio-digester and also a microscope his school’s science classes.
- Isaac Nekemiah Oboth of Uganda, 22, founder of Media 256, a rising media production company that creates innovative videos for a wide range of NGO and corporate clients.
- Laetitia Mukungu of Kenya, 16, founder of Women’s Rabbit Association, a cooperative organization that farms rabbits profitably to help women pay for their childrens’ educational needs.
- Lindokuhle Mdluli, of Swaziland, 18, is the founder of Eco-Eagle. His company produces high- yield organic produce on non-arable land, using hydrophonic and other low-cost methods.
- Mahmood Oyewo of Nigeria, 20, founder of RubiQube, a cross-platform (iPhone, Android, Nokia, Windows Mobile) mobile applications platform for the Nigerian mobile market.
- Mubarack Muyika of Kenya, 18, founder of HypeCentury Technologies, a company that develops dynamic and affordable websites for small to medium sized local business.
- Mohamed Aldesouky Ismail of Egypt, 20, founder of Bara Co. Educational Toys, which designs and manufactures scientific toys for children.
- Nadege Iradukunda of Rwanda, 18, founding member of the United Youth for Rwandan Development, which spearheads the deployment of biogas solutions in schools serving over 15,000 students.
- Naledi Mosweu of Botswana, 18, founder of Guardian Angels Co., an award-winning company that produces a line of solid, alcohol-free perfumes.
- Yaw Duffour Awuah of Ghana, 19, founder of Student Aid Plus, a financial services company that offers financial literacy education and a savings and loan program to help students pay school fees.
About The Anzisha Prize
The Anzisha Prize takes its name from the Swahili word, meaning ‘initiative’. It is managed out of ALA’s Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, which was established through a $1.6 million multi-year partnership with The MasterCard Foundation. The Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership will further develop the African Leadership Academy’s entrepreneurship curriculum, and will promote entrepreneurial leadership across Africa with initiatives like the Anzisha Prize.
Visit www.anzishaprize.org for more information about the Prize, profiles and pictures of the finalists, and details about the announcement of the 2012 winners.
About African Leadership Academy
African Leadership Academy (ALA) seeks to transform Africa by developing a powerful network of entrepreneurial leaders who will work together to achieve extraordinary social impact. Each year, ALA brings together the most promising young leaders from all 54 African nations for a pre-university program in South Africa with a focus on leadership, entrepreneurship and African studies. ALA continues to cultivate these leaders throughout their lives, in university and beyond, by providing on-going leadership and entrepreneurial training and connecting them to high-impact networks of people and capital that can catalyse large-scale change. For more information, visit africanleadershipacademy.org.
About The MasterCard Foundation
The MasterCard Foundation advances microfinance and youth learning to promote financial inclusion and prosperity. Through collaboration with committed partners in 48 countries, the Foundation is helping people living in poverty to access opportunities to learn and prosper. An independent, private foundation based in Toronto, Canada, it was established through the generosity of MasterCard Worldwide at the time of the company’s initial public offering in 2006. For more information, visit www.mastercardfdn.org.