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
African Leadership Academy (ALA) and The MasterCard Foundation are proud to introduce the finalists for the 2012 Anzisha Prize (http://anzishaprize.org). 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. One of the finalists, Mahmood Oyewo of Nigeria, 20, is the founder of MobiQube and developer of RubiQube, a cross-platform (iPhone, Android, Windows Mobile etc) mobile app platform for the burgeoning Nigerian mobile market. 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.