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.
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 for 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 highyield 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.
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.
For more information on the Anzisha Prize visit http://www.anzishaprize.org. You can also follow @Anzishaprize and @ALAcademy for updates on these Anzisha Prize finalists.