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Africa’s Brightest & Best! Check out the 10 Nominees for The Future Awards Africa Young Person of the Year 2013



The-Future-Awards-2013-New-600x406The Central Working Committee (CWC) of The Future Awards Africa has unveiled the list for the biggest youth award on the continent, the Young Person of the Year – The Africa Prize. The Future Awards Africa which has been described by the World Bank as ‘The Nobel Prize for Young Africans’, partners with the African Union (AU) this year.

As is the tradition, the nominees for Young Person of the Year – The Africa Prize, were drawn from a huge pool of talented trailblazers across Africa, who are making tremendous contributions around the globe,” said Dr. Raymonde Agossou, Head, Division for Human Capacity and Youth Development, African Union Commission. “We are extremely proud of our honorees this year. Working with The Future Project to compile this impressive list was refreshing.”

The winner of this award will be announced at the awards ceremony to hold in August 2013, in addition, all the honourees will be given plaques.

We are extremely pleased with our honourees and the entire list presented by The Future Project this year, at every turn, these young African stars inspire us,” said Tonye Cole, Managing Director of Sahara Energy who is a member of the Audit Committee for The Future Awards. “We are also extremely grateful to the African Union Commission for partnering with us this year.

The seventy-five (75) nominees for the other 15 categories of The Future Awards Africa 2013 were announced on the 10th of July, 2013.

This edition of The Future Awards is hosted in partnership with the youth office of the African Union Commission, based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and nominations for the biggest prize, Young Person of the Year is Africa-based. The honourees automatically qualify as one of the 50 Young Africans Making a Difference on the Continent to be celebrated by the African Union at its 50th Anniversary Celebration in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in October 2013.

Previous Young Person of the Year winners include malaria scientist Ify Aniebo, award-winning writer Chimamanda Adichie, NASA scholar Tosin Otitoju, agriculture entrepreneur, Nnaemeka Ikegwuonu, and multiple award winning journalist, Idris Akinbanjo who beat out Jason Njoku, Linda Ikeji, Chinwe Njoku, Peter and Paul Okoye (Psquare), and D’banj to clinch the coveted award last year.

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For more information, visit @TFAAfrica on Twitter or

Young Person Of The Year – The Africa Prize 2013 Honourees

Ludwick Marishane – South Africa (22)

The Future Awards Young Person of the Year Honourees - BellaNaija - July2013 (1)

South Africa’s youngest patent holder and serial inventor, Ludwick Marishane is the founder of DryBath, the world’s only non-water based germicidal bath substitute lotion for the whole body which has sold 162 units as at 2012. He was rated as the best student entrepreneur in the world (Global Champion of the Global Student Entrepreneurs Awards 2011), one of the 12 winners of Google’s annual Zeitgeist Young Minds Competition, and appeared on Huffington Post and Ted Talks in 2012.

William Kamkwamba – Malawi (25)

The Future Awards Young Person of the Year Honourees - BellaNaija - July2013 (5)

A student in the Dartmouth College class of 2014, William Kamkwamba is a Malawian inventor and author who rose to global fame when he built a windmill to power some electrical appliances at their family house back at the age of 14. In 2012, Kamkwamba published his autobiography, an inspirational book, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope and a documentary about Kamkwamba, called William and the Windmill, won the Documentary Feature Grand Jury award at SXSW in 2013.

Ashish J. Thakkar – Uganda (32)The Future Awards Young Person of the Year Honourees - BellaNaija - July2013 (6)

Ashish J. Thakkar is the Managing Director of Mara Group, a conglomerate he founded at the age of 15 which includes IT, real estate, manufacturing companies, and more with operations in 26 countries, spanning four continents, and employing over 7,000 people worldwide.

Saran Kaba Jones – Liberia (31)The Future Awards Young Person of the Year Honourees - BellaNaija - July2013 (1)

Saran Kaba Jones is a clean water advocate and social entrepreneur who founded FACE Africa to provide safe drinking water and empower women and girls in her home country of Liberia; FACE Africa had raised over $250,000 to this end and Jones was listed by the Guardian UK in 2013 as one of Africa’s 25 Top Women Achievers alongside President Joyce Banda of Malawi and Nobel Laureate Leymah Gbowee.

Moctar Dembele – Burkina Faso (22)The Future Awards Young Person of the Year Honourees - BellaNaija - July2013 (2)

Moctar Dembélé, one half of the team of African students that invented The Faso Soap, together with his partner, (Gérard Niyondiko, from Burundi), he is the first non-American born/citizen, to win the Global Science Venture Competition (GSVC) organized by the University of California Berkeley, USA for inventing the anti-malaria repellant soap.

Grace Ihejiamaizu – Nigeria (22)The Future Awards Young Person of the Year Honourees - BellaNaija - July2013 (2)

Named as one of Google’s 12 Brightest Young Minds in 2011, and by the US Government as ‘International Exchange Alumni Member of the Month for September 2012’, Grace Ihejiamaizu is an entrepreneur and global change-maker. In 2010, she founded an after-school youth project, Raising Young Productive Entrepreneurs (RYPE) Initiative; in 2012, she started a Social Enterprise company called iKapture Networks and founded the fast-growing online platform,

Patrick Ngowi – Tanzania (28)The Future Awards Young Person of the Year Honourees - BellaNaija - July2013 (3)

Following its nomination by Tanzania’s leading consulting and auditing firm (KPMG) in 2012 as the fastest growing company in the country, Helvetic Solar and its founder, Patrick Ngowi have from then been featured in a number of national and international media including FORBES, Venture Africa, and most recently, he was invited to speak at the Africa Global Business Forum 2013 that was held in Dubai.

Peter Okoye and Paul Okoye (PSQUARE) – Nigera(31)The Future Awards Young Person of the Year Honourees - BellaNaija - July2013 (4)

This inspiring twin brothers have been tagged one of the very best in African music. Signed to Akon’s Konvict Musik, Psquare signed a record distribution deal with Universal Music Group in 2012, the same year they released their hugely successful remix singles/videos featuring global music giants, Akon “Chop My Money”, and Rick Ross “Beautiful Onyinye Remix”. The duo has just come off a massively successful African tour where they easily filled up stadia in Malawi, South Africa, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Equatorial Guinea, Congo Brazzaville, and more.

Fohlabenchi Lily Haritu – CAMEROON (27)The Future Awards Young Person of the Year Honourees - BellaNaija - July2013 (7)

A finalist of the 2013 Commonwealth Youth Awards for Excellence in Development Work, Foglabenchi Lily Haritu, is the youngest individual to reach the position of program supervisor in the Cameroon Baptist Convention Health Services. Haritu has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to reproductive and sexual health rights education and rights promotion particularly through her work with stationary and rural mobile clinics across Cameroon.

Kariuki Gathitu – Kenya (27)The Future Awards Young Person of the Year Honourees - BellaNaija - July2013 (1)

Kariuki Gathitu is an entrepreneur, and software developer who in 2010 turned down an offer to work for Google to instead developed a mobile payment management system called MPAYER. MPAYER has been widely acknowledged and received awards for innovation and recently won second position in a global competition held in South Africa called Dragons Den (2013) and was the best application in Africa; it came second in the World’s 50 Top Startups Globally (2013), and in same year was named one of the Top Tech Start ups You Need to Know in Africa by CNN.

Visit The Future Project’s website to read the honourees’ full profiles.
BellaNaija is a media partner with The Future Awards Africa 2013


  1. zeee

    July 16, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    Nawa o. Every year they bring out this their list, I ask myself – babe! What impact have u made? What are you doing with your life ooooo! Just on this my 9-5 hustle! Argh!

    • Laide

      July 16, 2013 at 8:16 pm

      I know right! Dear God , please me too I don’t want to be a ‘weist’..I want pple to be read about the great works I have done too. All these pple changing the world are also young like me. My own is just to be coming on bella naija to read comments ..sigh

    • dan

      July 17, 2013 at 9:30 am

      lol! I was thinking the same thing and I consoled myself with a “God’s time is the Best!”

  2. kk

    July 16, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    Goodluck to all the nominees!! Africa has amazing talent!!

  3. Turi

    July 16, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    Am loving the inclusion of other African Countries in this category, however Psquare in the line-up dont see how that adds up. If you are going to have nominees based on their innovative ideas and skills, please by all means. If its for entertainment, record sales and box office hits, then let it be that…

    • Amma

      July 16, 2013 at 8:11 pm

      I see you have not been abreast with the happening in the business world. Google p square business ventures you might educate your self a bit on the impact they are making . Music is a plate form

    • 'oma

      July 18, 2013 at 10:33 am

      Yeah music might be considered innovative but its that the case, then other young succesful musicians like Whizkid,Don Jazzy,Tuface,even Olamide and the endless Nigerian musicians should be part of the list.Psquare shouldnt be in this line up at all.These are people that have achieved so much and given so much to young people, making young people believe in themselves and develop themselves in the process.The last person P-Square tried to develop turned out controversial-Think May-D

  4. Okechukwu Ofili

    July 16, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    Happy for Saran Kaba Jones, been following her work for years. Truly deserving. Keep rocking!

    • Ogidigan

      July 16, 2013 at 8:47 pm

      Reccos, I see you. You will be on this list pretty soon with the wonderful projects and entrepreneur endeavours you are involved with.

  5. Anon

    July 16, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    I’m in tears ooo,see the impact of this young people on their society.God help me to live above my expectation

  6. Babygirl

    July 16, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    Kudos to you guys! It’s also interesting to know that irrespective of your chosen field of career, all you need to do is to do it well. A very motivating group of peeps.

  7. Hot mama

    July 16, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    Pretty hard deciding who I’d personally pick as the winner cos I’m really impressed by them all…though I’m trying to understand why Psquare is in this category*raised eyebrow*

    • Hot mama

      July 17, 2013 at 6:38 pm

      Aunty Bella, werin do my avatar

  8. Daniel

    July 16, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    P Square? I mean I am not knocking their accomplishments in the entertainment sector but shouldnt the Young Person of the Year really be for people making a massive positive impact…….. I know a guy in Abuja who is picking up destitute kids from the streets and housing in them in places where they are taught basic education… … hundreds of them……….. these are the sort of people I will like to see…..

  9. mimi said

    July 16, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    Ashish J. Thakkar – Uganda (32)…ultimate christian grey (fifty shades of grey) i wana be his anna plz…but am really inspired to be the best at wateva i do

  10. mio

    July 16, 2013 at 10:50 pm

    Linda ikeji was among d nominees last year? *interesting*

  11. omo ibo

    July 17, 2013 at 12:31 am

    There’s so much talent & the potential in Africa it’s not even funny! If the silly African government could only create a conducive environment for their citizens to harness their talents Africa would easily be on par with a lot of the developed parts of the world!

  12. sharon

    July 17, 2013 at 9:43 am

    P-square is not suppose 2b dere I tink dere is an eRror smwhere ooooo,wat ave dey done 4 †ђξ country sef mtchwwwwwwwwwww

  13. amanda chembezi

    July 17, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    congratulations Lily…you are indeed a star

  14. David Friday

    July 18, 2013 at 3:39 am

    Am always happy wen i see young pple doing dere best 2 change dere society 4 gud bt i still don knw abt (p sq?)

  15. obitalk

    July 18, 2013 at 10:51 am

    I love this list truely inspirational


    July 18, 2013 at 7:55 pm

    Power list. Saran Kaba Jones for the win!

  17. yoyo

    July 21, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    ify Aniebo. major crush on that babe innnnnnnnnnnnnn! damn!

  18. themanecaptain

    September 17, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    congratulations to all the nominee. I pray for continued success in their countries and inspire many young people around them to go after their dreams and ideas, regardless of their socio-economic status. William from Malawi is truly an inspiration to people in “lower” class group

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