Anzisha Prize Finalists Announced

August 16th, 2011

African Leadership Academy and The MasterCard Foundation are proud to announce the finalists for the inaugural Anzisha Prize, the premier award for Africa’s young entrepreneurial leaders. These remarkable young entrepreneurs, hailing from eight nations across the continent, will converge in Johannesburg on August 28th, 2011 to compete for a share of $70,000 in prize money. The Anzisha Prize grand prize winners will be announced on September 1st, 2011, at the Protea Fire and Ice Hotel in Melrose Arch, Johannesburg, South Africa.

The inaugural Anzisha Prize garnered great interest across the continent, with eight finalists selected from 180 young entrepreneurs in 22 African countries. The finalists represent some of the most remarkable entrepreneurial stories on the continent. Eighteen year-old Joel Mwale, the founder of Skydrop Enterprises, decided to build a purified water bottling facility near his home in rural Kenya after an outbreak of dysentery hit his community. Ludwick Marishane of South Africa, the founder of Headboy Industries, is his nation’s youngest patent holder – and used a cell phone to type his 8,000 word business plan. From micro-finance and enterprise development to consumer products and services, the Anzisha Prize finalists have collectively impacted thousands of lives across Africa.

The Anzisha Prize takes its name from the Swahili word for ‘initiative’, and each finalist has demonstrated anzisha in bringing a ground-breaking venture to life. The eight finalists for the Anzisha Prize are:

Adamma Umeofia of Nigeria, 20, is the founder of WeBuilt: Africa, an organization that designs and constructs more functional and appealing market stalls using recycled building materials.

Amr Sobhy of Egypt, 23, is a founder of Zabatak, a website that crowdsources criminal activity and empowers ordinary citizens with information about crime and corruption in Egypt.

Antoinette Furaha of the Democratic Republic of Congo, 19, is the founder of Women’s Micro-Credit, a micro-finance business that invests in and empowers young refugee women.

Denise Mulenga of Zambia, 16, is the chief fashion designer and founder of DenShé Urban Wear, a fashion design company that produces colourful urban clothing for young women.

Frederick Swai of Tanzania, 21, is the founder of The Dreamer Center, an organization that provides office and computing services to youth and businesses in western Tanzania.

George Bakka of Uganda, 20, is the founder of Angels Finance Cooperation, a business incubator that nurtures young entrepreneurs and has launched businesses in jewellery, brick-laying, and baking.

Joel Mwale of Kenya, 18, is the founder of Skydrop Enterprises, a producer of clean drinking water that produces and distributes thousands of bottles of clean water monthly for local markets.

Ludwick Phofane Marishane of South Africa, 21, is the founder HeadBoy Industries, which developed and owns the patent for DryBath, the world’s first bath-substituting lotion.

“The eight Anzisha Prize finalists are some of the most inspirational people on the continent,” said African Leadership Academy Founder Chris Bradford, “and they demonstrate the potential of young people to have a transformative impact on their communities and continent.”

The Anzisha Prize finalists have won an all-expenses paid trip to South Africa to participate in a week-long entrepreneurship workshop at the African Leadership Academy campus in South Africa. The grand prize winners will share prizes worth $70,000 USD – prizes that they may use to take their projects to new heights.

“Africa’s young entrepreneurs are the creators of Africa’s future”, said Reeta Roy, President and CEO of The MasterCard Foundation. “It is their spirit of entrepreneurship that will fuel growth and social progress across this great continent.”

The Anzisha Prize is managed out of African Leadership Academy’s Entrepreneurship Center, which was established through a $1.6 million multi-year partnership with The MasterCard Foundation. Through the Entrepreneurship Center, African Leadership Academy and The MasterCard Foundation seek to catalyse innovation and entrepreneurship among young people across the continent. The Entrepreneurship Center will further develop and share African Leadership Academy’s entrepreneurship curriculum, and will promote entrepreneurial leadership across Africa with initiatives like the Anzisha Prize.

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