The annual Anzisha Prize Gala is a highlight on our calendar. Hosted by African Leadership Academy (ALA) in partnership with MasterCard Foundation, this year’s eighth rendition proved exceptional, notably as it featured 20 finalists instead of the usual 12, who each vied for their chance to win the grand prize of $25 000.
The event was live-streamed to a global online audience – and made it to Twitter’s Top 10 for South Africa. Tanatsei Gambura, a young leader from Zimbabwe and a Year 2 student at ALA, co-hosted the ceremony with popular South African personality, Maps Maponyane. The evening started out with powerful declaration by South African slam poet Afurakan, followed by an equally compelling opening address from Koffi Assouan, MasterCard Foundation Programme Manager: Youth Livelihoods, in which he urged the continued support of young entrepreneurs.
Keynote speaker and celebrated Nigerian entrepreneur Sim Shagaya challenged the finalists: “I don’t think that there has ever been a generation that faces challenges as profound and great as your generation,” he said, adding that the older generation must cede leadership to the youth in Africa to tackle Africa’s most pressing problems.
The evening was enhanced by a lively performance from the Academy’s students, Malkia and the Band, panel discussions with the finalists with questions from the online audience, and ended on a high note as Melissa Bime (22), co-founder of INFIUSS in Cameroon, was announced the grand prize winner. “
Today, I stand here to represent every young girl out there that just has her dreams. I stand here to represent this amazing group I have been part of this past week. With these people the future of Africa is very bright. We are going to change this continent, and we are going to look good doing it,” she said.