E-Fest 2023: Umuntu Ngumuntu Ngabantu (I am because we are)

ALA’s flagship Entrepreneurial Leadership curriculum is the engine for developing our students into trailblazers of the future. As part of the program, first-year students are organized into teams and spend six weeks using the BUILD model (a human-centered design process) to devise new, original ideas to solve grand pan-African challenges. At the end of the unit, the Entrepreneurial Leadership department hosts “E-Fest,” a competitive event where a rigorous selection process identifies the top three ideas. The top 3 teams then present their ideas to the community and external judges, who select the winning team. The top three teams were Athletica, Let’s Talk Sex, and TransparencyNow.

Athletica

Despite the potential for success in sports, Africa struggles to identify and develop talent, resulting in a lack of representation in global sporting events. Insufficient funding, limited resources, lack of infrastructure, and insufficient training programs contribute to this challenge. Consequently, too many top athletes migrate to Europe and the untapped potential of African athletes goes unseen. According to UNESCO, Africa only accounted for 6.3% of the total Olympic medals won between 1984 and 2016, despite being home to 16% of the world’s population.

Athletica wants to address this challenge through talent identification camps where young athletes can showcase their skills and receive feedback from coaches and scouts, a data analytics tool that analyzes athletic performance data and identifies KPIs that predict future success, and a platform that connects athletes to coaches for mentorship sessions.

By implementing these initiatives, Athletica hopes to provide African athletes with the necessary resources, support, and mentorship that they need to succeed in the world of sports.

Let’s Talk Sex

Let’s Talk Sex’s recognizes that young people on the African continent face a critical need for accessible Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) education  from an engaging and realistic lens in order to reduce teenage pregnancy in the continent.

Let’s Talk Sex aims to address this problem by developing a digital game for young people aged 13-17—this game will deliver sexual education and promote safe sex in a fun and engaging way. The game immediately addresses matters pertaining to sexual misconceptions, the lack of sexual education, and, subsequently, high sexual activity, high teen pregnancy rates, spread of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) as well as sexual assault, whereby victims may unknowingly engage in coerced sexual relationships.

The team hopes to address this problem, as young people across the African continent face numerous challenges in accessing Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights, such as cultural norms, lack of resources, and limited access to education. By improving the accessibility and quality of Sexual and Reproductive Health education, Let’s Talk Sex aims to enhance the well-being and socio-economic development of young individuals throughout Africa.

TransparencyNow

The TransparencyNow team

TransparencyNow aims to empower citizens in Africa to tackle corruption with fintech innovation. The need identified by the team is the lack of ethical leadership and accountability in African governments. Citizens need accountability in order to improve efficiency in governance and proper management of state resources. African countries have to become more interested in government accountability if they are to achieve the growth rate necessary to reduce poverty and improve the well-being of their populations.

To address this issue, TransparencyNow’sproposed solution is a software management system that tracks the flow of funds and allocation of resources by central governments. Leveraging financial technology, TransparencyNow will monitor transactions from dedicated bank accounts or other structures from which money is disbursed. All transaction data will be publicly accessible, ensuring transparency and enabling citizens to help leaders accountable.

Through their work, TransparencyNowhopes to eliminate the misappropriation of government funds and improved service delivery due to better spending of government money as a result of increased transparency.

After the presentations, the judges named Let’s Talk Sex, the winning team of E-Fest 2023. The team is made up of Letšabisa Motšoene (Lesotho), Tanatsiwa Dube (Zimbabwe), Yasmin Basharu (Nigeria), Malebina Tsotsotso (South Africa), and Aminata Togo (Mali).

E-Fest would not have been a success without the invaluable guidance and support of the Entrepreneurial Leadership Faculty, who played a crucial role in every step of the journey.

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