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Four ALA Students Develop Mobile App to Integrate Sign Language to Text at E-Fest 2020

Every year, the African Leadership Academy Entrepreneurial Leadership department hosts an Enterprise Festival, also known as E-Fest, which showcases unique solutions to grand challenges designed by first year students through the Original Ideas for Development (OID) units of the curriculum. This year’s edition was the 10th hosted at the Academy.

The first year Entrepreneurial Leadership curriculum at ALA teaches students to identify existing needs and opportunities on the continent and develop real solutions to those challenges, using a human-centered approach. This annual exercise culminates in E-Fest, where students deliver group presentations and compete for a chance to incubate their projects in the second-year Student Enterprise Program.

Year 1 Student Pitching

The winning enterprise was ViC, a group of four students from Kenya, Tunisia, Madagascar and Burundi, who created an application that integrates sign language to text in order to bridge the gap between the hearing-impaired and hearing communities in Africa. 

This year, the one-day festival began with the first year students pitching their ideas to to a team of judges, while second year students took part in a series of workshops, including a session on impact investment hosted by ALA Global Advisory Council member, Ed Brakeman; a session on client management in business hosted by South African entrepreneur, Nkateko Mathebula; and a session on the significance of very young entrepreneurship, hosted by The Anzisha Prize team. 

“This year the Anzisha Prize decided to partner with E-Fest in order to share the broader mission of Anzisha, which is to encourage and support young Africans to pursue entrepreneurship as an avenue to tackle unemployment on the African continent. As we celebrate our 10th year of the program, we also wanted to celebrate with the ALA community, which embraces the importance of entrepreneurial thinking at a young age. We hope that through the stories we shared and the examples of young entrepreneurs that were presented, ALA students will be further encouraged to build their ideas into tangible and scalable businesses,” said Melissa Mbazo-Ekpenyong, Deputy Director of the Anzisha Prize. 

Since winning E-Fest in 2019, CurriSex, a group of second year students have had the opportunity to incubate their project through the Student Enterprise Program at ALA. CurriSex aims to implement comprehensive sex education in secondary schools all over sub-Saharan African. Following their win last year, they presented their ideas at Anzisha’s Very Young Entrepreneur Education & Acceleration Summit, enabling them to make valuable connections and share their ideas with educators, investors, and entrepreneurs.

E-Fest 2019 winners – CurriSex

If you interested in supporting ALA students through the Student Enterprise Program, sign up to join the Student Enterprise Board today.