Africa’s top youth entrepreneurs compete to win prize

Plaques from the Anzisha awards

African Leadership Academy has announced finalists for the continent’s top youth entrepreneurs in the sixth annual Anzisha Prize.

This year, the prize celebrates increased presence in Northern African markets such as Morocco and Egypt, and francophone countries such as Madagascar and Niger.

The 12 Anzisha Prize finalists were hand-picked from 550 entrepreneurs from 32 African countries.

The Anzisha Prize applauds outstanding youth entrepreneurs between the ages of 15 and 22 for effecting change through innovative, people-centred solutions across Africa.

The 2016 list comprises a diverse blend of young minds who are leading the mandate of socio-economic development and job creation in their communities.

They are competing for $100 000 in cash prizes.

“The tide is turning around the youth entrepreneurship narrative in Africa,” Anzisha Prize Senior Programs Manager Grace Kalisha said.

Some of the innovations are in the agriculture sector, which is gaining in prominence among youth.  The entrepreneurs have embarked upon opportunities and explored a wider spectrum of the agricultural sector’s value chain.

The 2016 finalists for the Anzisha Prize are: Aly Abd ElAzem, 20, Egypt, Co-founder of Teens Club; Issam Darui, 22, Morocco, Founder of the first electronic bus station in Morocco; Ifrah Mohamed, 19, Kenya, Founder of Supermom, which empowers unemployed women and Benedict Kusi Ampofo, 22, Ghana, Founder of Project KIRIKU, a demonstration farm.

Others are Lamine Chamsiya, 21, Niger, Founder of E3D Cosmetique; Yaye Souadou Fall, 21, Senegal, Founder of E-cover , which produces innovative multi-purpose tiles for paving; Geoffrey Mulei, 20, Kenya, Founder of INKISHA, aimed at increasing access to eco-friendly packaging and N’guessan Koffi Jacques Olivier, 19, Cote d’Ivoire, Founder of The Yaletite Entrepreneurship Group CI.

The last four finalists are: Heritiana Fabien Randriamananatahina, 22, Madagascar, Founder of FIOMBONANA, an agro-processing initiative ;Faustino Quissico, 22, Mozambique, Founder of TQ Group and Services, which supplies hardwood floors; Aisha Abbas  17, Tanzania, Founder of Aurateen, an online platform providing teenage health and sex education and Andrew Ddembe, 20, Uganda, Founder of Heart for the Hurt.