Mastercard: Anzisha Prize top 20 young African entrepreneurs

By Georgia Wilson
At its 10th year celebration, Anzisha Prize Conference announced its top 20 young African entrepreneur finalists...

In an announcement made by Anzisha Prize Conference - a partnership between African Leadership Academy and Mastercard Foundation - the fellowship revealed its top 20 finalists for its 2020 young entrepreneurs cohort. 

In total the fellowship had 1,200 applicants. Of those applicants 20 businesses were 45% female-owned and represented the agriculture, manufacturing and education industries. Those in Morocco, South Africa and Tanzania were reported to display impressive ventures that tackle critical issues in their communities while continuing to turn a profit.

“2020 has seen a global shift in the future of work. This year’s applicants have personified the resilience and innovation that Africa needs as we navigate our way into a post-COVID-19 future,” commented Melissa Mbazo-Ekepenyong, Deputy Director of the Anzisha Prize.

Since its establishment a decade ago, Anzisha Prize Conference has supported 122 entrepreneurs, 77 of which have created more than 2,000 jobs, with 56% provided to young Africans under 25.

“The success of the Anzisha Prize over the last decade stands as a resounding testament to the creativity and entrepreneurial potential of Africa’s very young people—a hugely under-tapped resource. Through Anzisha, we’re reminded of what they can achieve when challenged and enabled to own and solve the problems they see around them. Now, as ever, the innovations that have emerged through the Anzisha Prize inspire and renew our faith in and commitment to their promise,” added Peter Materu, Chief Program Officer, Mastercard Foundation.

The 2020 finalists include:

  • Mustapha Zeroual, 22, (Morocco), founder of IA4YOU
  • Aseitu Olivia Kipo (Ghana), founder of Kobaa-Ok
  • Omonlola Loïs Aniambossou (Benin), founder of Abiathar Services
  • Ian Khonje (Malawi), founder of Ian Khonje Food Processors (IKFP)
  • Mohamed Bah (Sierra Leone), founder of Information For All (IFA)
  • Benjamin Mushayija Gisa (Rwanda), founder of Kaso
  • Joshua Adabie Armah (Ghana), founder of PopKing Ghana
  • Adjei Nyamekye (Ghana), founder of Mosquito Trapping and Emergency LED Bulbs
  • Wilfred Chege (Kenya), co-founder of Shulemall Limited
  • Abdelouahab Toukkart (Morocco), founder of Isla Pack
  • Mahlatse Matlakana (South Africa), founder of Wozilex
  • Abdul Dumbuya (Sierra Leone), co-founder of a social enterprise that produces raw ginger and processes it into powder
  • Saly Sarr (Senegal), founder of SallyMa
  • Frida Agbor-Ebai Nenembou (Cameroon), founder of Supreme Sparkle
  • Jonathan Paul Katumba (Uganda), founder of Minute5
  • Alaa Moatamed (Egypt), co-founder of Presto
  • Hamidu Biha (Uganda), founder of Biha Eco Venture
  • David Denis (Tanzania, founder of Cutoff Recycle
  • Matina Razafimahefa (Madagascar), founder of an innovative EdTech venture 
  • Ijeje Hephzibah (Nigeria), Co-founder of Recyclift

This year the top 20 cohort will come together virtually to share and learn from experts, as they prepare to showcase their final pitch to external judges. All candidates will receive a cash prize of US$2,500, with the winner of the Anzisha Prize Conference receiving US$25,000. The first and second runner ups will receive US$15,000 and US$12,500 respectively.

For more information on business topics in Europe, Middle East and Africa please take a look at the latest edition of Business Chief EMEA.

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