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Gifted Young Cameroon Entrepreneur Wins Top Prize

Date: 27-10-2014
Author: Lydia Byarugaba
Source: Anzisha Prize

Cameroonian Alain Nteff Is 2014 Anzisha Grand Prize Winner

Young Cameroonian, Alain Nteff was recently named winner of the Anzisha Prize, Africa’s premier youth entrepreneurship award, at a gala awards ceremony in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The 2014 Anzisha Finalists were honored at a prestigious ceremony at the Focus Rooms in Sunninghill, Johannesburg. Keynote speaker was Divine Ndhlukula, founder and Managing Director of Securico, one of Zimbabwe’s largest security companies. This year’s awards were judged by respected entrepreneurs Wendy Luhabe (South Africa), Khanyi Dhlomo (South Africa), Willy Mukiny Yav (Democratic Republic of Congo), Wanjiru Waithaka (Kenya) and Mohamed Nanabhay (South Africa).

Alain Nteff, (pictured) founder of Gifted Mom, was announced as the grand prize winner of the 4th annual Anzisha Prize Award, receiving a $25 000 cash prize to support his social business. Alain (aged 22) founded the Gifted Mom project, an e-content platform for pregnant women in under-served areas, to help them have safe pregnancies and combat the lack of access and knowledge that has led to high mother and infant deaths in Cameroon. Gifted Mom works with health providers and medical students to create profiles for pregnant women to send automated alerts that help them track antenatal care. Since starting his project, more than 200 medical students have been trained, 1200 pregnant women impacted resulting in a 20% increase in antenatal attendance rate for pregnant women in 15 rural communities. Alain leads a rising tide of West African youth entrepreneurs making a difference to their communities.

Schoolbag manufacturer Thato Kgatlhanye (South Africa) was first runner up with second runner up going to 17 year-old farmer Gabriel Kombassere (Ivory Coast). They received cash prizes of $15,000 and $12,500 respectively to catalyze their venture growth. 18 year-old Tom Osborn from Kenya received a special $10,000 energy prize award from Donors Circle for Africa, for his eco-fuel venture, Greenchar. 

Thato Kgathlanye (aged 21) co-founded Repurpose Schoolbags, that designs schoolbags made from up-cycled plastic shopping bags integrated with solar technology. Mini solar panels are encased in the bags, charging up during the day and transforming into light for learners to study after dark. Thato (pictured) runs a factory in Rustenburg, South Africa where she employs 8 women, has impacted the lives of over 120 children and taken major strides in reducing her carbon footprint through recycling over 10 000 plastic bags.

Teenager Gabriel Kombassere (aged just 17) founded Ribla Neda, an association seeking to eradicate starvation in his region. His principle being: we may be students but we can help our parents. Having grown up farming from the age of 8, Gabriel (pictured below) invested in what came naturally by asking his uncle for a piece of land and started to grow maize and cassava. He employees 4 students and has 30 members in his organisation. Annually, he produces over 20 bags of maize and a cargo of cassava.

Tom Osborn (aged 18) is founder of Greenchar, a clean energy project that produces charcoal briquettes and distributes clean cook-stoves throughout Kenya. It was started to fight deforestation and the health problems that result from smoke inhalation from charcoal. Greenchar coals are carbonized producing long-lasting, high-energy content, smokeless coals, made from revitalized agricultural forests. Tom was recently named an Echoing Green fellow.

“Every year it gets harder to choose a winner,” commented Josh Adler, Director for the Centre of Entrepreneurship at African Leadership Academy. “All of our finalists this year are shining examples of youth entrepreneurship – examples we hope will inspire teenagers across the continent to start and grow similar ventures.” Koffi Assouan, Program Manager, Economic Opportunities for Youth, The MasterCard Foundation, added “We are thrilled once again to be part of this wonderful program and wish the grand prizewinners every success as they invest the prize money to grow their businesses”

Now in its fourth year, the Anzisha Prize received 339 applications this year from 32 countries for Africa’s premier youth entrepreneurship award. The Anzisha Prize is a partnership between African Leadership Academy and The MasterCard Foundation. The 12 finalists were flown to Johannesburg, South Africa for the 2014 Anzisha Week, which took place in September, where a panel of judges from across the entrepreneurial sphere convened to select the grand prize winners. In addition to cash prizes, the winners will receive training from African Leadership Academy’s renowned Entrepreneurial Leadership faculty and engage with industry leaders, mentors as well as engage with change agents from across the continent.

Many congratulations to Alain and the runners-up as well as all the Anzisha Prize finalists from the team at EduzineGlobal.com - You really are changing our world for the better!

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Date: 27-10-2014
Author: Lydia Byarugaba
Source: Anzisha Prize


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