The fact that more than half of Africa’s population is under the age of 25 is often cited as one of the things in its favour going forward. With seven of the world’s top ten fastest growing economies on the continent, it does however mean that there’s some serious pressure on Africa’s young people. It is they who are expected to change the world’s perception of the continent and to turn that growth into real prosperity.
If the nominees for the Future Africa Awards are anything to go by though, then it looks like Africa’s future is in good hands.
This, the ninth installment of this annual event, aims to inspire African leadership and build enterprise by promoting experts from fields that include business, innovation, education and entertainment.
In addition to the awards, the event has also expanded to include the two-day Future Africa Awards Summit. The summit will see the continent’s most influential leaders and institutions gather to chart immediate action-points for the expansion of jobs and opportunities, as well as good governance and citizen engagement.
Here are the nominees:
Name: Kennedy Odede
Title: Founder, Shining Hope for Communities
Odede launched his career as a social entrepreneur at the Age of 18, using 20 cents of his savings to buy a soccer ball to organize a youth soccer program. He later founded the community-led organization Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO).
Odede realized that there is no single solution to urban poverty’s total oppression: the challenges are interconnected and require integrated, community-led solutions. He grew up in Nairobi’s Kibera slum and never went to school, yet secured a scholarship to study in the U.S.
Now he’s empowering his Kenyan neighbours. His Shining Hope for Communities runs the tuition-free local Kibera School for Girls and an adjacent center for the community, with health care, clean water and sanitation services, a library and computer lab.
He was named in the 2014 Forbes 30 Under 30 list of Social Entrepreneurs for his work at SHOFOCO. He also featured as a plenary session speaker at the 2014 Global Philanthropy Forum because of his work in Kenyan slums.
Name: Ola Ojewumi
Title: Founder, Sacred Hearts children’s transplant foundation and Project ASCEND.
Ola Ojewumi is a social activist, journalist, and community organizer based in Washington, DC. At Age 11, she was diagnosed with a rare heart condition which affected her kidney.
She just collapsed one day and woke up in a hospital—with a new heart and a new kidney.
The now 23-year-old is giving back to the society through two non-profits she started herself: Sacred Hearts children’s transplant foundation and Project ASCEND.
Project ASCEND provides college scholarships to low-income high school students in Washington, DC while SHCTF works to create awareness about organ donation for children with illnesses and to encourAge them to become donors themselves.
MTV, Glamour Magazine, and the Huffington Post have praised her initiatives. Ola holds a strong passion for writing and speaking. The White House, Huffington Post, Marie Claire Magazine’s online publication, and the American Association of University Women have published her writings.
She was named by Glamour Magazine as one of the 10 most influential college women in the United States and The Clinton Foundation Named her among the Five Black Student Leaders To Watch in 2014.
Name: Boniface Mwangi
Title: Pawa 254 initiative
Originally hawking on the streets of Nairobi with books and putting himself through Bible school, Mwangi, discovered a different passion – Photography.
Leaving school at age 15, he convinced the director of a private journalism school to let him enrol. To put himself through journalism school he continued to sell books on the street, while gaining experience as a photo journalist. He publish photos in one of the main newspapers of the country, the Standard, and won in 2005 his first photography prizes as recognition for his work. This was where his photography career took off.
He began to use his photos to promote social justice, prosperity and development for all Kenyans.
After witnessing and documenting post-election violence in Kenya in 2007 as a photographer for a leading newspaper, and having to move temporarily due to threats to the people of his community, he launched Project Picha Mtaani, Swahili for ‘street exhibition’, showing the pictures of the violence between the different tribes that happened in 2007 after the national elections. This travelling street exhibition was shown around the country for people to discuss reconciliation and promote national healing. In 2013, he organised the Occupy Parliament – Polisi Ni Rafiki – rally in support of police officers’ quest for better terms of service working conditions. He also put together a peaceful protest, urging Kenyans to take responsibility of the state of the nation.
He currently runs the Pawa 254 initiative, a hub for artists and activists to work together towards social change and advancing human rights in Kenyan society.
In the last 10months, Pawa254 has offered hundreds of workshops, classes and trainings urging aspiring artists to use their creativity for social change. The workshops, which are held on a weekly basis, include citizen journalism (held in 4 counties), photography, film making, poetry slams, open forum discussions and graffiti workshops. Pawa254 has also collaborated with hip hop artists to produce the popular song Utawala which urges citizens to push for good leadership. In January, Pawa254 worked with Afro fusion band Sarabi to produce the song Fuata Sheria (follow the law) in support of Kenya’s new constitution. Pawa254also worked in March 2014 with poet Sitawafula to produce the short film “A Little More” to raise awareness about survivors of rape and women’s rights.
NameAbdikadir Aden Hassan
Title: Founding member of Garissa Youth Environment Movement
Due to climatic conditions in his region, Abdulkadir has consistently worked towards contributing to the protection and sustainable manAgement of his environment and its natural resources.
He is a founding member of Garissa Youth Environment Movement; a youth movement that promotes cleaning and greening of Garissa and development of peace.
In 2013, he established a Mazingira Zone in the Kenya National Library Service; community library, Garissa branch and it is the only public environmental resource centre. He also established a similar centre at the Garissa District Information and Documentation Center (DIDC) which is manned by the Ministry of Planning and Vision 2030 to support public with information. In February 2014, he opened an environmental friendly library to help create awareness amongst schools and they will in turn join in planting trees to help the communities.
In 2013, he initiated Garissa Million Trees Campaign, a campaign meant to plant a million trees in the harsh climate at the same time benefit the pastoralist community that Abdikadir comes from. The campaign has distributed 500 drum bins since January 2014 for managing of waste within Garissa Municipality and its environs. In June 2014, to mark World Environmental Day, the campaign gathered primary school students who joined him to plant trees in their environs in a program tagged ‘Raise Your Voice, Not The Sea Level’.
Name: David Akpan
Title: UCARE Foundation Nigeria.
David Akpan In 2006, Akpan volunteered with a National Organization – The Society for Family Health – to conduct a study in assessing knowledge, attitude and mode of HIV transmission among young people in Nigerian Universities.
The study findings were revealing but SFH couldn’t plan a stop-gap intervention at the time. Looking at the implication of not attending to the identified gaps, He mobilized some peers to form a school-based association with the aim of working on the findings of the study. They had interesting results which were shared with stakeholders including SFH, who funded the initiative for 3 years with $5700.
The association grew stronger into a community-based organization – UCARE Foundation Nigeria. With funding gotten in year 2013, UCARE program initiative was funded by MTV Staying Alive Foundation (SAF) at US$12 000. This partnership has enabled about 1200 young people have access to quality HIV information and HIV counselling and testing. Due to UCARE’s documented result-based evidence, it has currently been awarded a 3-year grant of US$36 000 by MTV SAF.
Name: Eric Muthomi
Title: Founder, Stawi Foods
Eric Muthomi, a 27-year old graduate of law from the Catholic University of East Africa determined to ventures into business in 2010. He had observed the difficulties most banana farmers were facing in Meru, his hometown in Central Kenya.
His determination to solve this problem led to the establishment of the company Stawi Foods. Stawi foods buys raw bananas from local farmers at guaranteed prices, process them into banana flour and packAge them for sale in the market.
Stawi Foods (stawi means ‘prosperity’ in Swahili), has improved the lives of thousands of banana farmers by providing them with sure income. It has also helped to increase the shelf life of bananas which would have rot and wasted if they are not sold soon after harvest. The banana flour, which is made from processed green bananas, is gluten free, nutritious and can be used to make baby food, porridge, mashed food, baked foods and soups. This versatile branded product which is sold as ‘Stawi Natural Banana Flour’ is distributed in several major supermarkets across Kenya.
Muthomi’s idea now allows smallholder banana farmers in Kenya to earn 30 percent more on their bananas than they would have made if they sold it in the local markets. In addition, selling their banana harvests to a guaranteed buyer (Stawi Foods), protects them from the low and fluctuating prices of banana in times of harvest and scarcity. This is helping many young people to remain gainfully employed as banana farmers.
He was listed by Forbes Magazine as one of 30 under 30 Africa’s Best Young Entrepreneurs in 2013 for his work with over 100 farmers groups in Meru which supply raw bananas used for making Stawi Banana flour.
Name: Nomzamo Khoza
Khoza’s 100% natural products are sold in South Africa, Mozambique and Argentina.
Based in the Mnini area near Port Shepstone in KwaZulu-Natal, Khoza owns a farming enterprise which makes People’s Bio Oil and Morana Fire for Africa. Through the farming enterprise, Khoza produces 201 natural products such as tonics, hair food, body products and seasoning made from the moringa tree. This tree grows in Africa and Asia and its leaves — which can be chewed or ground to a powder — are considered a super food because they are rich in vitamins A and C.
Khoza also grows chillies and parsley, which are dried for seasoning. The enterprise employs 120 people in its nurseries, farm, offices and factory. Her business is committed to the development of rural communities by providing business and farming skills.
Name: Olawale Isaiah Ojo
Title: CEO, Agropreneur Nigeria
Ojo is the Chief Executive Officer of Agropreneur Nigeria, an agribusiness organisation which provides business support services for startups like supply of farm inputs, creating access to market and agribusiness consultancy for older farmers via the Farmers Organization. He also uses social media platforms to carry out advocacy and capacity building of youth, turning their passion and attention to the opportunities in agribusiness. Through the “COOL and FUNKY to FARM” workshop series, he brings together stakeholders and young people to explore the various opportunities for them in the agricultural value chains.
In 2013, with his work in advocacy and capacity building, he was able to help 5 farmers starts their own farm, having taught them practical’s and technically, both were able to start their farms in Iwo, Osun state and Ogun state respectively. In July 2014, Ojo’s blog – Agropreneur Nigeria won the best Agriculture blog in West Africa in the Youth in Agriculture Blog Competition in Nairobi, Kenya.
Names:Charles Nichols and Samir Ibrahim
Title: Founders, SunCulture
Nichols & Ibrahim are the brains behind SunCulture, a solar-powered irrigation kit which makes it simpler and cheaper for farmers to grow food. The kit replaces expensive diesel and petrol pumps. Solar power is used to pump water into a raised tank and use gravity to release the water through irrigation lines directly to crops. This increases yields by up to 300% and makes water usAge more efficient. The kit sells at 380,000 shillings (US$4,500) and the payback is one growing season.
The system does not have any recurring costs like a diesel powered system. Most farmers use the kits to grow tomatoes, onions and capsicum, which are high value produce.
SunCulture’s solar powered drip irrigation system has transformed the farming in the Kenyan countryside. The product has been sold to small scale and large scale farmers. The company also trains and supports farmers and has partnered with finance institutions that help provide loans and monetary help to farmers who are not financially buoyant to purchase the irrigation kit.
SunCulture won the Audience Choice Award at the 2011-12 Entrepreneur’s Challenge. The product continues to gain ground – the SunCulture kit and its founders have been featured on several local and international news platforms in 2013 and 2014 including The Nation Newspaper (Kenya), BBC Radio and CNBC’s The Closing Bell.
Name: Nasir Yammama
Yammama developed an innovative farming support application in 2014 whose features include field maps, historical reports, GPS tracking, field navigation and soil sampling grids for the farmers. The app helps farmers find seed varieties with traits that are adapted to their soil type and maturity zone. It also offers a custom seed guide tailored to their specific geography and crops.
The app measures the maturity of a crop by viewing current and past growing degree day’s data for a specific farm location. Pest Control: The app provides weed manAgement recommendations by region and crop type.
It also, recommends pesticides, insecticides and directions of their application. Using the app, farmers can record full history of crops from when they are sown through to harvest; record chemical and fertilizer use, including type, rate, and date applied; and keep track of machinery maintenance. The app then offers access to nearby agro-industries, news, quotes, prices, markets information and tips.
Yammama emerged first place winner in the British Council’s Enterprise Challenge competition in July 2014.
Name: Zakaria Hersi
Title: Founder of StartUpSomalia.com and Co-founder 4Weeks4Life
Hersi is the founder of StartUpSomalia.com. In 2012 he was inducted in STING (Stockholm Innovation and Growth) at the Age of 23.
He also co-founded 4Weeks4Life in 2012, a ‘mobile’ accelerator programme and an ecosystem that connects Kenyan start-ups with other entrepreneurs, mentors, investors and stakeholders. He was also winner of the Best New Recruit in Arctic 15 2012 and InternetWorlds 8th Hottest Startup of Sweden 2012.
Kersi, who was voted one of Sweden’s Super talents by Veckans Affärer, (“The Week’s Business”), a leading Swedish business journal in 2013, organized the largest Somali Youth Event in the Nordics, the Nordic Somali Youth Summit the same year.
Name: Eseoghene Odiete
Title: Creative director of Hesey Designs
Eseoghene Odiete is the creative director of Hesey Designs. In about 23 months she has grown a business which she started with just N10 000 to millions.
In 2013 she was selected from 2,200 candidates from 35 countries as the winner of the Google Africa Connected Award. This earned her a US$25 000 cash prize. Her work was featured in the July 2014 edition of
British Vogue. She also won the British Council’s Enterprise Challenge in 2014, and a mentorship opportunity with Sir Richard Branson.
Name: Andrew Mupuya
Title: Founder, Youth Entrepreneurial Link Investments (YELI).
In 2008, at the Age of 16, Andrew saw a market opportunity in creating paper bags. As the Ugandan government leaned towards a ban on use of polythene plastic bags, Andrew decided to venture into an environmentally friendly project of paper bag production.
With no initial capital, Andrew cleaned the environment by collecting used plastic bottles and sold them to a plastic recycling plant. After he had raised his initial seed capital of 36 000 Ugandan shillings (US$18), he soon started making paper bags at a small scale while still in high school.
In 2010, Andrew registered his new company, Youth Entrepreneurial Link Investments (YELI). YELI is now the first local registered paper bag and envelope producing company in Uganda. His business has now grown to employ 14 people, the eldest of which is 53.
YELI’s customer base includes local hospitals, retail shops, roadside sellers, super markets, and major local flour manufacturer companies like Maganjo grain millers and Akamai Foods.
Name: Ally Edha Awadh
Title: Founder and CEO of Lake Oil Group.
Awadh is founder and CEO of Lake Oil Group, one of East Africa’s fastest-growing energy trading and transportation conglomerates. He founded the company in 2006 at Age 23, when he received a highly coveted license from the Tanzanian government to import and market petroleum products in the domestic market. Lake Oil Group is now one of the 5 largest distributors of petroleum products in Tanzania and exports to neighbouring countries including DRC, Zambia, Burundi and Rwanda.
The company also has a 35 millionlitre storage depot at Kigamboni, Dar es Salaam and another depot in Mbeya, a commercial city in the country’s southwest region. The transport/haulAge arm of the company, presently, Lake Trans, owns and operates close to 500 trucks and serves as a regional contractor for commodities giants like Trafigura and Augusta. Lake Oil Group’s revenues for 2013 were $600 million.
Name: Ashley Uys
Title: Founder Medical Diagnostech and OculusID.
Ashley Uys is a 30-year-old South-African who is biotechnologist by trade and also Managing Director of Real World Diagnostic, Medical Diagnostech, and OculusID.
He established Medical Diagnostech in 2010. It manufactures rapid diagnostic test kits for drugs, HIV, malaria and pregnancy. His entreprise grew organically to a facility that can now produce 20 million test kits per year for malaria, pregnancy, syphilis, malaria, HIV/ Aids for South Africa’s rural poor. The company’s Malaria pf/PAN (pLDH) Test kit can reportedly detect all strains of malaria and indicate within 30 minutes whether the malaria treatment provided is effective.
In 2013, OculusID was formed. The company specializes in the development of biometric solutions with impairment detection through the application of non-invasive, hygienic and cost effective innovations by promoting a safe environment.
Growing up, Ashely had to work extremely hard to overcome life’s difficulties and obstacles. He learned business model as an intern at Acorn Technologies, an incubator in Cape Town South- Africa where he was supporting research, development and commercialization in life sciences and biotechnology.
With his products, Uys found a space where science and business meet, and was able to exploit it through thinking outside the box.
In November 2013, Medical Diagnostech won US$120 000 in prize money at the SAB Foundation 2nd Annual Social Innovation Awards. He was also Named on the Forbes 30 under 30: Africa’s best young entrepreneur’s list. In April 2014 he was Named one of the 10 finalists for the 2014 Innovation Prize for Africa.
Name: Jake Okechukwu
Title: Vice –President of the Sickle Cell Aid Foundation [SCAF]
A radio presenter and human rights activist. From 2006 to 2013, Okechukwu anchored Flava, a youth lifestyle and sexual reproductive health magazine programme where he addressed issues on HIV/AIDS among others. Flava grew to broadcast on 103 radio stations in Nigeria, and is one of the most popular radio programmes in the West Africa region.
In January 2013, he began hosting a new programme, Talk Your Own: Make Naija Better (Talk Your Own Make Nigeria Better)a 30-minute show Focusing on issues like education, electricity, water and roads, the programme explores ways citizens can participate in governance decisions that affect their lives – through engAgement with leaders and government institutions, public petitions, legal protest, etc. It currently airs on 111 broadcast partner stations across Nigeria, with the aim of a more inclusive and wider listener base.
Okechukwu has been a community radio presenter for the last 8 years, however in 2013, he recognized the rising levels of human rights violation across the country and the need for government accountability. Hence, he started a new radio programme called “Talk Your Own Make Naija Better”. It is now broadcasted under the BBC Media Action and in the space of one year; it airs on over 105 radio stations in Nigeria. He investigated the circumstances surrounding the death of Terzungwe
Shakaa, a Nigerian citizen in Makurdi, Benue State when he mysteriously died in police custody. The culprits in the case were brought to book as a result of Okwchukwu’s findings.
He also helped the association – Lugbe AMAC Market women – in Abuja gain audience with the Minister of Power where they complained about the lack of transformers in their market and how it affected their trade. They successfully had it replaced in less than a week.
At the World Economic Forum on Africa, he chaired a session on “New transformation for Africa: the African Union and the Vision 2063” where he spoke about the role of human rights and inclusivity on how it would reflect in the mantra “Africa Rising”.
On the World Sickle Cell Day this year (June 19), he organized an awareness campaign on Sickle Cell Anaemia, conducted free genotype testing for 100 persons and pulled one of the largest blood donation drives for the National Blood Transfusion Service in Abuja.
Within 2014, he has also handled six pro bono human rights cases (free of charge): 2 of these cases involved pre-trial detainee issues, two involved discrimination based on HIV status, one involved arbitrary detention based on sexual orientation and the last one involved a dispute resolution between the Nigerian Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Jabi branch, Abuja and Keke Napep Union, Abuja.
Name: Emmanuel Olisaeloka Osemeka
Title: Founder, Social Welfare Network Initiative
Emmanuel Olisaeloka Osemeka established Social Welfare Network Initiative (NGO) to mitigate the impact of poor health delivery in the rural communities of Nigeria.
Through this initiative Emmanuel and his team have been able to offer free medical services to rural communities of 4 states in Nigeria (Edo, FCT, Borno and Anambra states respectively) and have reached over 12 000 rural women, men and children giving them free reading glasses and other medications.
Under the initiative, about 11,368 persons have received free reading glasses and other medications which prevents blindness.
Name: Tricia Ikponmwonba
Title: Founder StayInSchoolng Initiative (SiS)
Michaels founded the Stay In School Initiative (SiS), founded in 2012, which was set-up to create education opportunities for orphans and vulnerable children without access to education. The initiative currently operates in four communities around Lagos – Idoluwo, Ile, Ijora-badia and Ejigbo – where 150 children are currently enrolled in seven primary schools. SiS also operates in Guzape village, Kuruduma, Abuja, where it sponsors 50 children in 3 primary schools. Enrolled children are provided with educational supplies such as school bags, shoes, socks, books and a meal in school. SiS organized three fundraising events in 2013 including Football for a Cause and StayinSchoolNG Gift a child This Yuletide.
Name: Nixon Ochatre
Title: Co-Founder Amani Initiative
Nixon Ochater co-founded Amani Initiative, a project for rural Ugandan youth, in 2012. As a non-profit, Amani is dedicated to improving the livelihoods of youths in rural communities of Uganda through the fight against teenAge pregnancy & early marriAge. The initiative helps tackle the challenges that come with teenAge pregnancy and early marriage in rural Ugandan communities.
In 2013, the Amani Initiative held a 19-day campaign for the prevention of violence and abuse against children and youths in conjunction with the World Women Summit Foundation and 240 other organizations around the world. The campaign, which carried the theme, “Prevention of Child Trafficking, Child Pornography & Child Prostitution”, engAged 600 people including high ranking government officials, celebrities, schoolteachers, parents and domestic workers, to directly sign Amani’s ‘Prevention of Violence’ petition and then take action. The campaign also held an outreach with street children from Kisenyi, Uganda.
Name: David Akpan
Title: UCARE Foundation Nigeria.
In 2006, He volunteered with a National Organization – Society for Family Health to conduct a study in assessing knowledge, attitude and mode of HIV transmission among young people in Nigerian Universities.
The study findings were revealing but SFH couldn’t plan a stop-gap intervention at the time. Looking at the implication of not attending to the identified gaps, He mobilized some peers to form a school-based association with the aim of working on the findings of the study. They had interesting results which were shared with stakeholders including SFH, who funded the initiative for 3 years with $5700. The association grew stronger into a community-based organization – UCARE Foundation Nigeria.
With funding received in 2013, the UCARE programme initiative was funded by MTV Staying Alive Foundation (SAF) at $12,000. This partnership has enabled about 1200 young people have access to quality HIV information and HIV counselling and testing. Due to UCARE’s documented result-based evidence, it has currently been awarded a 3-year grant of $36,000 by MTV SAF.
Name: Best Aiyorworth
Title: Founder Girls’ Power Micro Lending Organization (GIPOMO)
Aiyorworth founded the Girls’ Power Micro Lending Organization (GIPOMO) which is an organisation that gives women starting capital to boost their businesses so that they can support their daughters with school fees.
With the belief that empowering mothers directly translates into educating their daughters, the young Ugandan’s organization is making it possible for the women in the Nebbi District of Northern Uganda to earn enough money to be able to support their girls with their school fees, school-related expenses and their basic needs, including proper food, clothing and health care. Thus far, Best has provided assistance to over 400 women.
Her inspiration to start the organization was as a result of her personal experience and her belief that the Ugandan traditional education system is overlooking many girls. Even though she was able to complete her secondary education, she never forgot her experience and that of some of her classmates, who had to drop out of school, because their parents were not able to pay their school fees and other basic expenses.
In October 2013, she won the Anzisha Prize Celebrating Youth Entrepreneurs award.
Title: Founder Soronko Solutions
Regina Agyare is software developer and social entrepreneur with a passion for using technology to facilitate social change. Agyare founded Soronko Solutions, which creates and manAges ventures that apply technology to promote social development. Among the projects that Agyare has launched at Soronko include one that introduced deaf girls to technology at the State Deaf School in Ghana including apps that help promote communication in a society where use of sign languAge is limited. Agyare has led Soronko Solutions to develop a number of applications for disabled persons, as well as to promote interest in technology among girls and women.
Agyare is passionate about getting more women to find their voice and pursue their dreams and create technology. Agyare started a movement called Tech Needs Girls where she mentors girls to lead and innovate by learning to code. Tech Needs Girls currently has 30 volunteers, 15 mentors who are either computer scientists or engineers and 455 mentees. The Tech Needs Girls initiative was featured on CNN.com in March 2014.
Names: Ogunlana Olumide and and Obanor Chukwuwezam
Title: Co-founders Prepclass.com.ng
Obanor Chukwuwezam (22) and Ogunlana Olumide (23) co-foundedPrepclass.com.ng, an online platform that helps to prepare Nigerian students for local tests and examinations. Prepclass started with an initial focus on Jamb and has helped over 1500 students prepare and served as a source of increased revenue to internet cafes across the country that have students come in to practice for Jamb using the prepclass platform.
The Prepclass founders have been invited by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to showcase their products at the MIT Global StartUp Lab in Boston.
Prepclass won Tech Cabal’s 2014 Tech Battlefield competition. Prepclass also emerged as Finalists at the India-Africa competition, and the company has been listed as one of the top 4 companies from Africa 2014.
Name:Philip Obaji Jr
Title: Founder, 1 GAME Campaign
Philip Obaji Jr. commitment in advocating basic primary education for vulnerable children who are mostly called Almajiris in North-Eastern Nigeria.
In 2013, despite the objective of terrorist group Boko Haram which forbids western education, the 1 GAME Campaign met with nearly 100 community leaders in Borno, Yobe and Gombe States on raising a volunteering team to move house to house, calling on parents to send their children to school and provided 100,000 exercise books and pens to nearly the same number of children in Borno and Gombe States.
Nearly 99% of recipients were children attending school for their first time. For many children, 95% of whom live below the poverty line, every whether to continue with formal education or return to the Almajiri system which offers an easy route to street begging and the tradition Quranic education.
In December 2013, Obaji initiated Off The Streets, a community project working for Almajiri children in Borno State who are facing challenges of exclusion from school, ignorance, recruitment into insurgent groups, neglect and abuse. The project supports these children by catering for them through the provision of food and clothing and at the same time prepares them for western education through a mentoring program. In his capacity as Project Coordinator, Obaji manAges the coordination and scheduling of volunteers at Almajiri locations across Maiduguri, who distribute food, clothes and mentor these children.
He has organized letter-writing campaigns seeking effective policies on education, targeting state and federal government officials. He has put pressure on state governments in northern Nigeria to ban street begging and rehabilitate children active in the system. Campaigning for primary education for Almajiri children in a Muslim dominated region, where Boko Haram militants forbid western education and attack western facilities.
Name: Adeniyi Oluokun
Title: Founder, AccessDrive
Oluokun’s project, AccessDrive, focuses on enhancing knowledge of Information and Communication Technology among youths. AccessDrive facilitated the Microsoft Partners in Learning (PIL) Train-The-Trainer exercise for National Youth Service Corps members. So far, the project has trained over 270 university undergraduates on how to leverAge technology to start and build their business in a project called Student2Business. In May 2014, Oluokun and his team organized a conference themed “Social Media: An Effective Tool for Job Opportunity and Career Development” to sensitize and train youths on the use of social media for career excellence. AccessDrive is currently working on resuscitating several MDG ICT centers across the country in partnership with the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology.
NameS: Okwuone Nkechi
Title: Founder, Sabi Hub
Okwuone Nkechi has worked with the Edo State Government for three years. She has championed the launch of the first subnational open data portal in Africa and became the youngest Open data manAger in Africa at Age 24.
She was appointed as Open Data ManAger of the Edo State Open Data Portal in April 2013 and pioneered the first developers’ community in Edo State (Gsquad) which utilizes government data to promote entrepreneurship. She is currently with the support of the state government, championing open data events in the state both in the public sector domain, academic domain and civil societies. She has represented the state at various open data events and is well respected in the open data community in the country.
Okwuone started with the Edo State Government as a National Youth Service Corps member in the 2011, and now works with in the ICT department of the state government. In 2013, she invented a mobile and web developer’s community ‘Sabi Hub’ which helps to converge several developers in Edo state. This initiative also provides mentorship and support to its members.
Name: Guillermina-Mekuy Mba Obono
Title: Minister of the Department of Culture and Tourism, Equatorial Guinea
Obono was the youngest director of Libraries and Museums of Equatorial Guinea which was opened in Malabo in June 2009. In her time as director, Obono was responsible for the recovery of the Historical Archive of Equatorial Guinea through a first-of-its-kind agreement with the Ministry of Culture in Spain. She also created library chains where none existed previously, and newsstands which were also new to the country.
By 2012, she became the Delegate Minister of the Department of Culture and Tourism. In 2013, Obono hosted the Miss Tourism pAgeant in Malabo to promote Tourism in Equatorial Guinea and open her country to international opportunities.
She is also the editor of her own magazine, Meik, which focuses on women’s issues within an intercultural context.
Name: Ahmed Salihijo
AgeTitle: Infrastructure officer, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission
Ahmed started working with Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) since January 2009, to accelerate investment in national infrastructure through private sector funding by assisting the Federal Government of Nigeria and its Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) to implement and establish effective Public Private Partnership’s (PPP) procurement.
As an infrastructure officer, Ahmed implemented several ground breaking projects including the Concession of Katampe district infrastructure; NIPOST/CBN financial Inclusion initiative; redevelopment of industrial clusters by SMEDAN and the development of mechanics villAges by the National Automotive Council.
Name: Lukman Jaji
Title: Consultant to the AU Institute for Education Information ManAgement System
Lukman began as a volunteer and then consultant to the AU Institute for Education Information ManAgement System in Congo Brazzaville. He is currently GIZ Adviser to the AU on the Pan African University.
Lukman is responsible for the take-off of the AU Pan African University; Established and operationalized the virtualization infrastructure of the initiative and successfully managed effectively rolled out the promotion, application, review and welfare of the students of the University through remote hubs and units in 4 regions of the continent (Algeria, South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria).
He single handily developed and manAged the desktop, mobile and web applications currently used by the African Union Commission in the manAgement of the Pan African University project. This portal is currently being used at the four take off institutes in Nigeria, Kenya, Cameroon and Algeria for management of admission processes. In the just ended 2014/2015 students and staff call, the portal made it possible for over 6,000 young Africans to apply to the Pan African University.
He also manAged the first and only mobile application for the African Youth Charter. The app is available for Android, Blackberry and iOS smart phones. In the past, the African Union Commission has spent tens of thousands of US dollars over the years 2006 to 2013 on printing, reprinting and distribution a few thousands of hard copies across the continent.
With the availability of this APP, Africans and non-Africans alike can and have been viewing, downloading the charter articles, sharing on social media platforms, participate in discussion forums and many more features. Since the APP was launched into stores this year there are over 24,000 downloads from 61 countries and still counting.
Name: Peterson Opio
Title: CEO of the Australian Aboriginal Development Cooperation
Peterson is a lawyer and CEO of the Australian Aboriginal Development Cooperation. He was voted the best run governmental parastatal in the country. In 2014, he was recently nominated for the youngest CEO award in Australia. The Governor General of Australia visited this Cooperation and wrote to the Queen, in June 2013, the Queen writes back commending him on his work.
Name: Lorna Rutto
Title: Founder of EcoPost
Lorna Rutto, 28 is the founder of EcoPost, a profitable social enterprise founded in 2009 which produces aesthetic, durable and environmentally friendly fencing posts using plastic waste, a more environmentally friendly alternative to timber. EcoPost gathers this plastic waste (such as polypropylene and polyethylene) and manufactures fencing posts from it. Rutto has earned international acclaim for her efforts in providing an alternative waste management solution to Kenya’s plastic menace.
Ecopost makes use of waste plastic by turning it into plastic lumber, as an alternative to wood. The lumber is then turned into many different types of posts, including fencing posts, sign posts and building and construction posts. This imaginative idea saves the unnecessary culling of trees, contributing towards protection of the country’s forests. So far, Lorna has sold more than 20,000 posts, which have been made from more than one million kilograms of plastic waste. This has saved more than 250 acres of forest. She has also created more than 500 jobs for local Kenyans. She is a Laureate For Sub-Saharan Africa in the Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards
Names: Jamilia Abass,Linda Kwamboka, Susan Oguya
Ages:30, 26, 26
Title: Co-Founders founders of M-Farm
Abass, Kwamboka and Oguya are founders of M-Farm, an all-female mobile/ web startup that improves the economic condition of Kenya’s farmers. M-Farm Limited, an award winning software solutions and Agribusiness Company, provides vital market information and trading services to farmers via its mobile app. Using a basic SMS interface, M-Farm provides farmers with access to current market prices, aggregating their needs into discount orders with suppliers and giving them direct, collective access to both regional and export markets for their products.
M-Farm also organized two day workshops in Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya, and South Africa to train local farmers on how to use the M-Farm platform to their advantAge. The team also empowers farmers by loaning seeds to them and giving them tips on how to grow them. M-Farm currently has over 8 000 farmers using its database. The company has earned many accolades including the winning IPO48 competition in 2010 and becoming one of infoDev’s top 20 SMEs in 2011. In 2013, the M-Farm team secured a partnership with the M-Pesa Foundation. The partnership has seen M-Farm receive a grant of KES 20 million (USD 230 000) from M-Pesa Foundation.
NameAgeTitle: Co-Founded Nandimobile Company
A graduate of the Melwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology, Amuzu co-founded Nandimobile Company in 2010. The same year, Nandimobile’s maiden product, Gripeline, won the award for Best Business at the LAUNCH conference in San Francisco, USA. Amuzu currently serves as both Technical Lead and CEO of Nandimobile Limited, a young and vibrant technology startup in Ghana. In the last two years, the company has launched 3 products and attracted a clientele of over 80 companies. In 2013 Nandimobile won a World Summit Award (WSA) in e-Business & Commerce Infoline. Amuzu, who was also selected for the Eighth Annual Fortune/ U.S. State Department Global Women’s Mentoring Partnership Program, has been Named by Forbes as one of 2014’s top 10 African female tech founders to look out for.
Name: Mark Essien
Title: Founder of Hotels.ng
Essien is a software developer, web and mobile development expert and founder of Hotels.ng, a hotel booking Service Company. Founded in 2012, Hotels.ng allows clients to book rooms online, and provides comprehensive customer support. In 2013, Hotels.ng received US$150 000 funds from investment company Spark. The company employs 15 fulltime staff, five contract staff and more than 70 ad-hoc staff. With an estimated 5080 hotels on the site, the success of Hotels.ng has accelerated the growth of the online service industry in Africa.
WinSenga is an innovative low cost mobile antenatal diagnosis tool which was developed by Okello and his partners Tushabe and Josiah Kuvuma.
The low cost smart phone-based tool enables less-trained midwives in low resource settings (rural areas) in Africa to effectively & accurately monitor the health of an unborn child during antenatal care and labour.
The innovation is the advanced version of the 19th century pinard horn used by midwives to listen to the heart rate of a foetus during pregnancy which was formerly called “fetoscope”
The souped-up device, which is placed on a women’s abdomen just like a regular horn, connects to a Windows-based phone running the application. The system picks up the foetal heart rate, transmits it to the phone, and then the phone runs an analysis. This technology was created to reduce deaths in women from complication of childbirth, deaths in babies before or during delivery or in the first week of life in Sub-Sahara Africa.
In 2012 Okello and his partners won a US$50 000 grant from Microsoft – the “Win” in WinSenga is short for Windows. They developed their app from a Microsoft-funded technology incubator, set up to encourAge Uganda’s nascent tech sector. In 2014 they launched WinSenga eFHR v2.1, a new design based on feedback from their medical team and users – the tool has gone minimalist and focused is increasing user productivity quickly.
Name: Kayode Disu
Title: Founder and CEO of ISEC
Disu is the founder and CEO of ISEC, a business and socioeconomic solutions development company. ISEC is a service that protects customers from unwanted and malicious debits on their accounts, also enabling the customer with the ability to approve transactions, decline them or report fraud in real time. In 2013, the company developed secure authentication technology for the Nigerian finance industry and raised US$10 million from Synergy Capital, making it the largest known first round of capital raised by any Nigerian technology startup to date.
Name: Joel Mwale
Title: Founder Sky Drop Enterprises and Gigavia.com.
After four years the young Kenyan sold his SkyDrop water company last year for $500,000 (£307,000) to an Israeli investor.
As young social entrepreneur, he is on the verge of solving one of the mysteries of the Facebook generation – how Mwale (20) is the founder of Sky Drop Enterprises and Gigavia.com. SkyDrop is a rainwater filtration and bottling company which produces lowcost purified drinking water, milk and other dairy products in Kenya. Mwale founded SkyDrop in December 2009.
His zeal to create a clean low-cost purified drinking water for all after surviving a dysentery disease that ravAged his community made him to invest all his savings, totalling $95 to build a bore hole with the help of local volunteers in his community. He subsequently installed all the technical requirements that will be needed for water extraction. The well presently provides clean and drinkable water for over 500 local households.
In 2011, Joel won the Anzisha Prize for youth leadership, in recognition of his innovative solutions to solve problems facing their communities. In winning the prize, which provided him with $30,000 to develop his business and a two-year scholarship to attend the Africa Leadership Academy (ALA), he beat out 186 applicants from 22 countries to claim this prize.
He currently employs 20 workers, including his mother.
As part of his charitable works, he has already funded the construction of four boreholes for communities in need to stop social media getting in the way of studying with Gigavia.com, which was launched in 2013. The website allows schools and teachers to be part of it, so that they can sign into class-specific areas of the site where academic materials can be shared.
There is a personal library section where you can share books at a class level, and there is a section for mentoring. This is all on the same site which you can also use for all the usual personal social media chats and sharing with friends.
It is a simple website which looks similar to Facebook in its layout, but with the added sections for mentoring, school assignments, teachers and schools.
Over 1-million people have signed up as users since the website went life. Although he wants his idea to be taken up in East Africa, his ambition is global.
More than 50% of Gigavia users so far come from the US. His website has been developed with a team of international software developers.
The proof of its success is not only the staggeringly quick take-up by users, but also that they come from around the world. More than 50% of users so far come from the US, and other countries like Turkey and South Africa have been quicker to sign on than Kenyans.
Name: Sangu Delle
Title: Co-Founded cleanacwa
Delle built a clean water organization that has impacted tens of thousands of people in rural Liberia and Ghana. Born in Ghana, his childhood home was a refuge for victims of torture and violence from neighbouring Liberia and Sierra Leone.
At Harvard, enrolling in the Social EngAgement Initiative program that bridged the academic study and practical service gap, Delle co-founded cleanacwa (formerly the African Development Initiative), which embarked on a five-year project to bring sanitation and clean water to Agyementi, a villAge in Ghana. Cleanacwa is currently working to bring clean water and sanitation to over 60,000 people in 120 villAges in the Ayensuano and Suhum districts in Ghana.
In 2013, he endowed the Sangu Delle Fund for Social EngAgement at Harvard University in honor of his mentor Professor Evelyn Higginbotham to help fund the next generation of social entrepreneurs. In 2014, he set up a fund at Harvard College to create a scholarship in honor of his mother Amira Delle, who wasn’t able to attend college. This scholarship will help fund African girls to attend Harvard University.
Convinced that the real needs of communities can best be met through entrepreneurship, in 2008 he founded an investment holding company, Golden Palm Investments (GPI) to fund promising start-ups that can have social impact and generate jobs. GPI has backed startups such as Solo Mobile in Nigeria, mPharma in Ghana, Stawi Foods in Kenya and Zamsolar in Zambia. GPI has also built a portfolio of greenfield companies in healthcare, real estate, agriculture and financial services.
Name: Alengot Oromait
Title: Member of Parliament (MP) for Usuk County, Katakwi District.
A Ugandan university student and politician, Oromait is the elected Member of Parliament (MP) for Usuk County, Katakwi District. At Age 19, she was the youngest Member of Parliament in Uganda and on the African continent. After her father’s death, Oromait contested in the National Resistance Movement’s primary elections to replace her father, who had served as an Independent. She won the primary and in the general elections in September 2012, won with 54.2% of the vote. She is expected to juggle her undergraduate studies with her parliamentary duties for the next three years at the minimum. She deals with such issues as the environment, education, health policy and gender issues. In 2013, Oromait promoted bills on health and education policy, and through her networks and links has been able to repair boreholes, buy medical equipment and drugs for clinics and hospitals. She is also paying school fees for 38 children.
Name: David Adedeji Adeleke (Davido)
Davido is a recording artist, performer, and record producer.
In 2013 Davido sealed an endorsement deal with MTN Nigeria and partnered with Guinness for the “Guinness World of More” concert. He won the African Artiste Of The Year.
This year he released the popular and successful “Aye” video and had collaborations with South Africa’s Mafikizolo. Also In 2014, Davido won Best International Act, Africa BET awards. In June, this year, Davido joined some of Africa’s finest voices to deliver a very sweet tune to celebrate the greatness that is Africa.
Name: Panshak Zamani
Title: Musical Artiste
Gaining phenomenal success in entertainment, Ice prince has recently been nominated for World’s Best Male Artist, World’s Best Live Act, and World’s Best Entertainer Of The Year. He has won, among other awards, Best Rap Act of the Year, BET Awards 2013,Best International Act: Africa, City People Entertainment Awards, Best Hip-Hop Artiste of the Year, the Rhythm Play Ambassador (NASCOM) 2013.
Two of his tracks Oleku and SuperStar have total downloads above 5million and 3million respectively. In 2013, Ice price have featured in 2 movies -House of Gold and Shuga. He released an album last year.
NameMichael Kwesi Owusu (Sarkodie)
AgeTitle: Musical Artiste
A recording artist, entertainer, and brand ambassador. He is recognised as one of the leading Hip hop and Hip Life artists in Ghana a major proponents of the Azonto genre and dance.
In 2013, he signed an endorsement deal with FanMilk Ghana. Sarkodie is currently in partnership with Tigo Telecommunications Ghana, a brand that sponsored the 2013 Rapperholic tour. Ranked the 8th on Forbes and Channel O’s 2013 list of the Top10 Richest/Bankable African Artistes, he is the first Ghanaian to win the BET Awards for “Best International Act Africa.
Sarkodie won four awards at the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards 2014, including Vodafone Song of The Year. He also won big in the 2014 BET Awards as Best International Act.
Name: Nasibu Abdul Juma (Diamond)
Title: MUSICAL ACT
Popularly known by stAge Name Diamond Platnumz (or simply Diamond). He is a Bongo Flavarecording artist and singer from Tanzania who has recorded 133 songs already. He is best known for his hit song “Number One”. He performed at the Big Brother Africa 7 eviction show in May 2012. Diamond is considered influential among his fans, and he is said to be the most loved and decorated Tanzanian artist at the moment. He is the highest paid artist in East Africa earning at least two million shillings per weekend. He was also believed to be the highest selling Tanzanian artist of ringtones by mobile phone companies in 2013, as well as being among the artists earning the highest income in the African Great Lakes region’s music industry.
On 3 May 2014, Diamond Platnumz set a new record at the Tanzania Music Awards by winning 7 awards, including Best Male Writer, Best Male Artist, Best Song Writer, and Best Male Entertainer of the Year, among others. Prior to to these accomplishments, Diamond held the record for winning 3 awards at the 2010 Tanzania music awards.
In 2010, he was nominated as the best new act at the MTV Africa Music Awards and also got 2 nominations at this year’s Edition (2014) of the Awards as Best Male Act and Best collaboration with Nigerian act Davido. He was also nominated as the best International act (Africa) at the 2014 BET AWARDS.
Name: Ivie Okujaye
Title: Actress, producer, scriptwriter, dancer, singer and activist
Okujaye is a Nigerian actress, producer, scriptwriter, dancer, singer and activist. In 2009 she emerged as winner of the Amstel Malta Box Office (AMBO) reality TV show/ competition.
In 2013, she was awarded the Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards for Trailblazer of the Year in 2013. In 2014, she starred in a new movie ‘Make a Move and was nominated at the AMVCA’s forBest Actress in Drama for the movie ‘The Volunteers’.
Okujaye also recently released her debut single as a musical artiste Titled ‘Make a Move’.
Name: Yaya Toure.
Toure’s spell at the 2012 African Cup of Nations with the Ivory Coast ended in disappointment with the Ivorian Elephants losing a penalty shoot-out in the final of the competition. Rather than discourAge him however, it spurred into the final months of the league season.
In his first match back, just hours after returning, Toure set up Sergio Aguero to score an 84th minute winner against Porto. Toure won successive African Football of the Year prizes in 2011 and 2012 and was Named in the PFA Premier League Team of the Year in 2012. He scored ten goals in 32 appearances in 2012/13.
Name: Sanga Moses
Title: Founder Eco-Fuel
Sanga started Save Uganda’s Forests to help Its Women with Eco friendly fuel. By eliminating hours spent gathering wood, the green charcoal allows girls in Uganda to stay in school and gives their mothers a money-making venture that can help lift their families out of poverty.
Four years after he founded the social enterprise Eco-Fuel Africa, 2 500 farmers use his kilns, and each earns an averAge of US$30 a month in extra income. His company has created a network of 460 women retailers who each earn about $150 a month from retailing his clean-cooking fuel. More than 19,167 Ugandan households or about 115 000 people now use his clean-cooking fuel on a daily basis and are able to save at least US$200 a year in energy costs. Cleaner-burning green charcoal also reduces indoor air pollution, respiratory disease, and medical bills. Instead of spending hours gathering wood, girls can stay in school, and women can grow kitchen gardens or start businesses.
Name: Bunmi Otegbade
Title: Founder Generation Enterprise and StrategyQ
Otegbade bridges the gap between grassroots business and larger business through two entities: his non-profit, Generation Enterprise and his strategy advisory firm, StrategyQ. A strong advocate of inclusive business, he helps larger organizations craft pro-poor strategies to include the grassroots in business processes and unlock hidden financial and social returns at the bottom-of-the-pyramid. Currently, through (Generation Enterprise) GEN’s training, investment and business support services, over 3 000 grassroots youth have been trained in entrepreneurship and business management, with more than 120 having been set up in businesses across Nigeria and in India. In addition, in a revolutionary step, Otegbade created the opportunity for more than 50 grassroots youth to pitch their business ideas to an illustrious panel in several Dragon’s Den-style events at the US Consulate that included Lagos’ Commissioners of Special Duties and Science & Technology, Governor of Osun State, prominent entrepreneurs.
Over the past one year, GEN’s work has been featured on platforms such as the MIT Innovations Journal (January 2014), TEDxLagos (September 2013), ILO Work4Youth Conference (December 2013), amongst others. He has also lectured at the Clinton Global Initiative University webinar series. Through StrategyQ, Otegbade built 1-PAgePlan.com, an online fundraising platform, to help solve the access-to-finance problems for African startups. 1-PAgePlan matches financiers with entrepreneurial ideas. StrategyQ’s work has been featured on platforms such as the Harvard Africa Business Conference (March 2014), NYU Africa Economic Forum (April 2014), amongst others.
Name: David Oshei
Title: Inventor, Dropifi
Dropifi, David’s invention, helps companies filter out spam through proprietary anti-spam technology, see incoming messAge trending data in relation to industry metrics, demographic and social media Profiles of the sender, analyse the real emotions behind the messAges and easily integrate with their existing CRMs, ecommerce and blogging platforms. In short, it helps companies better manAge and harness information in messAges from their users and visitors to help grow their business.
Dropifi started working with the 500 Startups Programme in April 2013 and since then its three founders – Effah Mensah, David Osei and Kabil Nabong – have been working with the 500 Startups team at their headquarters in San Francisco.
Name: Justin Stanford
Title: Co-Founder and CEO of 4Di Group
Since founding his first startup at Age 18, Stanford, an angel investor and venture capitalist, has been involved in entrepreneurial endeavours. After the dotcom crash in 2001, he went on to successfully launch and grow a Pan-African internet based software company from a garAge in the suburbs of Cape Town. Today he is co-founder and CEO of 4Di Group, a diversified investment manAgement company, and co-founding general partner of earlystAge technology venture capital firm 4Di Capital.
In 2011, he was named by the Mail & Guardian on the ‘Top 200 Young South Africans’ list, and in 2013, recognised by Forbes as one of ‘30 Under 30: Africa’s Best Young Entrepreneurs’. As co-founder of the Silicon Cape Initiative in 2009, designed to highlight and foster South Africa’s emerging tech startup ecosystem, Stanford fully believes in South Africa’s potential as a global technology innovation hub.
Name: Bankole Oluwafemi
Title: Founder and Editor of TechCabal.com
Olufemi is founder and editor of TechCabal.com, an online publication that promotes conversations around technology, mobile and internet in Africa in a manner that is sustainable, value-adding and scalable. TechCabal, which features a weekly roundup of what’s interesting around the ecosystem, is a leading voice in the techosphere. In February 2014, TechCabal hosted a first-of-its-kind showcase of Nigerian technology start-ups at the inaugural edition of the Techcabal Battlefield competition. Olufemi’s team provided startups with the chance to present their products and businesses to an audience of investors, users and geeks during the 2014 Social Media Week Lagos. Of over 90 applicants, the team which emerged as winner went home with $20,000 prize money.