The Anzisha Prize, which is a partnership between African Leadership Academy and Mastercard Foundation, celebrates African entrepreneurs aged 22 years and younger, and has so far supported 122 entrepreneurs.
This year’s application season saw a record 1,200 applicants received, with 20 finalists now chosen. Forty-five per cent of these businesses are female-owned, while they represent sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing and education.
Winners will be announced at this year’s Anzisha Prize Conference on October 27, with the grand prize winner receiving US$25,000, the first runner-up US$15,000, and the second runner-up US$12,500. Every finalist receives US$2,500.
Three of the finalists are from Ghana, namely Kobaa-Ok founder Aseitu Olivia Kipo, PopKing founder Joshua Adabie Armah, and Mosquito Trapping and Emergency LED Bulbs founder Adjei Nyamekye.
Morocco has two representatives, IA4YOU founder Mustapha Zeroual and Isla Pack founder Abdelouahab Toukkart, as does Sierra Leone, in the shape of IFA founder Mohamed Bah and Abdul Dumbuya, co-founder of a social enterprise that produces raw ginger and processes it into ginger powder. Uganda also has two representatives – Minute5 founder Jonathan Paul Katumba and Hamidu Biha of Biha Eco Venture.
The rest of the list is made up of finalists from Benin, Malawi, Rwanda, Kenya, South Africa, Senegal, Cameroon, Egypt, Tanzania, Madagascar, and Nigeria.
“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,” said Melissa Mbazo-Ekepenyong, deputy director of the Anzisha Prize.