Leti Games selected as World Summit Award (WSA) 2013 Nominee

True Ananse series from Ghana receives nomination for UN-based Award in Sri Lanka

Leti Arts

WSA 2013 Nominee PRESS RELEASE

True Ananse series from Ghana receives nomination for UN-based Award in Sri Lanka

The Grand Jury of the World Summit Award examined almost 500 of the world’s best e-Content Websites and ICT projects from August 29 to 31. The True Ananse series by Leti Games from Ghana is one of them.

Accra/Salzburg, August 28, 2013

The Leti Games True Ananse series from Ghana has been nominated by an international jury of ICT experts to enter the next round of the 2013 World Summit Award (WSA) in e-Entertainment & Games. The Leti Games True Ananse series will compete against almost 500 outstanding e-Content products and applications from 168 countries in front of the WSA’s Grand Jury from Aug. 29 to Aug. 31 in Estonia’s capital city, Tallinn.

The True Ananse series is the first instalment in the African Legends initiative from Leti Games, based on Kweku Ananse, a folklore…

View original post 690 more words

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“THE NOBEL PRIZE FOR YOUNG AFRICAN ENTREPRENEURS” – THE $75,000 ANZISHA PRIZE ANNOUNCES ITS 2013 FINALISTS.

ALA

DUBBED “THE NOBEL PRIZE FOR YOUNG AFRICAN ENTREPRENEURS” – THE $75,000 ANZISHA PRIZE ANNOUNCES ITS 2013 FINALISTS

Twelve inspirational entrepreneurs from around Africa are the finalists for the prestigious Anzisha Prize, Africa’s foremost youth entrepreneurship award. The contenders, who hail from 10 countries on the continent, stand a chance to share in over $75 000 USD in cash prizes and receive networking and learning opportunities, which is provided through a partnership between African Leadership Academy and by The MasterCard Foundation.

The Anzisha Prize identifies and celebrates Africa’s young entrepreneurial leaders between the ages of 15 to 22, who have addressed challenges in their communities and launched innovative ventures. This year these range from renewable energy projects and technology solutions to agriculture and education.

For the first time in the prize’s history, South Africa has two finalists. Kolawole Olajide, 21, is the chief developer and co-founder of Funda, an award-winning online learning management system. Neftaly Malatjie, 22, has been running Diepsloot Youth Projects (DYP) for more than eight years since he founded it at the age of 14. DYP is an NGO that focuses on income generating programmes that enable young people to engage in business opportunities.

Uganda also boasts two finalists. Best Ayiorworth, 19, has empowered over 200 young women in her home district through her microfinance lending programme while Titus Mawano’s vision to get African SMMEs “in the cloud” inspired him to develop Ffene, a business management platform.

Says Chi Achebe, Anzisha Prize programme manager: “There are thousands of entrepreneurial African youth who are making a difference in their communities every day. We are honoured to be able to share a subset of their stories with the world and enable them to take their businesses to the next level.  These are the African business leaders of the future and our goal is to help support their growth.”

“The Anzisha Prize illustrates the potential, ingenuity and entrepreneurial energy of young people across Africa,” said Reeta Roy, President and CEO of The MasterCard Foundation. “Each year, the Anzisha Prize finalists encourage young people from across the continent to pursue their entrepreneurial ambitions and make a difference in their communities.”

All 12 finalists will take part in the 2013 Anzisha Prize Finalist Week which takes place from Sunday, August 25, to Friday, August 30. While there, they will be taught by the African Leadership Academy’s renowned Entrepreneurial Leadership faculty as well as members of the South African Chapter of Entrepreneurs Organisation.

The grand prize winner will be announced at a gala function to be held in Johannesburg, South Africa, on the evening of August 30. . As part of the MasterCard Foundation’s partnership with African Leadership Academ (ALA),  winners will share $75,000 USD courtesy of The MasterCard Foundation and will join the esteemed Anzisha Fellows network, composed of the 20 Anzisha Fellows to date. The winners will also be given networking and learning opportunities to take their projects to the next level.

Now in its third year, the Anzisha Prize, celebrates the initiative and innovation of youth in Africa. It identifies exceptional young entrepreneurs who are leading by example and underscores their ability to significantly shape the future of Africa.

The word ‘Anzisha’ is taken from Swahili and translates into ‘initiative’ and is a project that is gaining significant momentum in African business circles as its impact is beginning to be felt.

The 12 Anzisha 2013 finalists (in country order) are:

CAMEROON

David Morfaw

Project Title: Poult-Vault Inc.

Industry: Agriculture

Nineteen-year-old David Morfaw, from Bafut in Cameroon, has always had an entrepreneurial spirit and started his first business at the age of eight. His current venture is the poultry business Poult-Vault Inc. However, it is not simply about the bottom line but also helping the community he lives in – he currently employs six people. His business plan maximises each opportunity, whether it is selling chicks after three weeks, keeping them until they are grown at nine weeks or selling the chickens and their eggs. He also provides the waste produced to local farmers for fertile manure.

EGYPT

Khaled Shady

Project Title: Mubser

Industry: Information technology

Khaled Shady, from Shebin El-Kom, is a 21-year-old computer engineering student at Menoufoia University in Egypt. His university curriculum and technical knowledge gave him a unique opportunity to develop a system that could make a difference for the blind community. He decided to develop a cutting-edge product that could aid them in their daily lives. Shady’s invention Mubser is a wearable belt, fully equipped with Bluetooth and Microsoft Kinect, which allows the wearer to navigate safely around objects and obstacles using a system of vibrating motors. It is already making an impact and improving the quality of life for blind people.

KENYA

Barclay Okari

Project Title: Safi-pads

Industry: Consumer products

Paul Barclay is a 21-year-old entrepreneur from Kitale in Kenya. His business, Safi-pads, provides inexpensive, reusable and washable sanitary towels for women and young girls. Barclay saw that the prices of regular disposable towels were simply too expensive for families strapped for cash so he and his team developed a product that could help thousands of women while still turning a profit. Barclay has already sold more than 14 000 units of his sanitary towels and plans to expand when he can afford to pay for various mechanisms to make his production system more efficient. He currently employs 14 women but impacts so many families by providing an affordable option of a necessary hygiene product.

MALAWI

Gonjetso Chinyama

Project Title: Pakwathu

Industry: Information technology

Gonjetso Chinyama is a 21-year-old student at the University of Malawi in Blantyre where he is studying Management Information Systems with a passion for art, design, and computer programming. He joined these passions to start a creative design agency called Twenty2 Creative. From there he saw a niche in the marketplace and created the Internet real estate venture, Pakwathu. This online classifieds website enables Malawians to find property throughout the country and sift through a plethora of options based on location and price.

NIGERIA

Temitayo Olufuwa

Project Title: JobsinNigeria

Industry: Information technology

Temitayo Olufuwa, from Fadeyi, is a graduate of N.I.I.T. where he focused on computer science and software. The 21-year-old created JobsinNigeria (www.jobsinnigeria.com.ng), a web-based system that allows users to search, find and apply for new jobs at the click of the mouse or even on mobile devices. JobsinNigeria only started in 2012 and yet its impact on the Nigerian community is growing substantially with more than 200 Nigerians already finding jobs.

RWANDA

Joie Laurent Sangwa

Project Title: Domestic Biogas Use Promotion Project

Industry: Energy and waste

Nineteen-year-old Joie Sangwa from Burera in Rwanda realised that her community needed cheap and renewable energy resources. Working with a team, she discovered that human waste is a good source of energy and worked to install domestic biogas units throughout her home region. This offers a cheap, alternative energy source while helping with the environment.

SENEGAL

Donald Bambara

Project Title: Green Act

Industry: Energy and waste

Nineteen-year-old Donald Bambara grew up in Burkina Faso but after completing his high school education, moved to Dakar, Senegal, to start international management studies. Bambara quickly came to recognise a big problem in his university community – waste. He came up with a dynamic plan for how to combat the waste problem and started Green Act. This project helps separate trash from recyclable materials on campus. But his quest to clean up his campus, and campuses around him, doesn’t end there as he processes the recyclables into plastic pellets, funds cleaning services on campuses, and tries to educate students and young people in Senegal about the impact of current waste management practices and future possibilities for recycling.

SOUTH AFRICA

Neftaly Malatjie

Project Title: Diepsloot Youth Projects (DYP)

Industry: Youth development and education

Neftaly Malatjie has a passion for social entrepreneurship and a track record of commitment to community work. Since the age of 11, he has worked as a preschool teacher, peer educator, library assistant, HIV/Aids counsellor, drugs awareness and prevention teacher, learning and development advisor and afternoon care coordinator. In 2005, at the age of 14, using cash he had saved from his part-time job, he started Diepsloot Youth Projects (DYP) to make an impact in the poverty stricken Diepsloot area. Diepsloot Youth Projects focuses on income generating programmes that enable young people to engage in business opportunities. It has created employment for 16 young people.

Kolawole Olajide

Project Title: Funda

Industry: Information technology and education

Kolawole Olajide, 21, is a native of Nigeria and schooled in Cape Town, South Africa. He is the chief developer and co-founder of Funda, an online learning management system that brings together educational resources to make the lives of teachers, students and parents easier. For example, a teacher can create a website that serves as an online discussion board for students to collaborate on an assignment while students can create a class website to work on and submit assignments electronically. He is part of a five man team of young entrepreneurs who represent five different African nations – Nigeria, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Kenya.  Olajide and his team have gone on to win a number of awards, recognition from prestigious groups like the UNDP and an invitation to attend the Davos World Economic Forum.

TANZANIA

Damotila Silayo 

Project Title: Jathropa Soap Production

Industry: Health and wellness

Domitila Silayo is a 21-year-old university student from Moshi, Tanzania. After visiting an agricultural festival, Silayo saw great potential for using the jathropa plant for cosmetic and medicinal uses. She began research on how to produce a soap made from the herbal plant that could heal a variety of skin problems including ringworm and dandruff. Jathropa Soap Production has gone on to help thousands of people in Tanzania fight off skin problems while still turning a healthy profit and creating employment.

UGANDA

Best Aiyorworth

Project Title: Girls’ Power Micro Lending Organisation

Industry: Microfinance and education

Best Aiyorworth is an advocate for education in her home district Nebbi in northern Uganda. The 21-year-old has started the Girls’ Power Micro Lending Organisation. Its motto is “To help a mother, is to help a girl child.” Girls’ Power is a micro lending business that supports girls through their mothers. They give women starting capital or money to boost their existing businesses so that they are able to support their daughters with school fees and scholastic materials and ensure that they get an education. She has empowered over 400 women to date.

Titus Mawano

Project Title: Ffene

Industry: Information technology

Titus Mawano, a 22-year-old from Kampala, is the brains behind Ffene, a business management platform for SMMEs in Africa who are struggling to stay organised, yet still use a loose-leaf notebook to keep record of clients and sales. Ffene’s vision is to get African businesses in the cloud. Whether it is accounting, inventory management or data keeping, Ffene is the one stop shop for a SMME’s accounting, customer and inventory management needs. With more than 400 current customers just three months after launch, Ffene is well on its way to revolutionising how SMMEs do business in Uganda and beyond.

Go to:

➢ Website: www.anzishaprize.org

➢ Facebook: www.facebook.com/anzishaprize

➢ Twitter: @anzishaprize

 

NOTES TO EDITORS

 

Addendum

 

South Africa’s Neftaly Malatjie was not originally listed when Anzisha announced its shortlist of 25 candidates. However, Malatjie replaced one of the semi-finalists who did not meet the awards’ criteria during the diligence process.

About the Anzisha Prize

 

The Anzisha Prize is managed out of African Leadership Academy’s Centre for Entrepreneurial Leadership, which was established through a multi-year partnership with The MasterCard Foundation. Through the Anzisha Prize, the organisers seek to catalyse innovation and entrepreneurship among youth across the continent.

About African Leadership Academy

 

African Leadership Academy (ALA) seeks to transform Africa by developing a powerful network of entrepreneurial leaders who will work together to achieve extraordinary social impact. Each year, ALA brings together the most promising young leaders from all 54 African nations for a pre-university program in South Africa with a focus on leadership, entrepreneurship and African studies. ALA continues to cultivate these leaders throughout their lives, in university and beyond, by providing on-going leadership and entrepreneurial training and connecting them to high-impact networks of people and capital that can catalyse large-scale change. For more information, visit http://africanleadershipacademy.org.

About The MasterCard Foundation

The MasterCard Foundation is an independent, global organization based in Toronto, Canada, with more than $6 billion in assets.  Through collaboration with partner organizations in 50 countries, it is creating opportunities for all people to learn and prosper.  The Foundation’s programs promote Financial Inclusion and advance Youth Learning, mostly in Africa.  Established in 2006 through the generosity of MasterCard Worldwide when it became a public company, the Foundation is separate and independent from the company.  Its policies, operations, and funding decisions are determined by its own Foundation Board of Directors and President and CEO.  To learn more about the Foundation, please visit www.mastercardfdn.org.

Press Contact:

Janine Walker janine.w@mweb.co.za or +27 83 600 9753

Faith Abiodun fabiodun@africanleadershipacademy.org or +27 78 644 2649

 

Should you write an article using this press release, African Leadership Academy would like to link to the article on its website. Please email any articles to janine.w@mweb.co.za and info@africanleadershipacademy.org

AFRICAN LEADERSHIP ACADEMY ANNOUNCES INTERNATIONAL YOUTH DAY ESSAY COMPETITION.

 

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African Leadership Academy (ALA) is very delighted to join the United Nations in recognizing the immense potential and celebrating the extraordinary achievements of young people around the world on International Youth Day, August 12, 2013.

International Youth Day (IYD), celebrated yearly on August 12, is a United Nations-designated day of observance established in 2000 to raise awareness of issues affecting young people around the world. It is also a day to recognize the efforts of the world’s youth in creating a global society, and aims to promote ways to engage them in being more actively involved in making positive contributions to their communities. The theme for International Youth Day 2013 is “Youth Migration: Moving Development Forward”

African Leadership Academy (ALA) is a leading pan-African institution that seeks to transform Africa by identifying, developing and connecting a powerful network of leaders who will work together to achieve extraordinary social impact on the continent. ALA believes that Africa will be developed by Africans, and in line with the theme for IYD 2013, promotes the retention of African talent in Africa, as well as the return of African talent to the continent from the diaspora.

In celebrating International Youth Day 2013, ALA focuses on the need to maximize the potential of African youth at home and abroad to contribute optimally to the development of the continent. Demographic studies show that Africa has the largest youth population in the world of over 200 million people, a figure which is expected to double by 2045.

The UN Economic Commission for Africa estimates that by 2015, over one-fourth of the world’s workforce will be African; conversely the huge vacuum of opportunities for the African youth makes the gainful employment of this young workforce extremely doubtful. In spite of the fact that six of the ten fastest growing economies in the world are in sub-Saharan Africa, unemployment rates across the continent hover around 70%, and the World Bank estimates that about 60% of all unemployed Africans are between the ages of 15 and 24. It is clearly evident therefore, that Africa’s great challenge is how to effectively utilize its youth bulge to drive the continent’s development.

Over time, the allure of securing quality education and improved economic opportunities has led to a prolonged exodus of many young Africans from the continent, resulting in an erroneous belief that the best opportunities in life are outside Africa. However, the vast majority of the African youth reside in the continent, and engage in endless pursuits of economic opportunities. There is an urgent need for concerted efforts by governments, businesses, non-profits and all Africans to create an enabling environment for the African youth to gain access to the resources, skills and networks that will enable them to contribute effectively to African development.

As part of ALA’s ongoing efforts to actively engage the African youth in the development of the continent, the Academy hereby announces the first edition of the International Youth Day Essay Writing Competition open to young Africans between the ages of 15-19 years. Between August 12 and September 12, 2013, young Africans are challenged to write on the topic: “How can governments, businesses, non-profits, individuals and the youth collaborate to maximize Africa’s youth potential for the continent’s development and prosperity?” The writers of the best three essays will be awarded scholarships to attend ALA’s Global Scholars Program in July 2014, a unique international three-week entrepreneurial leadership summer camp, and the top ten essays will be published on the ALA website.

Winners will be announced on African Youth Day, November 1, 2013.
Link to Website: http://www.africanleadershipacademy.org/news/ala-announces-international-youth-day-essay-competition

By: Faith Abiodun, Communications Associate
About African Leadership Academy

African Leadership Academy (ALA) seeks to transform Africa by developing a powerful network of entrepreneurial leaders who will work together to achieve extraordinary social impact. Each year, ALA brings together the most promising young leaders from all 54 African nations for a pre-university program in South Africa with a focus on leadership, entrepreneurship and African studies. ALA continues to cultivate these leaders throughout their lives, in university and beyond, by providing ongoing leadership and entrepreneurial training and connecting them to high-impact networks of people and capital that can catalyse large-scale change. For more information, visit www.africanleadershipacademy.org.
Should you write an article using this press release, African Leadership Academy would like to archive and share the article. Please email any articles to iyd@africanleadershipacademy.org

10 UNDER 35 CHANGEMAKERS IN KENYA YOU NEED TO KNOW.

Kenya has got a lot of young change makers who are hardly seen in the national media . During my two months visit to the beautiful city of Nairobi, Kenya I happen to meet some of these young people and I was amazed to hear their stories and the impact they are making in Kenya. Most of them run their own non-profit organisations that focus on gender equity, philanthropy, human right activism, child right protection, entrepreneurship etc. This blogpost is to share what they do and the impact they are making through their various organisations. Enjoy the read!

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Naomi N. Mwaura, a gender activist is the  founder of FloNe Initiative, an organization that promotes social reforms in Africa in order to increase self –reliance and informed choices among African men and women because of the value and potential the organisation sees in our continent. Within this component, the focus will be on three thematic areas: gender equality, education, and sexual and reproductive health. Their vision is to achieve a sustainable improved quality of life for people in Africa. The organisation carries out it’s vision through: Community participation, school participation, gender equity  and sustainability. Naomi was nominated as the “Opportunity Desk-Young Person of the Month (November, 2013). Read her feature article on: Tiny Frame with Giant Marks (Insert below link}  I met Naomi in Nairobi during my educational visit to Kenya and had an opportunity to talk with her about her work and the impact it is making in Kenya. She was introduced to me by Kwabena Mavin Daniels.

 

 

 

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Wiclif Otieno is the founder and CEO of Kito International, a non-profit social enterprise with a simple philosophy: give street youth an economic opportunity, and they will WORK their way off the streets and out of poverty. Kito was started by Wiclif (a former street boy) and focuses on youth between the ages of 15 and 24 by creating sustainable entrepreneurship and employment opportunities for street youth. Kito International hopes to assure that rehabilitated street youth can achieve success. Kito’s goal is to help street youth become productive and contributing world citizens. Kito helps street youth to find employment and attain self-sufficiency by strengthening youth capacity and employability as well as developing entrepreneurial and employment opportunities. The training provided to youth includes life skills training, enterprise skills training, computer skills training and leadership seminars and workshops.  Wiclif was a tedx speaker at TEDxSanJoaquin. I met Wiclif at the iHub in Nairobi during One Acre fund Social Entrepreneurship happy hour where he shared the work he is doing. He was introduced to me by Spencer Ton

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Evans Muriu is the founder and CEO of Kuna Vijana, a non profit making organization that seeks to earn Kenyan youth a name and a reputation by fully tapping, utilizing and exposing talent. A youth initiative with a difference that seeks to change the image the society has towards the youth. It intends to make youth of Kenya a resourceful people in the society and to be able to positively use their interpersonal skills, knowledge and talents to improve the society. The members of Kuna Vijana will be exposed to a variety of opportunities in learning, life skills development, volunteer-ship in order to acquire work experience, leadership qualities development, counseling and support through connections with mentors. Kuna Vijana aspires to be the Kenya’s most comprehensive and successful youth organization by ensuring the youth overcome significant barriers to success which they are facing in the society today and which curtail them in realizing their full potential. Evans Muriu is an Entrepreneur, Business Consultant, Analyst, operations manager for Africa Gathering, Kenya and a philanthropist. Evans was recommended to me by Marieme Jamme.

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David Kimani, founder of Dagoretti Youth Development Group, this is a focused youth group which is up to changing the community. The vision is to  create a world where youth realize their full potential through talents and also the use of drama to create awareness in Dagoretti community, Nairobi Kenya and beyond through partnerships with organization of similar objectives, the main agenda is to nurture the vulnerable youth in schools and out of school and encourage them to take their talents seriously. David was recently featured on Safari Africa TV debut programme dubbed “Youth Outlook” in Nairobi, Kenya. I was privileged to interview David and visit his organisation in Kenya and see what they do in the community.

 

 

1004456_10151461514277271_1214790958_nRaphael is the convener/founder of The Youth Congress, a vibrant youth led initiative in Kenya that provide mostly young men and women in the urban slums and other informal settlements with a platform to enhance youth leadership and meaningful participation in socio-economic and political processes for improvement of their livelihoods and that of their community members at large. He is also the founder of  Miss Koch Initiative, Koch FM Community radioNacka-Nairobi and K-Youth Media.  Raphael is a strategic advisor and a member of key youth organizations and organizations working on youth related issues at the local, national and International fora. Noteworthy, he was instrumental in the process that resulted to amongst others the national Youth Policy and the National Youth Council Act in Kenya. He has been involved at different levels with youth initiatives in Africa, Europe, Asia, North and South America. I was privileged to have a day out with Raphael as he spoke to me about his work and the assistance he is offering the Kenyan youth. He was introduced to me by Chris Ammon.  SOURCE: http://www.unhabitat.org

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Peggy Mativo is the founder of PACE (Promoting Access to Community Education) and the PanAfrican Scholars Program, both which engage passionate youthful volunteers in expanding educational access to African students. PACE is inspired by the vision that one day all Kenyan children will have access to quality education. To tackle the biting teacher shortage in the country, PACE applies a unique strategy where they recruit Kenya’s most promising high school graduates and engage them in all endeavors. After selecting the graduates, they train them as teaching assistants then deploy and support them through the entire period, they work in under-resourced schools. She is a 3rd year student at Harvard University majoring in Chemistry and East Asian Studies. She worked as a Mentor and tutor in the Harvard-Alston Educational Portal, a Campus Ambassador with Teach for China. Peggy recently won the Clinton Global Initiative University Commitment of the Year Award and is an affiliate of the Harambe Entrepreneurial Alliance. I met her through social media and read about the work she is doing.

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Tracey kadada is involved in community work and is the founder of a community based organisation called Entertaining Angels Together. It started as a sport team called the Kenya Redsox Baseball team, it was meant to bring the youths and teenagers to have a relationship with Jesus Christ which has been successful in bringing 200 youths to Christ and teenagers,the organisation has been able to provide feeding programs for the street boys and girls and we have successfully sheltered 20 street kids ,who also play baseball, they have won twice in the provincial zone, they go to school and are doing exploits. They also make beads for a living and they are also great artists. I met her during my educational trip in Kenya.
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Nivi Mukherjee is the co-founder and CEO of eLimu. As a social entrepreneur, technophile and community volunteer, she is passionate about empowering youth and engaging in community initiatives that foster development and fun. She was the Education Quality Assurance Manager at the Institute of Software Technologies, an IT training company based in Nairobi. She also runs Maisha ni Matamu, a “funucational” social project that aims to bring a day full of joy every month to children who are underprivileged and/or orphaned. In her spare time, Nivi organizes cultural festivals, bakes, knits, runs half marathons, folds origami and plays Fußball. As a child, her favourite toy was the Speak & Spell. She was recommended by Ato Ulzen Appiah. SOURCE: http://e-limu.org

5. Simpisium of the HPI-Resarch-School,

Shikoh Gitau is the First African to receive a Google Award, a computer scientist with a heart, and over 8 years experience in ICT4D. Shikoh is the project founder of Ummeli is a mobile jobs and community portal hosted by Vodafone Live and accessible through Young Africa Live. The emphasis is on a community where young Africans can support each other in the development of their careers, share ideas, act as connectors or even just be a sounding board when things seem hopeless. She is a firm believer in human potential and loves looking at how technology can be an enabler to the development of marginalized, and often dismissed members of our society. She was recommended by Ato Ulzen Appiah.

 

 

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Evans Wadongo, he grew up in Kenya, he strained to read by the dim light of a kerosene lantern. Now he’s making solar-charged lanterns and using them to spur economic development.  His use of kerosene lamps during evening study eventually inspired him to create MwangaBora(Swahili for Good Light) in 2004. Through his organization, Sustainable Development For All (SDFA), Evans has distributed thousands of solar lamps to villages across Kenya and other African countries, and helped hundreds of women groups set up projects using money they would otherwise have spent on kerosene. I have not personally interacted with  Evans, but his recent inclusion in the list of “35 under 35 innovators in the world” inspired me to add to this post.

There are many other youth who running amazing projects in Kenya and so proud of them as well. I will be coming up with “10 under 35 Changemakers in Ghana You Need To Know” 

NB: Send me your comments or suggestions to this post through my email: emeritus2011@gmail.com

BRIGHT SIMONS: Listed among 35 innovators under 35 in the world.

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This is the 13th annual celebration of people who are driving the next generation of technological breakthroughs, we’re presenting the stories in a new way. We’ve grouped them by categories that reflect the variety of approaches that people can take to solving big problems. The Inventors, for instance, are creating new technologies. The Entrepreneurs are turning technologies into viable businesses. The Visionaries are anticipating how technologies can make life better, while Humanitarians are concentrating on expanding opportunities. And the Pioneersare exploring new frontiers, setting the stage for future innovations.

This project takes months of effort. It begins with nominations from the public and MIT Technology Review editors. People who have been selected by our publishing partners as local Innovators Under 35 in several regions worldwide are also considered. The editors go through the hundreds of candidates and select fewer than 100 finalists, all of whom will be younger than 35 on October 1. A panel of judges rates the finalists on the originality and impact of their work. Finally, the editors take the judges’ scores into account to select the group.

Bright Simons,31, founder of mPedigree network, based in Ghana. It allows people to determine with a text message whether their medicine is legitimate. Read Bright’s story below:

“I grew up in Ghana, where we’d inherited the British boarding school system. At Presbyterian Boys High School, many upperclassmen were abusive toward the younger students. Once, I was made to stay awake all night in a kneeling position outside. But in my final year at school I became student council president and led efforts to reduce abuses. That experience opened my eyes to a whole new world of fighting the system—of being an activist. And this led directly to my becoming a technology innovator.

A few years later, after studying astrophysics at Durham University in the U.K., I transferred that instinct to try to help African farmers. They grow food organically by default, because they don’t have money for chemicals. But they also don’t have money for the organic certification process that would let them get better prices. So in 2005, I led a team of PhD students to try to implement a solution using mobile technology.

30%
of medicine sold in some countries is bogus

The idea was that at the point of sale there’d be a code on the product. You’d enter that in a mobile device, and up will pop the history and even pictures of the farm. But we realized a big flaw: farmers have to be trained to do the coding. This was not practical.

But picking up a fruit and wanting to know if it is organically grown is similar to picking up a pack of medicine and seeing if it was properly tested and certified. About 2,000 people die every day from counterfeit medicine. So we shifted the idea to pharmaceuticals.

In 2007 we set up a nonprofit organization in Ghana and rolled out a pilot, and the next year Nigerian health officials invited us to replicate the concept there. But we wanted to get to a point where a big company like Sanofi-Aventis would use us. We learned that most companies won’t do business with an NGO, so in 2009 we launched mPedigree as a business.

You can send a free text message and get a reply in a few seconds verifying [that a medicine] is authentic. In addition, distributors and other middlemen can check the codes to verify that the supply has not been compromised. This helped reveal to a major Indian company that there was pilfering at a depot. Genuine antimalarial medicines would be replaced by counterfeits. The shady characters cannot get away with this anymore. If we had not stopped these leakages in the supply chain, they could have put thousands of patients at risk.

The system is used in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, and India, with pilots in Uganda, Tanzania, South Africa, and Bangladesh. We’ve got a relationship with many of the major regional—and a growing number of multinational—pharmas, including Sanofi-Aventis. In Nigeria our codes are on 50 million packs of antimalarial drugs alone, and we have just signed up two Chinese drug makers.

We are now expanding to seeds, cosmetics, and other businesses. And new applications are emerging that we hadn’t expected, in the areas of logistics, supply chain management, and marketing. If you send an SMS to check authenticity, you’ve also given good information about exactly where and when a drug was sold—as well as provided a potential marketing opportunity to dispense coupons. We have built a major platform for supply chains in the developing world. But back at my school, of course, they still remember me as the activist.”

as told to David Talbot

There is another African, Evans Wadongo, 27, from Kenya.

SOURCE: http://www.technologyreview.com

TAN Monthly Networking Event – Dropifi: An Africa-based Tech Startup

Dropifi: An Africa-based Innovative Tech Startup

Program Description

Dropifi is an enterprise cloud computing company that provides business software on a subscription basis.  Over 7,200 businesses from over 32 countries use Dropifi’s solution to manage their critical sales and customer service activities daily.  Dropifi has won numerous awards in product design and ease of use.

Dropifi was founded in 2011 by 3 former postgraduate students of Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) in Accra, Ghana, David Osei, Philips Effah, and Kamil Nabong.  Dropifi became first African startup to win Kauffman Foundation’s Startup Open competition in 2012 beating other 499 startups in over 100 countries.  In 2012 CNBC/Yahoo Finance names Dropifi one of the top 10  most promising startups in the world.  In 2013, Dropifi joined “500 Startups” accelerator program in Silicon Valley, becoming the first African startup to be accepted into the leading accelerator program in the Valley.  Dropifi has been featured on CNN, BBC, Forbes, Huffington Post, Techcrunch and many others.

  • Event Program Outline:

5:00 – 5:30 PM: Registration and Networking (Lite Snack and Drinks)
5:30 – 6:15 PM: Program Presentation – David Osei, Dropifi
6:15 – 6:45 PM: Q&A + Open Discussions
6:45 – 7:30 PM: Final Networking

Please RSVP by August 19, 2013

  • David Osei: David Osei is the CEO and co-founder of Dropifi.  In 2012, David was named #2 top technology startup entrepreneur to watch in Africa by IT News Africa.  The 26 year old Ghanaian completed KNUST in 2011 with a degree in Mathematics, the same year he was accepted into MEST to pursue a post-graduate study in Software and Entrepreneurship.  He has consulted for the CNFA/Bill Gates Foundation on Mobile Banking, and was part of the consulting team in the setup of the Stanford SEED program in Ghana.  He co-founded Dropifi in 2011 with a $50K seed funding from MEST.

 

About The African Network (TAN)

Founded in 2004, The African Network (TAN)is one of the fastest growing nonprofit organizations in the USA dedicated to fostering entrepreneurship among people of African descent everywhere and assisting entrepreneurs interested in doing business in Africa. TAN’s goals include building successful business enterprises across a variety of technology-driven industry platforms through education, networking, and mentoring. TAN also provides business professionals with employment opportunities throughout the African continent with a primary mission to create a vital ecosystem for American entrepreneurs to excel and succeed in science and technology investment partnerships in one of the world’s fastest emerging markets: Africa.

Register – http://theafricannetwork821.eventbrite.com/

JOB OFFER: Chief Commercial Officer (CCO)

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Terms of Reference

Position title: Chief Commercial Officer – Clean Team
Duty station: Kumasi, Ghana
Reports to: WSUP Enterprises Manager
Direct reports: General Manager, Staff

Introductions
Clean Team is a social business that makes sanitation profitable and makes acquiring a household toilet easy. We’ve started in the low income areas of Kumasi, Ghana, where we supply households with an attractive branded portable toilet and collect the waste 2-3 times per week. Once at our central site, we are able to convert the waste into energy and organic fertiliser. We are making a significant contribution to the global sanitation crisis by pioneering a new form of household sanitation with potential for wide scale replication in developing and emerging markets. Visit www.cleanteamtoilets.com for more info.

In partnership with Unilever, we’re growing the business from 350 toilets to date to reach 1,000 by the end of the year. Next year we will use private finance to expand to 10,000 households in Kumasi alone. We are seeking an experienced manager to develop and implement our growth plan, developing the four key areas of the business: marketing, operations, human resources and finance. This is an 18-24 month consulting position based in Kumasi, Ghana. Below is the type of person we are looking for. Not only will he/she bring a wealth of skills and experience to guide our hugely talented staff, but he/she will buy into the vision that Clean Team will make a significant, meaningful impact to global poverty. If you’re excited about this opportunity, then please apply.

Scope of Services:

Accountable for developing and implementing a growth strategy to reach 10,000 customers by 2014, ensuring that each department – marketing, operations, human resources and finance – develops its capacity, works together effectively and grows in a well-planned and coherent manner.

Key Activities:

  • Appraise the current health of the business and develop a growth plan to reach 10,000 customers in Kumasi, Ghana by early 2015.
  • Develop the capacity of each division – marketing, operations, human resources and finance – to deliver the growth plan, ensuring that robust systems and processes are in place and staff are adequately trained.
  • Designing and implementing a ‘Clean Team Academy’ that ensures new recruits are quickly up to speed in their respective job function and the existing team continuously improves.
  • Develop a repeatable model of ‘central processing sites’ around the city to support Clean Team’s growth.
  • Improve and standardise ‘central processing site’ design and operations.
  • Effectively plan and manage an annual R&D budget, identifying and managing new projects that help to improve the overall business model in the short term.
  • Provide general support and guidance to existing management, who are responsible for running the current business, such that it is in a good shape to grow.
  • Coordinate expert inputs from WSUP and non-WSUP visitors, ensuring the interests of the business are protected at all times.
  • Oversee external communications to make Clean Team a known entity within the social enterprise sector.

Competencies:

  • Successful experience of integrating sensitively within an existing local management team.
  • Has extensive experience in growing and evolving small businesses with external investment.
  • Has excellent experience in designing and implementing new employee training schemes and learning and development schemes for existing staff.
  • Collects, analyses and evaluates data to make fact-based decisions.
  • Can think creatively and strategically at a high level whilst thinking through the details.
  • Exemplary verbal and written communication skills.
  • Experience with human-centred design is beneficial.

Working conditions:

  • Based at head office in central Kumasi with considerable amount of time in the field with staff
  • Fast-paced, frugal start-up, fun working culture, hugely talented local staff

Budget:

Please specify expected day rate in cover letter. In addition to the day rate, WSUP will cover costs of flights, inoculations and visas only.

Submission of Proposal

Consultants shall outline their experience, approach, and work plan in their proposal and include an appropriate day rate plus expenses mentioned above. Proposals shall be submitted to Andy Narracott, (enterprises@wsup.com) by 09:00 (BST) on 26th August 2013.