Pause: Afripreneurs on the rise…

Pause: Afripreneurs on the rise…

__”These are the real people who will change and improve Africa!” Jack Ma

What a week! Last Saturday I served as one of four judges for the finale pitch contest of the inaugural $1m Africa Netpreneur Prize sponsored by Jack Ma and his Foundation. The judging team included Jack Ma, Joe Tsai (co-founder and Executive Vice Chairman of Alibaba Group) & my friend Mrs Ibukun Awosika, (Chair of the Board of Directors of First Bank of Nigeria, Ltd and founder of The Chair Center Group).

Big #Congratulations to the 2019 #Netpreneur Prize winner, Ms Temie Giwa-Tubosan, who founded LifeBank, an exciting and innovative Nigerian medical distribution company. Launched in 2015, her company uses data and technology to help health workers find and deliver lifesaving medical products like blood, oxygen and vaccines, to hospitals across Africa “on time and in the right condition”. At Saturday’s finale event called “Africa’s Business Heroes”, Temie announced her first successful delivery of urgently-needed blood… by drone! @lifebanknigeria

Second place winner was Dr Omar Shoukry Sakr from Egypt, founder of Nawah Scientific, the first private multidisciplinary research center in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), providing access to state-of-the-art high tech scientific lab facilities and online services in the fields of natural and medical sciences. @nawahscientific

Third place winner was Ms Christelle Kwizera who founded Water Access Rwanda/INUMA, a social enterprise which provides tailor-made solutions in the collection, purification and distribution of clean, safe and affordable water. A mechanical engineer, and the youngest finalist, Christelle first launched her company back in 2014… at age 19! @waterRwanda

Wow! Well done all.

Congratulations also to the seven other finalist Afripreneurs, selected through a very rigorous process to rise to the top-10 from 10,000 applications from 50 countries across the continent. All made Africa proud!

# Mr Ayodeji Arikawe, Thrive Agric, (Nigeria)

# Mr Waleed abd El Rahman, Mumm, (Egypt)

# Ms Kevine Kagirimpundu, UZURI K&Y, (Rwanda)

# Mr Mahmud Johnson, J-Palm, (Liberia)

# Dr Tosan Joseph Mogbeyiteren, Black Swan Tech Ltd, (Nigeria)

# Dr Chibuzo Opara, DrugStoc Ng, (Nigeria)

# Mr Moulaye Taboure,, (Côte d’Ivoire)

Please look them up and be inspired. Next year could be your year!

The President of Ghana, H.E. Nana Akufo-Addo and former Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and his wife also attended the pitch finale, along with other VVIPs. You see, I am not the only one who believes in the great potential of Afripreneurs, like so many of you on this platform.

Not even three months ago I was at the same venue in Accra, attending my last board meeting as Chair of AGRA. There Econet and Yara hosted the finale pitch contest for the Generation Africa GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize for young entrepreneurs in the agri-food sector. So much talent on this continent!

Now if you’re interested in learning from the prime time pitches at the Africa Netpreneur Prize (and you have access to WiFi) here’s a link to watch the whole show last Saturday night:

Watch Via Netpreneur Prize Facebook Page

Once Sasai Watch is available, I will release a 10-part series of these @Africanetpreneur pitches, so that we can help prepare you for your own pitch next year. I might even give a few tips.

__Remember #Pitching is a key skill to getting funding!

Sasai Watch, will be free, and in some countries, you will even get Free WiFi access for it.

Just wait and see!




As I wrote back in June when I first told you here about this competition: “Successful entrepreneurs don’t wait for the perfect moment, they create it.” (Richard Branson)

Do your homework and let’s talk.


Image credit: Ubuntu Hope. (L-R) Netpreneur finalists: Kevine Kagirimpundu, Moulaye Taboure, Temie Giwa-Tubosan (First place), Ayodeji Arikawe, Tosan Joseph Mogbeyiteren, Waleed abd El Rahman, Mahmud Johnson, Christelle Kwizera (Third place), Omar Shoukry Sakr (Second place), and Chibuzo Opara. For a few more photos, you can go to my Instagram page.

Author:Strive Masiyiwa

Strive Masiyiwa is the founder and Executive Chairman of the Econet Group. He serves on several international boards including Unilever, and the Global Advisory boards of the Council on Foreign Relations and Stanford University. A board member of the Rockefeller Foundation for 15 years, he also serves as Chairman of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). He is a co-founder of the Carbon War Room, Pathways for Prosperity, and the Global Business Coalition on Education. He and his wife, Tsitsi, co-founded the Higherlife Foundation and are signators of the Giving Pledge.

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