Africa’s top social entrepreneurs
INNOVATIONS| May 10, 2012, 10:49 a.m.
The winners of the Social Entrepreneurs of the Year awards have been named at the WEF Africa forum.
Five leading innovators were named the Social Entrepreneurs of the Year 2012 Africa by the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship at the World Economic Forum on Africa in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The awards were presented to the winners by Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, on the opening day of the meeting in the presence of President Ali Bongo Ondimba of Gabon, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan of Nigeria, President Jakaya M. Kikwete of Tanzania, and Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia.
“Africa has seen tremendous growth over the past decade,” said Hilde Schwab, Chairperson and Co-Founder of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship. “Social entrepreneurs use innovative approaches to extend access to healthcare, education, energy and housing to marginalized populations that may not otherwise be included in the traditional markets. They ensure that growth, such as that experienced in Africa, is and will be inclusive.”
The five winners who have been selected as the 2012 Social Entrepreneurs of the Year Africa are:
Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu, Co-Founder and Managing Director, soleRebels, Ethiopia
SoleRebels taps into Ethiopia’s rich artisan heritage to create durable, stylish and eco-friendly footwear for international markets. The company offers training and employment to hundreds of underprivileged workers in Ethiopia, creating a new employment model for local enterprises. By using recycled automobile tires for the rubber soles and other environmentally friendly practices, soleRebels is committed to a zero carbon footprint.
Sameer Hajee, Chief Executive Officer, Nuru Energy Group, Rwanda
With many homes in sub-Saharan Africa not connected to electricity grids, Nuru Energy works with micro-entrepreneurs to disseminate its Nuru LED light, which can be recharged using an off-grid, pedal-powered platform. The LED light gives up to 26 hours of light and costs one-sixth of kerosene to recharge. To date, Nuru Energy has set up 70 village-level entrepreneurs who have sold 10,000 Nuru lights.
Paul Scott Matthew, Director Africa, North Star Alliance, South Africa
In the 1990s, Paul Matthew saw the alarming impacts of HIV/AIDS on mobile workers such as truck drivers and realized these workers lacked access to basic healthcare. North Star Alliance provides mobile workers and related communities with continual access to high-quality health and safety services through a network of interlinked clinics known as “Roadside Wellness Centres”. Since opening its first centre in 2005 in Malawi, North Star has grown to 22 centres in 10 countries.
Andrew Muir, Executive Director, Wilderness Foundation, South Africa
The Wilderness Foundation, founded in 1972, integrates conservation programmes with social and educational programmes. It has trained thousands of youth to be community leaders and national park rangers. Under the stewardship of the Wilderness Foundation, over 200 000 hectares of African wilderness have been rehabilitated and expanded in the interests of conservation and environmental protection. More than 100 000 disadvantaged/vulnerable youth have benefitted from the Wilderness Foundation through its social intervention and environmental education programmes.
Seri Youlou and Thomas Granier, Co-Founders, Association la Voute Nubienne, Burkina Faso
More than a decade ago, Seri Youlou, a farmer from Burkina Faso, and Thomas Granier, a French mason, built a Nubian vault home in Burkina Faso, Association la Vaute Nubienne. By training farmers in the construction of homes with vaulted earth-brick roofs, provides an affordable, ecologically sustainable housing alternative and source of income to farmers during the off-seasons. Today, more than 200 masons have built over 1,300 Nubian vault homes in West Africa.
MORE INNOVATIONS NEWS
High tech homes: Just press playHigh tech, digital homes where everything is automated and connected aren’t the stuff of science fiction any longer, says BNC Technology. Read More
Young innovators shine during pitch sessionsBotswana saw an array of upcoming tech wizards selling their ideas during the Vendors’ Day pitch sessions this week. Read More
Is Botswana’s innovation fundable?Financiers meeting on the sidelines of the BIH Vendors’ Day in Botswana have debated whether Botswana’s innovation environment is mature enough to attract funding. Read More
Ericsson AHUB to Connect African Innovators and the Business CommunityEricsson has announced that it will be hosting an innovation station named “Ericsson AHUB” in partnership with Informa at AfricaCom 2015, Cape Town, 17- 19 November. Read More
ITU beckons Nigerian innovators, SMEsITU Telecom World 2015 will be an opportunity for innovators in Nigeria to showcase their creative and business acumen. Read More
Samsung unveils SUHD TV in NigeriaSamsung Electronics West Africa has introduced the world’s first Curved SUHD TV to Nigerian consumers at a launch organised to unveil its new range of Ultra High Definition televisions. Read More
Two startups win funding in FinTech for Agriculture 2015Village Capital has announced the first winners of its innovative program, East Africa: FinTech for Agriculture 2015. Read More
think incubator welcomes four new tech start upsTech incubator think today announced four new entrants to its incubator as part of a new think Accelerated program. Read More
KECOBO, Microsoft 4Afrika develop online IP registration systemInnovators and developers are being encouraged to test a new prototype IP registration system developed by Microsoft 4Afrika and the Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO). Read More
Botswana’s Tendekayi Katsiga makes 2015 Tech-I finalistsUS President Barak Obama is expected to be a guest of honour at the2015 GIST Tech-I finalists event to be held in Nairobi, Kenya. Botswana is being represented in the competition by Tendekayi Katsiga who managed to make it into the elite top 30 list. Read More
FEATURED STORYAlcatel-Lucent VP calls for collaboration to achieve Data Revolution in Africa
The Vice president of Alcatel-Lucent Africa, Daniel Jaeger, has reiterated the need for African stakeholders to work together to address challenges in the way of ICT development in Africa.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHHigh tech homes: Just press play
High tech, digital homes where everything is automated and connected aren’t the stuff of science fiction any longer, says BNC Technology.
COMPANY NEWSMTN SA expands its FTTH network to the Western Cape
MTN South Africa has expanded its fibre to the home (FTTH) footprint to the Western Cape, and trenching has already commenced in the picturesque suburbs of Fresnaye ...