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
IBM Research Lab opens in South AfricaIBM Research has opened its second research location on the African continent and announced several new project collaborations in the areas of data driven healthcare, digital urban ecosystems and astronomy. Read More
Regional Technology Commercialisation Centre status beckons for BIHBotswana Innovation Hub Chief Executive Officer Alan Boshwaen has signed an MoU which will see BIH become a regional technology commercialisation centre. Read More
Airtel, Global Peace Foundation reach out to students with innovation boot campAirtel, a leading mobile service provider in Kenya and the Global Peace Foundation (GPF) will be hosting the LEAP Hub Innovators Boot Camp. Read More
PIVOT East announces call for applicationsThe organising team of PIVOT East has officially announced the open call for applications for the PIVOT East 2016 edition. Read More
Ericsson’s AHUB aims to bridge Africa’s Digital DivideEricsson has returned as lead sponsor of the AHUB at AfricaCom in Cape Town, bringing together more than 500 tech innovators and the business community to share ideas and opportunities. Read More
Aquila's first flight: A milestone toward connecting billions of peopleFacebook’s Connectivity Lab has reached a major milestone with the first full-scale test flight of Aquila, an unmanned solar-powered airplane that can be used to bring affordable internet to hundreds of millions of people in the hardest-to-reach places. Read More
DEMO Africa releases final 30 listDemo Africa, the continent's premier launch pad for emerging technologies and trends has released the list of its final 30 startups that will launch at this year’s DEMO Africa conference in Johannesburg. Read More
Etisalat Prize for Innovation announces 2016 call for entriesEtisalat Nigeria has announced call for entries for the 2016 edition of Etisalat Prize for Innovation. Read More
These Hands champion grassroots innovationBotswana Innovation Hub continues to nurture grassroots innovations and advance the ‘Made in Africa’ theme of the recent Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) 2016 that heralds a message of enterprise and prosperity for African innovators. Read More
FEATURED STORYFinancial services sees AI as both opportunity and threat
Banking is already a key area where technology is having an impact throughout Africa, and a new survey assesses the impact artificial intelligence will have on this sector.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHAccess and Use of ICT stats released
Statistics Botswana has released the first results of the 2014 Information and Communication Technology Household Survey.