Africa’s top social entrepreneurs
INNOVATIONSBy BiztechAfrica - 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
Cognisant Computing one of the strongest forces in consumer ITCognisant computing — the next phase of the personal cloud movement — will become one of the strongest forces in consumer-focused IT, according to Gartner. Read More
Botswana approves Innovation FundBotswana's parliament has approved a National Innovation Fund which will provide seed and early stage funding for technology based start-ups and ventures as well as established companies with viable innovation concepts. Read More
MTN unveils another Africa first cooling systemMTN has reaffirmed its commitment to reducing its carbon footprint by unveiling Africa’s first Concentrating Solar Cooling System that will power its energy-hungry data centres. Read More
Big firms challenged on talent developmentKenyan businesses have been urged to use their expertise and set aside resources to train and equip young people to fit in the changing job market. Read More
Tracking chips to tame cattle rustlingPastoralists are set to benefit from a noble mode of taming cattle rustling in Kenya, with the introduction of an innovative electronic tracking chip to keep tabs on cattle. Read More
Microsoft 4Afrika IP Hub to monetise innovation in AfricaMicrosoft has unveiled an online intellectual property (IP) portal called the Microsoft 4Afrika IP Hub, in an effort to create an IP protection culture in Africa. Read More
Groundbreaking technology bringing low vision and blind learners into the lightEdit Microsystems will display their groundbreaking technology, which includes the BrailleNote Apex as well as a scanner that can convert printed text into braille, sound or electronic format, at the upcoming SABC Education African EduWeek in South Africa. Read More
Innovation in Africa, for AfricaFour of the brightest young minds in South Africa’s information technology sector collaborated at Saphila 2014 with the SAP Innovation Centre, to demonstrate what innovative technology can achieve in Africa. Read More
Moepeng’s Alcolock V3 aims for a sober driveAn innovator in Gaborone is bringing to market a gadget aimed at putting an end to drunken driving. Read More
FEATURED STORYWidening ICT skills gap: Cause for concern
Nigeria's FDI gains could be eroded by the widening gap in indigenous skilled ICT manpower, writes Kokumo Goodie.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHKenya rolls out e-extension to improve agriculture
In a bid to curb the overwhelmed number of agricultural extension officers in Kenya, the ministry of agriculture is embracing technology with their introduction of E-Extension services, which are aimed at reaching out to over 7 million farmers annually.