African entrepreneurs chosen as finalists for Anzisha Prize

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Twelve entrepreneurs from across Africa have been chosen from a field of 494 applicants for the final of the Anzisha Prize, which will see them win a share of US$75,000 as well as mentorship and training.

Disrupt Africa reported in February applications had opened for the 2015 edition of the prize, which is run by the African Leadership Academy in partnership with the MasterCard Foundation and aimed at young people who have developed and implemented innovative solutions to social challenges or started successful businesses within their communities.

From 494 applications from 33 African countries, the entrepreneurs were whittled down to 50 fellows. East Africa was particularly well represented, with 21 entrepreneurs from the region making the list.

The twelve finalists hail from Uganda, Rwanda, South Africa, Cameroon (two), Nigeria (two), Kenya, Ghana, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Ethiopia, with the latter two represented for the first time.

These 12 finalists will now win a share of US$75,000, an all-expenses-paid trip to Johannesburg for the 2015 Anzisha Week in November, intensive training from African Leadership Academy’s renowned entrepreneurial leadership faculty, and engagement with industry leaders as mentors.

“Entrepreneurship has significant potential to drive economic growth and improved livelihoods for African youth. We are proud to be celebrating and supporting these inspiring young leaders, making them part of the global entrepreneurship narrative,” said Grace Kalisha, manager for the Anzisha Prize.

Last September Cameroonian Alain Nteff won the main US$25,000 cash prize for his Gifted Mom project, an online information platform for pregnant women in underserved areas.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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