The “Africa’s Business Heroes” (ABH) prize competition for 2022 has entered semifinals with one Rwandan being nominated, among fifteen nominees from various countries across the continent.
ABH is Jack Ma Foundation’s flagship philanthropic program spotlighting and celebrating Africa’s entrepreneurial talent and aims at promoting entrepreneurship skills.
Francine Munyaneza, a local nominee is the founder of Munyax Eco Company that targets to solve Rwanda’s energy challenges in rural and urban areas by providing solar equipment made and tested in Africa.
“It is a great step and good recognition. I’m working hard to feature in the finalists,”Munyaneza said.
The local company also fights climate changes. According to Munyaneza, Munyax Eco Company also operates in Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo and has connected 10,000 people to solar power.
“The nominees have excellent solutions and entrepreneurship skills that will help communities. This also, of course, explains how Rwanda is simplifying the way of doing business and creating a business environment for entrepreneurs,” Zahra Baitie Boateng, Head of Partnership and Programs at ABH said.
She pointed out that the nominated Rwandan stands a chance to appear in finalists because of the positive impactful solutions to communities, but judges will do their job following criteria to get finalists.
The ABH program annually awards 10 outstanding finalists with a share of a $1.5 million grant.
Entrepreneurs from all 54 African countries, across every sector, age group, and gender are now able to submit their applications, in either French and English.
Other nominees include Melisa Tafila, founder of Conexus Proprietary Limited from Botswana, Flavien Koutcha Simo, managing partner of Save our Agriculture Sarl from Cameroon.
Egypt dominated the list with three nominees including Amena Elsaie, Co-founder of Helm Consulting that supports people with disabilities, Nadia Gamal El Din, founder of Rahet Bally company that supports mothers financially, and Ayman Bazaraa, co-founder of sprints that supports tech talents.
In Ethiopia, Amadou Daffe, CEO of Gebeya Inc that solves unemployment challenges was nominated and Prince Agbata , founder of Coliba Waste Management Services Limited from Ghana.
Tesh Mbaabu, Co-founder of Marketforce technologies that supports merchants from Kenya was also nominated, alongside Oluwatomi Solanke founder of Trove Finance that gives financial services from Nigeria.
Still in Nigeria, Okey Esse, founder of Powerstove energy that makes smokeless cooking stoves was also selected for semifinals.
In Somalia, Dr. Sadiyo Siad, founder of Hano Academy was also nominated. His company provides educational training and employment opportunities for young people to meet labour market needed skills.
South Africa has two nominees including Shona Mcdonald, Executive Director of Shonaquip social enterprises and Elmarie Pereira, Chief Operations Executive of Memeza Industry that provides innovative safety tech solutions.
Elia Timotheo, CEO of East Africa Fruits company from Tanzania, sealed the semifinal list of ABH’s list of 15 nominees.
At the grand finale later this year, 10 finalists will take the stage to present their businesses to a panel of business legends to win a share of the US$1.5 million grant.
The journey to the finale will also include access to a community of international leaders and innovators, industry experts, investors and accelerators, as well multi-disciplinary boot camps and training sessions to help the finalists take their businesses to the next level.
According to Jason Pau, Executive Director of International Programs at ABH, the criteria rotated on missions of nominee’s solutions, vision and values, solutions to communities, and competitiveness at the market action.