The African Leadership Magazine (ALM) Persons of the Year committee has named some enterprising young entrepreneurs and individuals including Onyeka Akumah founder of FarmCrowdy (Nigeria), Kamal Yakub, brain behind Uber for Tractors (Ghana), and Sadio Mane, Liverpool FC football player (Senegal) as Persons of the Year.
Among the winners are celebrated mega entrepreneurs the continent can boast of, which include the likes of Strive Masiyiwa (Zimbabwe), Mo Ibrahim (Sudan), Tiguidanke Camara (Guinea) and Dr Patrick Awuah Jr (Ghana).
The Persons of the Year list was compiled through a keenly contested online poll which attracted more than 120,000 votes on the website of Africa Leadership Magazine (ALM), drawing over 7 million active online engagements in the process and more than 5000 votes through email.
According to the organizers, the winners at the Persons of the Year awards will be decorated and honored at their grand annual African Leadership Magazine Persons of the Year Award ceremony on the 26th of February, 2021. Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event is to be held virtually to host Africa’s most influential personalities in business, politics and all fields of African leadership spectrum. The list of winners was unveiled by the Publisher of the Magazine, Dr Ken Giami, at its U.K. Head Office.
The young entrepreneurs and startup founders finding themselves among the biggest names on the African continent are Onyeka Akumah who is the founder of FarmCrowdy, with a business that is revolutionizing agriculture in Nigeria and elsewhere. FramCrowdy is Nigeria’s first digital agriculture platform empowering rural farmers by providing them with farm inputs, training on modern farming techniques, improved seeds and providing them with a market for the sale of farm produce.
Onyeka Akumah was named the African Agricultural Champion of the Year 2020 with Noel Doyle,the CEO of Tiger Brand of South Africa coming runner-up.
Kamal Yakub the founder of Uber for Tractors, who hails from Ghana is named the Africa Disruptor of the Year 2020 and Ken Njoroge, co-founder & Group CEO of Cellulant Corporation, Kenya placing second.
The Uber for Tractor business is a disruptive business with a software that helps equipment owners manage their entire operations; from monitoring their assets, scheduling jobs and managing their crews, to route optimization and fuel management.
Competing for the award of ALM Young Person of the Year 2020 was the founder of Mozhandlings of Mozambique, Eder Pale . He came runner-up against the global football star, Senegal’s Sadio Mane. His company offers professional logistics services to clients and finds innovative ways of handling freight.
The African Philanthropist of the Year 2020 went to no other than the Sudanese billionaire, Mo Ibrahim, Chairman of Mo Ibrahim Foundation which has the sole aim of promoting good governance and leadership in Africa. Placing second are Ayo & Helen Oritsejafor, the founders of Eagle Hand Foundation, Nigeria.
African of the Year 2020
The biggest award was the African of the Year 2020, and Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director-General of the World Health Organization, fend off competition from Zimbabwean billionaire and philanthropist, Strive Masiyiwa, founder & executive chairman of Econet Group, a telecommunications group with operations and investments in Africa, Europe, South America, North America and the East Asia.
He was recently appointed to the board of Netflix.
Making a case for women on the continent was Tiguidanke Camara, who was adjudged African Woman of the Year 2020, she is chairman & CEO of TMG Group. She is from Guinea. The runner-up is Vera Songwe, the executive secretary, UN Economic Commission for Africa.
Other winners of the ALM Persons of the Year
The African Political Leader of the Year 2020 went to Ghana’s President H.E. Nana Akufo-Addo. H.E. John Magufuli, President of Tanzania – Runner-up
African Educationist of the Year 2020:
Professor Samuel Edoumiekumo, Vice-Chancellor, Niger Delta University, Nigeria – Winner & Dr Patrick Awuah Jr. Founder & President, Ashesi University, Ghana – Runner-up
African Industrialist of the Year 2020:
Nicky Oppenheimer, Chairman, Oppenheimer Generations, South Africa – Winner & Abdulsamad Rabiu, Chairman, BUA Group, Nigeria – Runner-up
African Climate Champion of the Year 2020:
Graca Machel, the former first lady and climate activist, Mozambique – Winner & Agnes Matilda Kalibata, President, Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa – Runner-up
Africa Peace & Security Leader of the Year 2020:
H.E. Goodluck Jonathan, former president of Nigeria – Winner & General Vincent Nundwe, Army Commander, Malawi – Runner-up
African Energy Leader of the Year 2020:
Kwameh Kyei, MD/CEO, Unity Oil Company Ltd, Ghana – Winner & Nkechi Obi, MD/CEO, Techno Oil, Nigeria – Runner-up
African Public Health Champion of the Year 2020:
Dr John Nkengasong, Director General, Africa CDC, Cameroon – Winner & Jean-Jacques Muvembe, Ebola Vaccine, Congo – Runner-up
The Persons of the Year Awards this year recorded a 50% surge in voting with most coming from within Africa and the Diaspora. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic stretching the continent to its limits in every aspect of life, these awardees and others have done immensely in combating its effects.
In his words, Dr Ken Giami, the Publisher of the African Leadership Magazine said
“All the nominees for this year’s persons of the year have contributed in no small measure towards minimizing the impact of the pandemic on the continent through their work and are deserving of the crown. The nominees have demonstrated great faith in the Africa project, and are ‘walking their talk’ in their communities, helping in changing the negative narratives about Africa globally. They all are true lovers of Africa, determinedly contributing, sometimes amidst challenging circumstances but undoubtedly making Africa and the world a better place for all.”
The African Leadership Magazine Persons of the Year is in its 9th year and is noted for awarding very distinguished Africans, who have blazed the trail in the year under review.
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9 Startups Accepted into the First Next Health Accelerator with $15K Seed Funding
Intrepid Entrepreneurs, a non-profit designed to catalyze the power and promise of young people and women to fundamentally advance their societies, recruited nine startups for the inaugural cohort of the Next Health Accelerator.
Female, African entrepreneurs with a minimum viable product (MVP) from 26 countries applied to the program. After a rigorous review process, nine startups from seven countries were selected to begin the program in March 2021. The investor readiness accelerator is six months long and includes $15,000 seed funding, international mentors and partners, business support services, and value chain access.
The Next Health Accelerator’s focus on sexual and reproductive health is founded on the premise that unmet needs for sexual education, menstrual hygiene management, family planning, medication abortion, and STI diagnosis and treatment will be most sustainably delivered by local African enterprises.
Sexual and Reproductive Health issues directly affect 300 million women and girls on the continent and the productivity of the entire continent. For the continent to prosper and support its burgeoning youth population, it must harness the demographic dividend with access to equitable healthcare and economic opportunities. Next Health Accelerator addresses both.
The 2021 cohort includes:
- Rocket Health: Provides telemedicine and pharmacy services for SRH needs including convenient lab test retrieval and medication delivery in Uganda
- Verifie: Delivers STI self-tests and treatment products via doorstep delivery in Ghana
- Pharmaserve: Specializes in delivering high-quality pharmaceuticals in Nigeria through a fully integrated inventory monitoring system
- Girls Pride: Provides menstrual hygiene management education and skills training to create reusable pads in The Gambia
- Pad-Up Creations: Employs over 100 people in Nigeria to produce single-use, chemical-free pads sold in 16 countries
- Valorigo: Manufacturers single-use sanitary eco-friendly pads made from locally grown bamboo in the Congo
- The Grace Cup: Delivers SRH education and reusable menstrual cups in Kenya
- Kosmotive: Provides SRH information and access to SRH self-care products in Rwanda
- Massira: Delivers SRH information interactively as well as access to SRH services and products through an online community in Ghana
Lindsey Simmonds, the Co-founder of Intrepid Entrepreneurs in a press statement said,
She continued that, development policies made in Washington, D.C. or London need to make room for the power and promise of the youth and women on the African continent. And on this premises, their Next Health Accelerator catalyzes African startups to investor readiness to make scalable, sustainable impact imbued with the commitment and determination that only comes from homegrown ideas.
Visit the intrepidentrepreneurs.org to learn more about the Next Health Accelerator 2021.
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