WASHINGTON, DC – September 6, 2017– The U.S. African Development Foundation (USADF) is pleased to announce $375,000 in seed capital funding to 35 young African social entrepreneurs for social and community change in 20 sub-Saharan countries in Africa.
Winners were selected from the 2017 Mandela Washington Fellowship program, as part of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). By pairing seed capital with technical assistance, USADF is empowering young entrepreneurs who are leading the charge in investing in Africa’s economic growth. Each entrepreneur will receive up to $25,000 in start-up capital to strengthen systems that will support the growth of their enterprises – ranging from agribusiness and healthcare services, to renewable energy, waste management and technology. C.D. Glin, President & CEO of USADF says, “These young people represent the best and brightest of Africa’s future business leaders and social entrepreneurs.”
With USADF seed capital and technical assistance, these social entrepreneurs are creating jobs, training and employing other youth, and creating or expanding markets by providing goods and services. They are also working to find new and innovative ways to improve their communities and create economic growth opportunities.
Delia Diabangouaya, CEO of Chocotogo, says, “I am building my business to produce top-quality chocolate and support smallholder cocoa farmers. With this grant, I am hoping to have a lasting impact in my community.” Chocotogo is an artisan chocolate company based in Togo that sources cocoa from rural farmers. With USADF funding, Delia aims to transform the cocoa value chain to benefit over 100 local smallholder farmers and produce high-quality, artisan chocolates.
Entrepreneurs like Chioma Ukonu are finding new ways to manage waste and protect the environment in busy cities like Lagos, Nigeria. Ukonu’s enterprise, Recycle Points, uses a points-based incentive model to encourage recycling in Lagos. Her business hires youth to collect waste door-to-door from subscribers, who in turn receive points redeemable for household items and cash. Ukonu says, “I wanted to find a way to incentivize people to recycle, while also starting my own business. USADF believes in empowering local entrepreneurs to find solutions affecting their communities.”
As Mandela Washington Fellows, these young entrepreneurs have all demonstrated leadership in business, the ability to work cooperatively in diverse groups, and are strong communicators actively engaged in making a difference. They are the future leaders committed to catalyzing change in their communities, countries, and Africa’s growth. USADF’s goal is to catalyze young Africans ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit to launch and expand their social enterprises so every African may be a part of Africa’s growth story. Since 2014, USADF has awarded over $3M to over 150 young entrepreneurs in over 30 countries.
The U.S. African Development Foundation (USADF) is an independent U.S. Government agency established by Congress to support and invest in African owned and led enterprises which improve lives and livelihoods in poor and vulnerable communities in Africa. For more information, visit www.usadf.gov
About the Mandela Washington Fellowship
The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, begun in 2014, is the flagship program of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) that empowers young people through academic coursework, leadership training, and networking. In 2017, the Fellowship provides 1,000 outstanding young leaders from Sub-Saharan Africa with the opportunity to hone their skills at a U.S. college or university with support for professional development after they return home. For more information, visit www.yali.state.gov/washington-fellowship.
For the official press release, click here.
List of USADF 2017 Mandela Washington Fellows Winners:
· Koketso Leshope, Botswana, Ma-Tla-Long
· Malick Lingani, Burkina Faso, Magic Touch
· Narcisse Parfait, Cameroon, Agri-Invest
· Flavien Simo, Cameroon, Save Our Agriculture
· Henry Foretia, Cameroon, Ets. Henry Et Freres
· Rock Klahadoum, Chad, First Business Center
· Yannick Rudahindwa, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cedya Systems
· Joel Mayimbi, Democratic Republic of Congo, First Tech RDC
· Melaku Lemma, Ethiopia, SLM Teaching Aid Materials
· Ama Duncan, Ghana, Fabulous Woman Network
· Isaac Quaidoo, Ghana, Nexlinks Company
· Silvia Tonui, Kenya, Marigat Gold Enterprises
· Paballo Mokoqo, Lesotho, Dust Busters Home Cleaning Service
· Israely Andrianjafiarisaona, Madagascar, Fereau Technologie
· Mavis Banda, Malawi, Kanjadza Acres
· Aderonke Jaiyeola, Nigeria, Pattern Design
· Chioma Ukonu, Nigeria, RecyclePoints
· Usman Lawan, Nigeria, USAIFA International
· Atinuke Lebile, Nigeria, Cato Food and Agro Allied Global Concepts
· Ucheoma Udoha, Nigeria, Cripvision
· Janvier Uwayezu, Rwanda, Rwanda Biosolution
· Sylvie Sangwa, Rwanda, SYBASH
· Papa Zongo, Senegal, Ailes Du Gaal
· Insa Drame, Senegal, CAIF
· Thabang Mabuza, South Africa, Ulwazi Resource Center
· Jennifer Shigoli, Tanzania, Elea Reusable Sanitary Pads
· Domitila Silayo, Tanzania, Mayai Poa
· Dina Kikuli, Tanzania, H.D. Agribusiness
· Delia Diabangouaya, Togo, Chocotogo
· Adjo Bokon, Togo, MiabePads
· Francis Asiimwe, Uganda, Kaaro Telehealth
· Rodney Nganwa, Uganda, My Boda
· Guy Mbewe, Zambia, Kukula Solar
· Muzalema Mwanza, Zambia, Lakefarms and Fishing Lodge
· Connie Karoro, Zimbabwe, Coco Seed Culture