Two Ugandans are among the 40 finalists from 19 countries set to win top Africa Entrepreneurship Award.
This is after BMCE Bank of Africa announced the launch of the final phase of the 3rd African Entrepreneurship Awards. Devised and developed by the Group, the initiative provides support for African entrepreneurs, or entrepreneurs with African origins, rewarding talent and technology in three categories: education, environment and uncharted areas on the continent.
Round 3 of the 2017 Awards produced 40 finalists.
The average age of contestants is 32, and over 35% of them are women, demonstrating the spirit of entrepreneurship and diversity driving African youth.
The most popular category is the environment, accounting for 46% of projects, demonstrating the focus of entrepreneurs on ecological problems. Moreover, 61% of projects have now reached the start-up phase, as an indicator of the solid maturity of finalists.
Geoffrey Ssekatawa is one of the Ugandans set to win the award.
He is the founder of Brent Technologies, a company that stops the harmful dumping and burning of waste motor oils, and instead recycles and resells oil related products.
He says: “We recycle waste motor oil, which would end up in landfills, water sources, or burnt into the atmosphere.”
In Uganda, as in many countries, imported lubricating engine oils are expensive. And, when their effectiveness is depleted, they are dumped. Geoffrey is on his way to well-oiled solutions.
Arthur Woniala is another Ugandan set for the big award He believes in biogas. The founder of Khainza Energy Limited says, “Biogas is clean, and more convenient and healthy in comparison to fossil fuels.” Purified and packaged biogas beats the price of traditional charcoal fuel while reducing emissions and respiratory diseases. Arthur says, “The prices of charcoal have risen by over 70% in the past 10 years. Our product costs less than a sack of charcoal and lasts for just as long.” Khainza Energy uses proper waste management and deals a blow to energy inefficiency.
The 40 finalists are undergoing a boot camp in Casablanca from 6 to 10 December. The training process will be followed up on 11 December by a closing ceremony with awards for the best and most sustainable projects.
The winners will be selected by the following jury headed by Mr. Othman Benjelloun; chairman of BMCE Bank of Africa:
Mr. Brahim Benjelloun Touimi, CEO of BMCE Bank of Africa;
Mr. Gong Li, Chinese Innovator and Technologist;
Mr. John-Bernard Duler, Silicon Valley Investor;
Mrs. Marie-Paule Niat, Cameroonian Entrepreneur.
Acting as a vehicle for BMCE Bank of Africa’s commitment to innovative entrepreneurship since 2015, the African Entrepreneurship Award has a prize fund of one million USD.
Every year the initiative conveys the Group’s vision in favour of a continent driven by its young entrepreneurs, in a bid to improve the quality of life of all Africans.