Seven Social Entrepreneurs, including Nigeria’s Gbenga Sesan of the Paradigm Initiative, have been named Africa Social Entrepreneurs of the Year at the World Economic Forum on Africa currently taking place in Abuja, Nigeria. The awards were conferred today by Philipp Rösler, Managing Director, World Economic Forum.
The Head of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, David Aikman said at the ceremony that social entrepreneurs are an integral community of the World Economic Forum and an increasingly sought-after one.
“A growing number of corporations see income inequality and environmental problems like climate change as fundamental threats to their long-term growth. Many governments are starting to rethink the way they deliver goods and services that improve social outcomes. I am confident this trend will only continue to grow in the future, and the Forum is proud to be at the forefront of catalysing partnerships among these stakeholder groups for social and environmental change.”
Those named for the 2014 Africa Social Entrepreneurs of the Year are:
Gbenga Sesan, Paradigm Initiative Nigeria, Nigeria
Paradigm Initiative Nigeria’s (PIN) vision is to connect underserved young Nigerians with ICT-enabled opportunities to improve their livelihoods. Solving these twin problems – unemployment and cyber-crime – is at the heart of PIN’s strategy. Its model involves a two-pronged approach of capacity-building/ICT empowerment and ICT policy interventions. PIN offers income-generating ICT training and social media consultancy to private or non-profit organizations that need them, working with PIN’s graduates as implementing partners. Current partners include the Peery Foundation, Internews, Microsoft and Google.
Patrick Awuah, Ashesi University, Ghana
Ashesi was founded to address Africa’s biggest roadblocks to progress: the need for ethical leadership and innovative thinking. Ashesi University College is a secular, private, non-profit liberal arts college located in Ghana, West Africa. Ashesi aims to make a significant contribution to transform Africa by educating a new generation of ethical, entrepreneurial leaders. Ashesi’s unique curriculum combines a rigorous liberal arts core with practical, high-impact majors in business, computer science and MIS, and a four-year focus on leadership development and community service. To date, 100% of Ashesi’s graduates have found quality placement within a few months of graduating and over 95% have stayed to work for progress in Africa.
Ashifi Gogo, Sproxil, Ghana, Nigeria and India
Sproxil has developed and trademarked a Mobile Product Authentication (MPA) solution that enables consumers to verify that the pharmaceutical product they are buying is genuine. Consumers use a scratch card, similar to those used to replenish cellular talk-time, to reveal a one-time-use code on pharmaceutical products. Sproxil has set up Africa’s first national, mobile-based anti-counterfeit service in Nigeria and has already sold more than 250 million anti-counterfeit labels.
Martin Kariongi Ole Sanago, Institute for Orkonerei Pastoralists Advancement (IOPA), Tanzania
IOPA facilitates transformation and diversification of the economic system of the Maasai through social business, social entrepreneurship and innovation. Using radio programmes, roundtable discussions and festivals, the Institute prepares a fertile ground for self-examination and collective action. The Institute also teaches the Maasai veterinary services and techniques and sensitizes them to the use of both modern and traditional veterinary medicine; and carries out vaccination campaigns that have enabled pastoralists to use modern treatments and methods of livestock management, allowing animals to live healthier, longer, more productive lives.
Jay Kimmelman and Shannon May, Bridge International Academies, Kenya
Bridge International Academies is a chain of nursery and private schools in Africa delivering high-quality education for just $5 a month on average. The model of Bridge International Academies – centred on the academy-in-a-box solution, delivered through data-enabled tablets – enables thousands of teachers to deliver world-class lessons to children who had struggled simply to have a teacher show up at their previous schools. It has been just over four years since its first academy opened. As of January 2014, Bridge operates 259 academies in Kenya, employing over 3,000 people and educating approximately 80,000 pupils. By 2025, Bridge plans to be educating 10,000,000 pupils in over a dozen countries.
Allen Wilcox, Village Reach, Mozambique
VillageReach is a non‐profit social enterprise with a mission to save lives and improve health by increasing access to quality healthcare for the most underserved communities. VillageReach develops, evaluates and proves system innovations that improve health system performance. Through collaboration with governments, non-governmental organizations and communities, VillageReach seeks to extend the reach of health systems in scalable and sustainable ways by strengthening health service delivery, enhancing information and communication technology systems, and engaging the private sector.