Yannick Kimanuka, a 21-year old from DRC, wins $25,000 Anzisha Prize

The overall winner of the 2019 Anzisha Prize is 21-year-old Yannick Kimanuka from the DRC. Ms Kimanuka founded the KIM’s School Complex in 2018, a nursery and primary school which aims to improve how children perform academically in her community, was awarded the $25,000 overall cash prize.

“I am so happy. I cannot believe this. Thank you to the Anzisha team and my fellow finalists. Tonight, I am not only filled with joy but I am filled with hope for the future of this continent. My fellow entrepreneurs have fuelled my passions and desires for a better continent,” said Yannick Kimanuka during her acceptance speech at the 2019 Anzisha Prize Forum held in Johannesburg.

(TOP: DRC’s Yannick Kimanuka – middle -, the winner of the 2019 Anzisha Prize, displays her dummy cheque).

Osvaldo Rey Mokouma, a 19-year-old from the Congo Brazzaville  will receive $15,000 as he was announced as the first runner which was an unexpected delight. “I want to tell young entrepreneurs that Africa needs us and that we must work hard to see the change we want and apply for the Anzisha Prize,” he said.

     (Osvaldo Rey Mokouma, the first runner-up, 2019 Anzisha Prize)

The festivities also included the announcement of the second runner up Cecil Chikezie, a 22-year-old Kenyan entrepreneur who founded Eco Makaa, a company that connects local fuel briquette producers to a client base by recruiting the community’s small-scale briquette producers. As the second runner up, he will receive $12,500 in prize money. “It has been a life-changing experience and I am looking forward to realizing my dream of bettering the lives of my peers,” said Cecil Chikezie.

          (Cecil Chikezie, the second runner-up, 2019 Anzisha Prize).

“Every year, we are overwhelmed by the incredible businesses that the top 20 finalists are running. This year was no different. We are proud of the winners and are encouraged by their efforts to create more opportunities for other young people on the continent,” said Koffi Assouan, Program Manager, Mastercard Foundation.

This year the Anzisha Prize Forum was a half-day curated experience that included workshops on the Anzisha Scenario which gave stakeholders an opportunity to rethink their approach to youth entrepreneurship.

On the journey to crowning the winners, the 20 finalists were put through their paces participating in an 11-day boot camp at the ALA campus where they were coached by industry experts on how to run successful businesses. This boot camp aids in fostering collaborative synergies between the young entrepreneurs and will hopefully continue after their time together in Johannesburg. After returning home, each finalist will receive US$2,500 in prize money and join the prestigious Anzisha Fellowship. The Fellowship package consists of eight tailored opportunities to help fellows scale their businesses. This year, the Fellowship package will include a new consulting initiative and job shadowing projects that are aimed at providing unique opportunities for all fellows.

For the past nine years, the Anzisha Prize program has continued to champion Africa’s youngest entrepreneurs. This year was no different as the program managed to reach very young entrepreneurs in remote areas. During the due diligence trips, the Anzisha team had the unique opportunity to meet all top 20 finalists in their home countries and see their businesses first hand. After travelling to over 23 countries and reaching more candidates in remote areas, the Anzisha Prize program is invested in supporting very young entrepreneurs as the program will celebrate their decennial next year.

The Anzisha Prize is delivered by African Leadership Academy in partnership with Mastercard Foundation. Through the Anzisha Prize, the organisers seek to increase the number of job generative entrepreneurs in Africa. They believe that a key to doing so is to test, implement and then share models for identifying, training and connecting high potential, very young entrepreneurs (15 to 22 year olds) so that many more organisations have better collective success in creating a pipeline of entrepreneurs with the capabilities for scale.

African Leadership Academy (ALA) develops a network of entrepreneurial leaders who will work together to achieve social impact. Each year, ALA brings together the most promising young leaders from all 54 African nations for a pre-university program in South Africa with a focus on leadership, entrepreneurship and African studies.

Applications for the next cycle of the Anzisha Prize will open on February 15, 2020 while nominations can be done online.


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