The Future Awards Africa 2014 Winners Full List with Profiles
Winner, The Future Africa Awards Prize in Advocacy
Pawa 254 initiative
While hawking goods on the streets of Nairobi, Mwangi, discovered a different passion – Photography. Leaving school at age 15, he convinced the director of a private journalism school to let him enroll. To put himself through journalism school, he continued to sell books on the street, while gaining experience as a photo journalist. He published his photos in one of the main newspapers of the country, the Standard, and won his first photography prize in 2005.
After witnessing and documenting post-election violence in Kenya in 2007 as a photographer for a leading newspaper, and having to move temporarily due to threats to the people of his community, Mwangi launched Project Picha Mtaani, Swahili for ‘street exhibition’. He showed pictures of the violence between the different tribes that happened after the 2007 national elections. This travelling street exhibition was shown around the country for people to discuss reconciliation and promote national healing.
In 2013, he organized the Occupy Parliament – Polisi Ni Rafiki, a rally in support of police officers’ quest for better terms of service. He also put together a peaceful protest, urging Kenyans to take responsibility for the state of the nation.
He currently runs the Pawa 254 initiative, a hub for artists and activists to work together towards social change and advancing human rights in Kenyan society. In the last 10 months, Pawa 254 has offered hundreds of workshops, classes and trainings urging aspiring artists to use their creativity for social change. The workshops, which are held on a weekly basis, include citizen journalism (held in 4 counties), photography, film making, poetry slams, open forum discussions and graffiti workshops. Pawa254 has also collaborated with hip hop artists to produce the popular song Utawala which urges citizens to push for good leadership. In January, Pawa254 worked with Afro fusion band Sarabi to produce the song Fuata Sheria (follow the law) in support of Kenya’s new constitution. Pawa254also worked in March 2014 with poet Sitawafula to produce the short film “A Little More” to raise awareness about survivors of rape and women’s rights.
Winner, The Future Africa Awards Prize in Agriculture
Charles Nichols and Samir Ibrahim
Nichols & Ibrahim are the brains behind SunCulture, a solar-powered irrigation kit which makes it simpler and cheaper for farmers to grow food. The kit replaces expensive diesel and petrol pumps. Solar power is used to pump water into a raised tank and uses gravity to release the water through irrigation lines directly to crops. This increases yields by up to 300% and makes water usage more efficient. Most farmers use the kits to grow tomatoes, onions, capsicum and other high value produce.
SunCulture’s solar powered drip irrigation system has transformed the farming in the Kenyan countryside. The product has been sold to small scale and large scale farmers. The company also trains and supports farmers and has partnered with finance institutions that help provide loans and monetary help to farmers who are not financially buoyant to purchase the irrigation kit. The product continues to gain ground – the SunCulture kit and its founders have been featured on several local and international news platforms in 2013 and 2014 including The Nation Newspaper (Kenya), BBC Radio and CNBC’s The Closing Bell.
Winner, The Tony O. Elumelu Prize in Business
Founder, Youth Entrepreneurial Link Investments (YELI).
In 2008, at the age of 16, Andrew saw a market opportunity in creating paper bags when the Ugandan government leaned towards a ban on use of polythene plastic bags. He thus decided to venture into an environmentally friendly project of paper bag production.
With no initial capital, Andrew collected used plastic bottles and sold them to a plastic recycling plant. After he had raised his initial seed capital of 36,000 Ugandan shillings ($18), he soon started making paper bags at a small scale while still in high school.
In 2010, Andrew registered his new company, Youth Entrepreneurial Link Investments (YELI). YELI is now the first local registered paper bag and envelope producing company in Uganda. His business has now grown to employ 14 people, the eldest of which is 53. YELI’s customer base includes local hospitals, retail shops, roadside sellers, super markets, and major local flour manufacturer companies.
In the last 12 months, the ecofriendly company has been able to produce and supply 3.2 million paper bags all made by hands, an increase by 60% compared to the previous year.
Partnering with government agencies like National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) and media like NTV Uganda, Urban Television on Environmental sensitization, Mupuya has embarked on community sensitization about the dangers of polythene bags.
A graduate of Commerce from the Makerere University of Kampala, Mupuya is passionate about Africa, and is always willing to inspire and nurture others, most especially young people.
Winners, The Future Africa Awards Prize in Community Action
Vice –President of the Sickle Cell Aid Foundation [SCAF]
A radio presenter and human rights activist, from 2006 to 2013, Okechukwu anchored Flava, a youth lifestyle and sexual reproductive health magazine program where he addressed issues on HIV/AIDS among others. Flava grew to broadcast on 103 radio stations in Nigeria, and is one of the most popular radio programmes in the West Africa region.
In January 2013, he began hosting a new program, Talk Your Own: Make Naija Better (Talk Your Own Make Nigeria Better) a 30-minute show focusing on issues like education, electricity, water and roads. The program explores ways citizens can participate in governance decisions that affect their lives – through engagement with leaders and government institutions, public petitions, legal protest, etc. It currently airs on 111 broadcast partner stations across Nigeria, with the aim of a more inclusive and wider listener base.Talk Your Own Make Naija Better is now broadcast under the BBC Media Action. He once investigated the circumstances surrounding the death of Terzungwe Shakaa, a Nigerian citizen in Makurdi, Benue State when he mysteriously died in police custody. The culprits in the case were brought to book as a result of Okechukwu’s findings. He also helped the Lugbe AMAC Market women association in Abuja gain audience with the Minister of Power where they complained about the lack of transformers in their market and how it affected their trade. They successfully had it replaced in less than a week.
Aside the SCAF, Jake also set up an organization called Lawyers League for Minorities In Nigeria (LLMN) a non-profit which is a pool of lawyers that volunteer their time and expertize for the benefit of protecting the human rights of persons who are marginalized and are prominent targets of human right abuses and hate crimes-especially the indigent. The organization offers legal services like free legal advisory, free bail application, free court representations and free legal drafting. He also works as a public servant serving as a Research Fellow with the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS) where he use the instrumentality of the law to serve the Nigerian public.
Winner, The Future Africa Awards Prize in Education
Philip Obaji Jr
Founder, 1 GAME Campaign
Philip Obaji Jr’s possesses a rare commitment to advocating basic primary education for vulnerable children who are mostly called Almajiris in North-Eastern Nigeria. In 2013, despite the objectives of terrorist group Boko Haram which forbids western education, the 1 GAME Campaign met with nearly 100 community leaders in Borno, Yobe and Gombe States and raised a volunteering team to move house to house, calling on parents to send their children to school. Obaji’s 1 GAME also provided 100,000 exercise books and pens to nearly the same number of children in Borno and Gombe States. Nearly 99% of the recipients were children attending school for their first time.
In December 2013, Obaji who holds a B.Sc. in Marine Biology initiated Off The Streets, a community project working for Almajiri children in Borno State who are facing challenges of exclusion from school, ignorance, recruitment into insurgent groups, neglect and abuse. The project supports these children by catering for them through the provision of food and clothing and at the same time prepares them for western education through a mentoring program. In his capacity as Project Coordinator, Obaji manages the coordination and scheduling of volunteers at Almajiri locations across Maiduguri, who distribute food, clothes and mentor these children.
He has organized letter-writing campaigns seeking effective policies on education, targeting state and federal government officials. He has put pressure on state governments in northern Nigeria to ban street begging and rehabilitate children actively in the system. Obaji is Nigeria’s representative to the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations-Education First Summer School, New York and was also nominated for 2014 communications for social change awards in the University of Queensland, Australia.
Winner, The Future Africa Awards Prize in Public Service
Consultant to the AU Institute for Education Information Management System
Lukman began as a volunteer, and then consultant to the AU Institute for Education Information Management System in Congo Brazzaville. He is currently GIZ Adviser to the AU on the Pan African University.
Lukman is responsible for the take-off of the AU Pan African University; established and operationalized the virtualization infrastructure of the initiative and successfully managed and effectively rolled out the promotion, application, review and welfare of the students of the University through remote hubs and units in 4 regions of the continent (Algeria, South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria). He single handily developed and managed the desktop, mobile and web applications currently used by the African Union Commission in the management of the Pan African University project. This portal is currently being used at the four take off institutes in Nigeria, Kenya, Cameroon and Algeria for management of admission processes. In the just ended 2014/2015 students and staff call, the portal made it possible for over 6,000 young Africans to apply to the Pan African University.
A 31 years old Nigerian, who obtained his Masters in Information System from University of Liverpool and also a Software Developer who has been working in this field since 11 years ago, Lukman also managed the first and only mobile application for the African Youth Charter. The app is available for Android, Blackberry and iOS smart phones. In the past, the African Union Commission has spent tens of thousands of US dollars over the years 2006 to 2013 on printing, reprinting and distribution a few thousands of hard copies across the continent.
With the availability of this APP, Africans and non-Africans alike can and have been viewing, downloading the charter articles, sharing on social media platforms, participate in discussion forums and many more features. Since the APP was launched into stores this year there are over 24,000 downloads from 61 countries and still counting.
Winner, The Future Africa Awards Prize in Technology
WinSenga is an innovative low cost mobile antenatal diagnosis tool which was developed by Okello and his partners Tushabe and Josiah Kuvuma. The low cost smart phone-based tool enables less-trained midwives in low resource settings (rural areas) in Africa to effectively & accurately monitor the health of an unborn child during antenatal care and labour. The innovation is the advanced version of the 19th century pinard horn used by midwives to listen to the heart rate of a foetus during pregnancy.
The souped-up device, which is placed on a women’s abdomen just like a regular horn, connects to a Windows-based phone running the application. The system picks up the foetal heart rate, transmits it to the phone, and then the phone runs an analysis. This technology was created to reduce deaths in women from complication of childbirth, deaths in babies before or during delivery or in the first week of life in Sub-Sahara Africa.
In 2012 Okello and his partners won a $50,000 grant from Microsoft – the “Win” in WinSenga is short for Windows. They developed their app from a Microsoft-funded technology incubator, set up to encourage Uganda’s nascent tech sector. In 2014 they launched WinSenga eFHR v2.1, a new design based on feedback from their medical team and users – the tool has gone minimalist and focused is increasing user productivity quickly.
Okello started his career in the medical field, but opted out, choosing Information System instead as a result of his passion for technology advancement. Jousha co-founded and runs an initiative called cipher256, started in 2013.
Winner, The Future Awards Prize for African Young Person of the Year
Delle built a clean water organization that has impacted tens of thousands of people in rural Liberia and Ghana. Born in Ghana, his childhood home was a refuge for victims of torture and violence from neighboring Liberia and Sierra Leone.
At Harvard, enrolling in the Social Engagement Initiative program that bridged the academic study and practical service gap, Delle co-founded cleanacwa (formerly the African Development Initiative), which embarked on a five-year project to bring sanitation and clean water to Agyementi, a village in Ghana. Cleanacwa is currently working to bring clean water and sanitation to over 60,000 people in 120 villages in the Ayensuano and Suhum districts in Ghana.
In 2013, he endowed the Sangu Delle Fund for Social Engagement at Harvard University in honor of his mentor Professor Evelyn Higginbotham to help fund the next generation of social entrepreneurs and in 2014, he set up a fund at Harvard College to create a scholarship in honor of his mother Amira Delle, who wasn’t able to attend college. This scholarship will help fund African girls to attend Harvard University.
Convinced that the real needs of communities can best be met through entrepreneurship, in 2008, Delle founded an investment holding company, Golden Palm Investments (GPI) to fund promising start-ups that can have social impact and generate jobs. GPI has backed startups such as Solo Mobile in Nigeria, mPharma in Ghana, Stawi Foods in Kenya and Zamsolar in Zambia. GPI has also built a portfolio of greenfield companies in healthcare, real estate, agriculture and financial services. GPI has over 10,000 clients (4,000+ in our healthcare business alone) and has raised over $7mm in asset and cash financing,
Winner, The Future Africa Awards Prize in Entertainment
Nasibu Abdul Juma (Diamond)
Popularly known by stage name Diamond Platnumz (or simply Diamond). He is a Bongo Flava recording artist and singer from Tanzania who has recorded 133 songs already and is best known for his hit song “Number One”. He performed at the Big Brother Africa season 7 eviction show in May 2012.
Diamond is considered influential among his fans, and he is said to be the most loved and decorated Tanzanian artist at the moment. He is the highest paid artist in East Africa earning at least two million shillings per weekend. He was also believed to be the highest selling Tanzanian artist of ringtones by mobile phone companies in 2013, as well as being among the artists earning the highest income in the African Great Lakes region’s music industry.
On 3 May 2014, Diamond Platnumz set a new record at the Tanzania Music Awards by winning 7 awards, including Best Male Writer, Best Male Artist, Best Song Writer, and Best Male Entertainer of the Year, among others. Prior to these accomplishments, Diamond held the record for winning 3 awards at the 2010 Tanzania music awards.
In 2010, he was nominated as the best new act at the MTV Africa Music Awards and also got 2 nominations at this year’s Edition.
Diamond has been actively involved in developmental projects and has campaigned for Coke Studio, Do Agric ONE Campaign, No More Malaria, African Rising and also currently works with NSSF Tanzania. Diamond was recommended by The President of Tanzania for his impact.
Winner, The Future Africa Awards Prize in Enterprise Support
Founder Generation Enterprise and StrategyQ
Otegbade bridges the gap between grassroots business and larger business through two entities: his non-profit, Generation Enterprise and his strategy advisory firm, StrategyQ. A strong advocate of inclusive business, he helps larger organizations craft pro-poor strategies to include the grassroots in business processes and unlock hidden financial and social returns at the bottom-of-the-pyramid. Currently, through (Generation Enterprise) GEN’s training, investment and business support services, over 3,000 grassroots youth have been trained in entrepreneurship and business management, with more than 120 having been set up in businesses across Nigeria and in India.
In a revolutionary step, Otegbade created the opportunity for more than 50 grassroots youth to pitch their business ideas to an illustrious panel in several Dragon’s Den-style events at the US Consulate.
Over the past one year, GEN’s work has been featured on platforms such as the MIT Innovations Journal (January 2014), TEDxLagos (September 2013), ILO Work4Youth Conference (December 2013), amongst others. He has also lectured at the Clinton Global Initiative University webinar series. Through StrategyQ, Otegbade built 1-PagePlan.com, an online fundraising platform, to help solve the access-to-finance problems for African startups. 1-PagePlan matches financiers with entrepreneurial ideas. StrategyQ’s work has been featured on platforms such as the Harvard Africa Business Conference (March 2014), NYU Africa Economic Forum (April 2014), amongst others.
Born December 23rd 1984, Otegbade started as a senior Management Consultant at KPMG Advisory Services, where he provided advisory services to over 12 large institutions across 5 countries in Africa. He has also run several non-profit initiatives – Soup Kitchen movement, Unveiling Africa Foundation, Engineers with a Mission.