Facebook announces 12 African community leaders to be part of accelerator programme

AFRICA – Facebook has announced the 12 African community leaders who have been selected to join Facebook’s Community Accelerator a six-month programme that aims to equip communities with the training, mentorship, and funding they need to grow.

Awarding up to US$3 million, selected community leaders will receive up to US$30,000 in funding. In the first three months of the programme, these leaders will learn from experts and coaches, whilst developing customized curriculums focused on growing their own communities.

The following three months will then be focused on iterating and executing their plans, with funding and continued support from their network, as well as from a dedicated programme team. The Community Accelerator will then culminate in an event with community leaders to showcase their communities and progress to external funders and partners.

“We’re delighted to be welcoming 12 African community leaders to Facebook’s first Community Accelerator. We’ve seen time and again the power of communities in bringing people closer together and feeling more connected,” Kezia Anim-Addo, Head of Communications for Sub-Saharan Africa said.

“The Facebook Community Accelerator will enable these great communities to make an even greater positive impact in the world, and we hope that through the support of the programme these communities will have extraordinary impact, even in extraordinary times.”

Community leaders selected from across Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa as part of the Facebook Community Accelerator include:

Hauwa Ojeifo, She Writes Woman (Nigeria) – In 2016, Hauwa created “Safe Place Nigeria” to provide a stigma and judgment-free space for young people to talk about mental health related issues.

Bright Shiitemii, Mental360 (Kenya) – Mental 360 was started in 2016 to give youth a safe platform to learn about mental health and illness and to access affordable holistic solutions.

Lauren Dallas, Future Females (South Africa) – founded in 2017 with a mission to increase the number of female entrepreneurs and support their success.

Tony Onuk, The Root Hub (Nigeria) – Roothub was started in 2014 to provide a safe space for youths to build their ideas, grow their businesses, and access support

Esther Mwikalii, Metta NBO (Kenya) – founded in 2015 as an entrepreneurs’ network with the goal of bringing together founders, policy makers and investors to collaborate.

Refilwe Nkomo, Visual Arts Network South Africa (South Africa) – established in 2007 as a support point and development agency for contemporary art practice in South Africa.

Eyitayo Ogunmola, Utiva (Nigeria) – Utiva is a decentralized ecosystem that helps Nigerians access technology skills and trainings regardless of their location and internet barrier.

Naadiya Moosajee, WomEng (South Africa) – a social enterprise aimed at attracting, developing and nurturing the next generation of women engineering leaders.

Abiodun Adereni, Helpmum (Nigeria) – started in 2017, HelpMum tackles maternal and infant mortality in remote rural areas in Nigeria, and provides Clean Birth Kits for hygienic delivery to pregnant women, immunization reminders and health information to nursing mothers

dillion phiri, Creative Nestlings (South Africa) – Launched in February 2011, dillion s. phiri founded Creative Nestlings to connect young African creatives to each other, to opportunities and to resources, democratizing how young African creatives connect, get paid, learn and grow.

Rufaro Mudimu, Enke (South Africa) – “enke”, meaning ‘ink’ in SeTswana, started in 2009 to bridge socioeconomic inequality by bringing young people together and equipping them with the skills and experiences to improve their lives. “enke” connects, equips and inspires young people to make their mark, authoring a positive future for themselves and their communities.

Tariro Bure, MINDS (South Africa) – MINDS was founded in 2010 as a platform rooted in cultural heritage and knowledge systems for youth to reclaim their African identities and transform the continent.

As part of the global Facebook Community Leadership initiative launched in 2018, the Community Accelerator programme invests in leaders who are building communities around the world; including bringing people together, offering encouragement, and driving change.

Following the call for applications in March 2020, 77 community leaders from around the world were chosen, with the 12 selected from Sub-Saharan Africa.

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