AFRICA – Jack Ma Foundation has shortlisted 10 finalists for its Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative (ANPI) which will offer selected innovative tech startups access to a US$1.5 million prize pool.
The project in its second edition was created by Alibaba founder Jack Ma after his first trip to Africa in 2017 with the aim supporting the next generation of African entrepreneurs.
The first edition was won by Nigerian startup LifeBank in November last year.
The 10 entrepreneurs that represent eight African countries were selected from over 22,000 applications across all the 54 African nations.
Two of the finalists are from Ivory Coast – INVESTIV which leverages innovative technologies to support smallholder farmers and Le Chocolatier Ivorien, which manufactures handcrafted and quality chocolate and another two from Uganda in the shape of MST Junior School, a primary school with a unique approach and learning model and Uganics which manufactures life-saving organic anti-malaria soap.
The remaining finalists are made up of Ghana’s Amaati, which produces an extinct and neglected crop called Fonio; Kenya’s BrightGreen Renewable Energy, which produces life-saving fuel bricks that reduce the cost of cooking for underserved communities; Cameroon’s Enko Education, the largest single network of private schools in Africa; Zimbabwe’s Moneymart, a microfinance institution that offers tailor-made business loans; Senegal’s Diarrablu, a fashion tech company and Nigeria’s MDaaS Global which builds and operates modern tech-enabled diagnostic centres in clinically-underserved communities.
Finalists will compete in the grand finale on November 13-14.
Jack Ma, or Mǎ Yún, is a 56-year-old Chinese business magnate, investor, and philanthropist with a neworth of US$ 50.4 billion (Forbes).
He is the co-founder and former executive chairman of Alibaba Group, a multinational technology conglomerate and a strong proponent of an open and market-driven economy.
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