It was a night of celebration as the Anzisha Prize, in partnership with the African Leadership Academy (ALA) and Mastercard Foundation, awarded $25,000 to Yannick Kimanuka from the Democratic Republic of Congo and crowned her the winner of the 2019 Anzisha Prize. The KIM's School Complex, founded by Yannick in 2018, is a nursery and primary school which aims to improve how children perform academically in school in her community.
Yannick Kimanuka (centre), winner of the 2019 Anzisha 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.
Osvaldo Rey Mokouma, from the Republic of Congo will receive $15,000 as he was announced as the first runner-up 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 do not hesitate to apply for the Anzisha Prize," he said. The festivities also included the announcement of the second runner up Cecil Chikezie, a 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.
"Every year, we are always excited and ignited 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.