Here are the 11 winners of the $1 million at the African Entrepreneurship Awards

by | Dec 14, 2016

The African Entrepreneurship Award powered by the BMCE Bank of Africa has announced the winners of the 2016 edition. The African Entrepreneurship Award offers mentorship to entrepreneurs and seeks to inspire them to develop business ideas that will create jobs.

Following the submission of various business ideas in three categories – Education, Environment and Uncharted Areas – 37 finalists were shortlisted. The finalists took part in a bootcamp in Casablanca, Morocco. A jury, comprising of distinguished business leaders and entrepreneurs from five continents selected the winners at an award ceremony.

Winners of each category received $150,000 each, runners up received $100,000 each and the winners of the pioneer award received $50,000 each.

Here is the list of the winners of the African Entrepreneurship Award:

Education Category Winners

First Place: Jennifer Shigoli from Tanzania.

This entrepreneur from Tanzania designs and manufactures reusable sanitary pads. With Elea Reusable Sanitary Pads, Jennifer is “committed to help women and girls break the barriers that menstruation creates in their lives.”

Second Place: Abideen Adelu from Nigeria.

Abideen Adelu launched Prepa to make a difference in the life of students staying in school or dropping out. Prepa prepares students for standardized exams with unlimited test questions and a network of resources.

Environment Category Winners

First Place: Mahmud Johnson from Liberia.


This Liberian entrepreneur founded J-Palm Liberia, a company producing everything from oils to cakes to skin care products and briquettes, using every part of the palm fruit.

Second Place: Ernie Aylward from South Africa.

Ernie Aylward is the lead engineer for Mellowcabs. Mellowcabs are electric mini-cabs that provide low cost, eco-friendly taxi and transportation services in congested urban centers, focusing on last mile transportation.

Uncharted Areas Category Winners

First Place: Abdeladim Moumen from Morocco.

Abdeladim Moumen and his business Moldiag invented a molecular diagnostic kit for the detection and quantification of diseases. This working prototype is a kit that costs $100 and is easy to use for rural clinics to diagnose and monitor breast cancer and Hepatitis C.

Second Place: Joyce Kyalema from Uganda.

Joyce Kyalema and her business Pumpkin Value Add created new nutritional foods from all pumpkin parts in Uganda.

Pioneer Awards Category Winners

Frederico Peres da Silva from Mozambique – Frederico Peres da Silva’s prototype, Biscate, is an adaptive technology connecting blue-collar, informal workers to customers.

Achiri Nji from Cameroon – Achiri and his team created a mobile application prototype for people to give live updates on road conditions, rate bus drivers, report road problems, and even connect accident victims to early medical responders and concerned family members.

Bent Gelalcha from Ethiopia – Tadele Tolosa’s ambulatory veterinary clinic saves farmers from their worst-case scenario, the loss of their cattle.

Murtula Sanni from Nigeria – Murtula with Wesabi builds the trust bridge or fills the trust gap between services and markets with a 24/7 call center and a seamless mobile payment method, simplifying the hiring process of skilled artisans and craftsmen. The platform allows users to give recommendations and rate craftsmen.

Omar Kadiri from Morocco – Omar Kadiri’s business, LIK, solves the problem of credit for the millions of pre-paid phone users in Morocco, and all of Africa.

Emmanuel Ogunsola
Emmanuel Ogunsola

I love telling stories using text, pictures and videos. It’s all about the little details.

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