The Alibaba Philanthropy and Jack Ma Foundation’s Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative (ANPI) has announced its winners of the 2023 Africa’s Business Heroes, spotlighting top African entrepreneurs from Egypt, Kenya, and Nigeria.
At the Grand-Finale held in Kigali on Friday, November 24 as the ABH celebrated its fifth anniversary, the three winners were selected form 10 innovators who made it to the semi-finals in September. All 10 finalists will share $1.5 million.
The grand prize winner is Dr Ikpeme Neto, a Nigerian who is the CEO and founder of WellaHealth Technologies will get $300,000.
The first runner-up is Thomas Njeru, CEO and co-founder of Kenyan agriculture company Pula Advisors Limited will $250,000.
The second runner-up is Ayman Bazaraa, CEO and co-founder of Egyptian education and training company Sprints will get $150,000.
Who are other finalists?
The other seven innovators will get $100,000 each. They include one Rwandan innovator, Albert Munyabugingo, who is a co-founder of delivery company VubaVuba Africa.
There is also Bola Bardet, CEO and co-founder of Susu, a Beninese healthcare company; Ismael Belkhayat, CEO and founder of Moroccan fintech company Chari; and Mohammed Ali, founder and CEO of Egyptian electrical company iLock.
Also among the winners is Sierra Leonean Nthabiseng Mosia, co-founder of energy distributing company Easy Solar, and Theo Baloyi, CEO and founder of South African retail company Bathu, as well as Christina Mawuse Gyisun, CEO and co-founder of Sommalife, a Ghanaian agriculture enterprise.
The top 10 finalists, who emerged from more than 27,000 applicants from across the African continent.
Since 2019, four more Rwandan entrepreneurs have scooped $385,000 (over Rwf460 million) in funding from the Alibaba initiative.
They are Francine Munyaneza, founder of Munyax Eco; Yvette Ishimwe, founder and CEO of IRIBA Water Group; Christelle Kwizera, founder of Water Access Rwanda and Kevine Kagirimpundu, co-founder and CEO of UZURI K&Y.