With a pool of talented finalists from more than fifteen African countries, the 2020 Anzisha Prize – the premier award for Africa’s youngest entrepreneurs –  has gone  to Alaa Moatamed, a  young female entrepreneur whose venture provides business owners with an affordable and convenient delivery service for customers. EdTech entrepreneur Matina Razafimahefa, 22, from Madagascar emerged as the first runner up ($15,000), while 22-year-old infrastructure entrepreneur, Mohamed Bah from Sierra Leone, was the second runner up ($12,500).

The twenty finalists were selected from an impressive initial pool of more than one thousand young entrepreneurs, up from six hundred in 2019. The 2020 Anzisha Prize attracted applicants from more than thirty African countries, across multiple sectors. Each of the twenty finalists, who made it through the rigorous selection process, will receive $2,500. They will also have an opportunity to join a fellowship of one hundred and twenty two entrepreneurs who receive venture building support and mentorship. Since 2011, Anzisha fellows have created over two thousand jobs – fifty six percent of which have been for young Africans aged less than twenty five years.

At an early age, Alaa had a passion for business. In 2016, she participated in EYouth  where she co-founded and headed her first initiative “Fettrah”, a project aimed at teaching people with mental disabilities. After Fettrah, Alaa went on to co-found Camps for Intelligent ( CFI) , an organisation targeting youth aged twelve  to seventeen years  that provided them with skills not offered in traditional schools like art and design, Android and web design as well as  languages. Through CFI, Alaa and her team reached more than seventy young people. Post 2017, Alaa worked as a community manager for a cloud co-working space, one of the leading business hubs in Al Minya, Egypt. Armed with   that   wealth   of experience, Alaa co-founded Presto.

Presto is an automated delivery system that connects vendors with customers and suppliers. The platform provides a crowd-sourced network of delivery agents for small businesses.  The business has been successful since it was launched in 2019. It serves three hundred stores and merchants in two cities.

“Across upper Egypt, I saw people suffering from the problem we are solving and I wanted to try my best to help them, especially small businesses owned by women. I want to expand my service across Africa to help women who are suffering from operational hassles,” says Alaa.

The first runner up, Matina Razafimahefa, is the Founder of Sayna, an innovative EdTech venture. Her business sources, trains  and produces highly equipped young Africans in industry-specific digital skills. Since its inception, the venture has expanded its training to Comoros, Ivory Coast, Benin and Senegal. To date, Sayna has placed eighty percent of its students in the global information technology marketplace.

Second runner up, Mohamed Bah, is the founder of Information for All (IFA) – a venture that constructs drills and repairs water wells and toilets, hence enhancing   water sustainability and hygiene for  deprived communities. To date, the IFA team has drilled over twenty wells and provided clean water to thousands of people.

“The young people who have participated in the Anzisha Prize over the last decade remind us that betting on Africa’s young people is a recipe for success,” said keynote speaker, Reeta Roy, President and CEO, Mastercard Foundation. “Now more than ever, we need their entrepreneurial spirit.” The Anzisha Prize is a partnership between African Leadership Academy and the MasterCard Foundation



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