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Africa’s Social Entrepreneurs of the Year Honoured in Abuja by World Economic Forum

Michèle Mischler, Associate Director, Tel.: +41 79 571 82 25, Email:

  • The Schwab Foundation today announced the winners of the Africa Social Entrepreneur of the Year awards at the World Economic Forum on Africa in Abuja, Nigeria.
  • Honourees working in Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria and Tanzania are among 20 Social Entrepreneurs from around the world taking part in the meeting to provide perspective on social innovation.
  • Learn more about the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship at

Abuja, Nigeria, 8 May 2014 – Seven Social Entrepreneurs were today named Africa Social Entrepreneurs of the Year at the World Economic Forum on Africa taking place in Abuja, Nigeria. The awards were conferred by Philipp Rösler, Managing Director, World Economic Forum.

“Social entrepreneurs are an integral community of the World Economic Forum and an increasingly sought-after one,” said David Aikman, Managing Director at the World Economic Forum and Head of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship. “A growing number of corporations see income inequality and environmental problems like climate change as fundamental threats to their long-term growth. Many governments are starting to rethink the way they deliver goods and services that improve social outcomes. I am confident this trend will only continue to grow in the future, and the Forum is proud to be at the forefront of catalysing partnerships among these stakeholder groups for social and environmental change.”

The following have been selected as the 2014 Africa Social Entrepreneurs of the Year.

Patrick Awuah, Ashesi University, Ghana

Ashesi was founded to address Africa's biggest roadblocks to progress: the need for ethical leadership and innovative thinking. Ashesi University College is a secular, private, non-profit liberal arts college located in Ghana, West Africa. Ashesi aims to make a significant contribution to transform Africa by educating a new generation of ethical, entrepreneurial leaders. Ashesi’s unique curriculum combines a rigorous liberal arts core with practical, high-impact majors in business, computer science and MIS, and a four-year focus on leadership development and community service. To date, 100% of Ashesi’s graduates have found quality placement within a few months of graduating and over 95% have stayed to work for progress in Africa.

Ashifi Gogo, Sproxil, Ghana, Nigeria and India

Sproxil has developed and trademarked a Mobile Product Authentication (MPA) solution that enables consumers to verify that the pharmaceutical product they are buying is genuine. Consumers use a scratch card, similar to those used to replenish cellular talk-time, to reveal a one-time-use code on pharmaceutical products. Sproxil has set up Africa’s first national, mobile-based anti-counterfeit service in Nigeria and has already sold more than 250 million anti-counterfeit labels.

Martin Kariongi Ole Sanago, Institute for Orkonerei Pastoralists Advancement (IOPA), Tanzania

IOPA facilitates transformation and diversification of the economic system of the Maasai through social business, social entrepreneurship and innovation. Using radio programmes, roundtable discussions and festivals, the Institute prepares a fertile ground for self-examination and collective action. The Institute also teaches the Maasai veterinary services and techniques and sensitizes them to the use of both modern and traditional veterinary medicine; and carries out vaccination campaigns that have enabled pastoralists to use modern treatments and methods of livestock management, allowing animals to live healthier, longer, more productive lives.

Jay Kimmelman and Shannon May, Bridge International Academies, Kenya

Bridge International Academies is a chain of nursery and private schools in Africa delivering high-quality education for just $5 a month on average. The model of Bridge International Academies – centred on the academy-in-a-box solution, delivered through data-enabled tablets – enables thousands of teachers to deliver world-class lessons to children who had struggled simply to have a teacher show up at their previous schools. It has been just over four years since its first academy opened. As of January 2014, Bridge operates 259 academies in Kenya, employing over 3,000 people and educating approximately 80,000 pupils. By 2025, Bridge plans to be educating 10,000,000 pupils in over a dozen countries.

Gbenga Sesan, Paradigm Initiative Nigeria, Nigeria

Paradigm Initiative Nigeria’s (PIN) vision is to connect underserved young Nigerians with ICT-enabled opportunities to improve their livelihoods. Solving these twin problems – unemployment and cyber-crime – is at the heart of PIN’s strategy. Its model involves a two-pronged approach of capacity-building/ICT empowerment and ICT policy interventions. PIN offers income-generating ICT training and social media consultancy to private or non-profit organizations that need them, working with PIN’s graduates as implementing partners. Current partners include the Peery Foundation, Internews, Microsoft and Google.

Allen Wilcox, Village Reach, Mozambique

VillageReach is a non‐profit social enterprise with a mission to save lives and improve health by increasing access to quality healthcare for the most underserved communities. VillageReach develops, evaluates and proves system innovations that improve health system performance. Through collaboration with governments, non-governmental organizations and communities, VillageReach seeks to extend the reach of health systems in scalable and sustainable ways by strengthening health service delivery, enhancing information and communication technology systems, and engaging the private sector.

To view descriptions of all Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneurs taking part in the World Economic Forum on Africa, please visit: Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneurs

About the Schwab Foundation

The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship was co-founded by Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, and his wife, Hilde. Since its inception in 2000, the Foundation has been identifying the world’s leading social entrepreneurs and involves the community of 200 award winners in advancing the field of social innovation in collaboration with corporate, government and academic stakeholders. Selected social entrepreneurs of the Schwab Foundation network participate in World Economic Forum events, thus providing unique opportunities for them to connect with business, political and media leaders. 

The 24th World Economic Forum on Africa will be held in Abuja, Nigeria, on 7-9 May 2014. The theme of the meeting is Forging Inclusive Growth, Creating Jobs.

The Co-Chairs of the meeting are Dominic Barton, Managing Director, McKinsey & Company, United Kingdom; Jean-François van Boxmeer, Chairman of the Executive Board and Chief Executive Officer, Heineken, Netherlands; Aliko Dangote, President and Chief Executive Officer, Dangote Group, Nigeria; Bineta Diop, President, Femmes Africa Solidarité, Switzerland; Jabu A. Mabuza, Chairman, Telkom Group, South Africa; Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman, Bharti Enterprises, India; John Rice, Vice-Chairman, GE, Hong Kong SAR

Notes to Editors

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For further information, contact Kenneth Turner, Senior Community Manager, Latin America & Africa, Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, Tel.: +41 22 869 3896; Email:

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