Meet the Winners of the 2015 edition

Most plausible businesses in EDUCATION


Antony Tonee Ndungu, Kenya
Winner of the Education Award

“Anyone who thinks that Africa can’t fix Africa, hasn’t been to Africa.” Tonee believes in Africa and his optimism just increased! The founder of Kytabu is one of the 2015 winners of the first annual African Entrepreneurship Award, sponsored by BMCE Bank of Africa.

From the beginning of the week in Marrakech, Tonee shined and his project inspired the Jury. His opening elevator pitch during Orientation wowed his colleagues and he only improved through the Boot Camp. By winning the Award, Tonee can now launch his dream, Kytabu, and change lives in Kenya.

When Tonee speaks about Africa, his eyes light up. He loves Kenya and he believes in his nation; however, he also wants to continue to improve certain sectors. Tonee’s winning project has positive ramifications for education in Kenya. Kytabu brings together educational content and curricula to a single device, accessed on a tablet, and supported by a cloud server. In Kenya, mobile ingenuity sets the tone for the rest of Africa, and Kytabu continues the trend, bringing mobile ingenuity into the education sector.

Congratulations Tonee and we look forward to following the progress of Kytabu and its impact on education in Africa.

Johann Kok, South Africa
Winner of the Education Award

“My life’s mission is to educate the next generation of brainy nerds (just like myself!) – in a fun and engaging way.” Congratulations to Johann Kok! The self-proclaimed nerd, and inventor of SeeBox presented a winning project to the African Entrepreneurship Award. The 2015 Award, sponsored by BMCE Bank of Africa, included dozens of amazing pitches but Johann was one that rose to the top. The South African entrepreneur and engineer developed SeeBox as an educational game that empowers young people to become participants and not victims of the coming Artificial Intelligence economy.

During the AEA Boot Camp, Johann remained measured and confident as he prepared to share SeeBox. Before his pitch, his nerves only betrayed him at the very end as he paced the hall with his hands on his head, breathing deeply. Now, as an AEA winner, Johann can channel that energy into SeeBox and bringing his educational dream to fruition.

Congratulations Johann and we look forward to following SeeBox and its impact on education in Africa.



Most plausible businesses in ENVIRONMENT


Tadesse Getahun Edesa, Ethiopia
Winner of the Environmental Award

“How do I talk about my idea if I don’t talk about my idea?!” Tadesse Getahun Edesa has never struggled for words about his environmental project, GreenJimma. During the AEA Boot Camp, the professor turned entrepreneur was so passionate about his waste management project that every attempt at a video soundbite turned into a tedious affair. The African Entrepreneurship Award Jury were equally impressed with Tadesse’s passion and thoughtfulness. Tadesse is one of the 2015 BMCE Bank of Africa Award winners!

GreenJimma, Tadesse’s waste management project, promises to change the way waste is managed in Ethiopia. The environmental project recycles bio-degradable waste into usable compost and organic fertilizers for farmers and gardeners throughout the region. GreenJimma engages the community as the waste is collected from the community and then sold back at reduced rates. The entire process is sustainable, organic, and local, but with potential to scale.

Congratulations Tadesse and keep sharing GreenJimma with passion! AEA looks forward to following your impact.

Elia Timotheo, Tanzania
Winner of the Environmental Award

Elia Timotheo’s composed demeanor was only betrayed on the last day of the African Entrepreneurship Award in Marrakech. The 25 year old Tanzanian was awarded with the best business idea in the Environment category and Elia could not be happier. His business, East Africa Fruits Farm and Company Ltd, already impacts the agriculture and produce sector, and he is eager to scale with his award money.

The inaugural award, sponsored by BMCE Bank of Africa, included several impactful businesses in the environment category. However, Elia’s project stood above the rest. East Africa Fruits Farm keeps food fresh and prevents food waste, ultimately empowering Africa to more effectively feed her people.

Congratulations Elia. We look forward to seeing East Africa Fruits Farm scale into an impactful pan-African business.



Most plausible businesses in UNCHARTED


Adama Kane, Senegal
Winner of the Uncharted Award

The 2015 African Entrepreneurship Award, sponsored by BMCE Bank of Africa, awarded Adama Kane with the best Uncharted project at their inaugural competition. Adama’s business, Jokko$ante, provides an innovative way for Africans to save money, save resources, and most importantly, potentially save lives.

Jokko$ante is the first of its kind in Africa. The business allows customers to recycle their unused, packaged medicines in a sort of medicinal co-operative. For customers with excessive medication, Jokko$ante provides a useful way to dispose of their medicine. For those without medicine, Jokko$ante’s affordable medication allows people to receive the help they need. The innovative and uncharted approach to medicine garnered Adama the Uncharted award.

Congratulations Adama and we know that Jokko$ante will have positive influence in communities in Africa.

William Maphem, South Africa
Winner of the Uncharted Award

William Maphem sees his future more clearly now. The South African eye doctor just won the Uncharted category for the 2015 African Entrepreneurship Award in Marrakech. The Award, sponsored by BMCE Bank of Africa, deemed William’s project VulaMobile too good to pass up.

VulaMobile brings modern technology to rural eye care. With a digital platform, patient records and referrals are all digitized so that patients can have access to better care, more quickly. Williams wants VulaMobile to “become the gold standard for specialized medical messaging” and AEA wants to help them get there.

From the beginning of the week in Marrakech, William had a clear vision for the success of his business. VulaMobile will give people in need new eyes to see Africa. This potential for positive, pan-African impact is the reason why William is walking away from Marrakech as a winner.


Khadija Hamouchi, Morocco
Most Intra-preneurial Potential

“My passion is to solve the shortage in African Arabic speaking countries of quality teachers” explains Khadija Hamouchi, Moroccan with Egyptian experience.

Congratulations to Khadija! This Teacher has realized the gap in bringing modern pedagogical methods to Arabic education ensuring that non-Arabic speaking children in the Maghreb can learn Modern Standard Arabic at a young age. She will identify how to fill the gap through e-learning platforms appropriate to teachers of all languages. This platform can be leveraged for other linguistic and dialectical challenges on the continent.

The 2015 Award, sponsored by BMCE Bank of Africa, seeks to launch Khadija on her intra-preneurial journey, because this plan will require an institution’s help to realize rather than independent entrepreneur’s business.

Habtamu Abafoge, Ethiopia
Most Long Term Impact

Businesses often measure effectiveness by their impact, both social and economic. Habtamu Abafoge takes impact to the next level and is this year’s winner of the 2015 Most Long Term Impact award. His Infant Radiant Warmers will save lives in Africa, having a long term impact on the lives of countless babies. The Impact Award, given by BMCE Bank of Africa, represents one of several awards given at the African Entrepreneurship Award in Marrakech, Morocco.

Throughout the week in Marrakech, Habtamu, learned how to make his idea a business reality. As one of the the youngest entrepreneurs in the AEA competition, Habtamu took to heart the lessons learned from coaches. With his award money, Habtamu wants to build a warmer prototype and see what kind of impact he can have as an entrepreneur.

Congratulations to Habtamu! We look forward to seeing your project have a pan-African impact for years to come.

Eyram Tawia, Ghana
Most Heart Award

When discussing LetiArts, the African video game and comic company, one Namibian businessman said, “I need this in my world.” This may soon become a reality for Africans throughout the continent. Eyram Tawia, the Ghanaian founder of LetiArts, is this year’s winner of the African Entrepreneurship Award’s Most Heart category in Marrakech. The monetary award will enable Eyram to build his business and scale his current prototype into a pan-African reality.

AEA, an event sponsored by BMCE Bank of Africa, included many amazing ideas; however, few rivaled Eyram with their heart. African folklore and comics run through Eyram’s veins. He describes the passion he feels for enriching Africa with their own narratives. LetiArts not only represents a good gaming business, but also a platform for Africa’s rich stories to be told in creative and engaging ways.

Congratulations Eyram! Your heart and passion represent Africa well. The continent looks forward to your pan-African stories.

Olive Akware, Uganda
True Grit

“My passion is to create jobs for women while reducing the slums in cities and not destroy the environment” explains Olive Akware, Ugandan.

Congratulations to Olive! This small business owner has taken her Brick to Housing Business from a small, owner-operated employing a dozen people to new heights. She has a business idea to construct kilns powered by agro waste products (Coffee husks, rice husks, maize cobs) and bio gas generated from pig dung. She will manufacture quality bricks and then construct houses using those bricks.

The 2015 Award, sponsored by BMCE Bank of Africa, included dozens of pitches but Olive was one that rose to the top because of her tenacity and boldness to work in an area that affects many but is not leading-edge.

Olive could not join the Marrakech Boot Camp due to travel limitations, but she participated by SKYPE and impressed the Presidential Jurist with accomplishing so much with so little.

Olive has True Grit. Now, as an AEA winner, Olive is steps closer to bringing her business dream to reality.

Meet the Finalists

Read about the entrepreneurs who made to the Presidential Round in Marrakech

Entrepreneur Stories

Discover some of the business proposals that applied to the African Entrepreneurship Award