African Start up

Meet the entrepreneurs at the heart of Africa’s boom - and they’re all under 23

Story highlights

17-22 year-old entrepreneurs compete for $75,000 prize fund

Notable past-winners mark the Anzisha Prize as a bellwether for future business stars

CNN  — 

Africa has the world’s youngest and fastest-growing population. Today, the continent is home to more than 200 million people between the ages of 15 and 24, and its young population is increasingly well-educated. On current trends, nearly 60% of 20-24 year-olds in Africa will have a secondary education in 2030, according to the World Bank.

This growing cohort of young, skilled people is reflected in a wave of entrepreneurship that is transforming economies across Africa.

The Anzisha Prize is an award for African entrepreneurs between the ages of 17 and 22, which rewards individuals who have created businesses that solve economic and social problems. In September, the judging panel announced its 12 finalists, who will compete for a share of the $75,000 prize money.

Past grand prize winners – who take home $25,000 – include Cameroonian Alain Nteff, who created a mobile app that helps maternal health workers calculate expectant mothers’ due dates; and Ugandan Best Aiyorworth, who founded a microfinance organization for women and girls.

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