Africa’s leading women innovators recognised at the World Economic Forum

Africa’s future lies in the hands of its youthful population. But, while the region’s start-up businesses are gaining confidence and scale with a growing number of innovations achieving recognition beyond the region’s borders, much more must be done to create an enabling environment that allows entrepreneurs to flourish. This is especially the case for women entrepreneurs, whose potential is far from being optimized. This was the reason for a World Economic Forum challenge to find Africa’s top women Innovators. The criteria for the challenge required entrants’ companies to be less than three years old, be earning revenue for at least a year and have proven innovation and positive social impact. TheWorld Economic Forum has just announced the winners of the Africa Top Women Innovators Challenge 2016: Natalie Bitature, Musana Carts, Kampala, Uganda: Musana Carts has used frugal innovation to develop environmentally friendly, solar-powered vending carts. Audrey Cheng, Moringa School, Nairobi, Kenya: Audrey Cheng established Moringa School to enable a whole generation to gain the skills they need to compete in the digital economy. Lilian Makoi Rabi, bimaAFYA, Tanzania: bimaAFYA offers mobile micro-health insurance for the low income and informal sector, enabling healthcare services by drastically reducing costs. Nneile Nkholise, iMED Tech Group, Bloemfontein, South Africa: iMED Tech Group uses additive manufacturing to design breast and facial prostheses for cancer and burn victims. Larissa Uwase, CARL GROUP, Kigali, Rwanda: CARL GROUP is improving the health of the nation by innovating new food products from a staple crop, the sweet potato. Congratulations to each of these women innovators.