AFRICA – The Jack Ma Foundation hosted its first annual Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative (ANPI) grand finale awarding US$1 million in prize money to 10 entrepreneurs from across Africa.

The ANPI is a flagship initiative of the Jack Ma Foundation, created by Jack Ma after his first trip to Africa in 2017.

The aim of the prize is to support and inspire the next generation of African entrepreneurs who are building a more sustainable and inclusive economy for the future.

In its inaugural year, nearly 10,000 entrepreneurs from 50 countries across the continent applied. The Jack Ma Foundation has committed to running the competition for 10 years.

The finale event, called “Africa’s Business Heroes,” was held in Accra, Ghana, where the top 10 finalists pitched their businesses directly to four prestigious judges including Jack Ma, Founder of Alibaba Group and the Jack Ma Foundation;

Strive Masiyiwa, Founder and Executive Chairman of Econet Group; Ibukun Awosika, Chairman of First Bank of Nigeria and Founder/CEO of The Chair Centre Group; and Joe Tsai, Executive Vice Chairman of Alibaba were the judges.

The top three finalists were: Temie Giwa-Tubosun, founder and CEO, (Nigeria) – First Place, winning US$250,000.

Second Place place was Dr. Omar Sakr, founder and CEO, Nawah-Scientific (Egypt), winning US$150,000.

Christelle Kwizera, founder, Water Access Rwanda (Rwanda) was at third Place, winning US$100,000.

“It was an incredible honor to be named Africa’s Business Hero. I was truly inspired by my fellow winners at today’s Netpreneur Summit.” said Temie Giwa-Tubosun, Founder and CEO of LifeBank.

“The Africa Netpreneur Prize will give me the resources to grow LifeBank and expand our presence in Nigeria and throughout the rest of Africa. I look forward to continuing my journey to solve problems and make a significant impact on the future of Africa.”

The remaining finalists, who each received US$65,000, are; Waleed Abd El Rahman, CEO-Mumm (Egypt), Ayodeji Arikawe, co-founder, Thrive Agric-(Nigeria), Mahmud Johnson, founder and CEO-J-Palm (Liberia), Kevine Kagirimpundu, co-founder and CEO-UZURI K&Y (Rwanda), Dr. Tosan J. Mogbeyiteren, founder-Black Swan (Nigeria), Chibuzo Opara, co-founder-DrugStoc (Nigeria) and Moulaye Taboure, co-founder and CEO-Afrikrea (Cote D’Ivoire).

“The finalists who competed in ‘Africa’s Business Heroes’ should be an inspiration for Africa and for the world. Each of these entrepreneurs looked at big challenges facing their communities, and saw them as opportunities,” said Jack Ma, Founder of the Alibaba Group and Jack Ma Foundation.

The initiative will host a pitch competition where 10 finalists from across the continent will compete for $1 million in total prize money every year through 2028.