Rwandan scoops top award at the Youth Connekt summit

David Kinzuzi (centre) emerged the biggest winner and was awarded for his “My Green Home Project” at the just-concluded Youth Connekt Africa Summit in Kigali yesterday. Nadege Imbabazi.

Four young entrepreneurs with outstanding innovations from different African countries were awarded with up to $20,000 (Rwf17.3 million) at the just concluded Youth Connekt Africa Summit.

The four young entrepreneurs are from a list of over 360 applications for this year’s Youth Connekt Africa Awards. They each walked away with $5,000.

The top winners are from Rwanda, Kenya, and Nigeria. David Kinzuzi, a Rwandan behind “My Green Home Project”, scooped the top award.

He was awarded with the ‘Green Growth Innovation Award’ and $5,000 (about Rwf4.3 million).

The environmental conservation project is designed to deal with waste management by recycling waste into fertilisers and pavers.

“I know we don’t have a lot of recycling plants here in Rwanda, and setting up one requires a lot of capital. This will allow us to recycle more plastics and serve many people in Kigali,” Kinzuzi told The New Times after the awarding ceremony.

Charles Umeh, from Nigeria, on the other hand, walked away with a ‘Digital Inclusion Award’ for his “Jaracare” project. The project addresses poor access to quality healthcare among people in remote areas in Nigeria.

Emma Stella Gakuo, a Kenyan-based female young entrepreneur, won the award for the ‘Pioneers for Prosperity’ and walked away with a dummy cheque of $5,000. Gakuo’s project is a “Maziwa plus Cooling System”.

“Generally being selected as a finalist is a validation of what we are doing as a group and we are grateful for that. This also means that we shall be able to continue our production to reach our markets better,” Gakuo said.

Her project offers cooling solutions to dairy farmers, providing them with mobile solar-powered transit system that are mounted on motorbikes to ensure that milk is delivered safely from farms to dairies.

The entrepreneur seeks to cut milk harvest losses in her country, and, together with her colleagues, they now operate in two counties in Kenya.

Russell Osah, from Nigeria, went away with the ‘Social Inclusion Award’. He wants to build 10,000 affordable houses in Nigeria within the next five years using local materials.