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5 social impact lessons from the Äänit Prize Judges

Young African Magazine

5 social impact lessons from the Äänit Prize Judges

The Äänit Prize Awards, hosted on the 17th of September 2022, were an exciting event showcasing African ingenuity and expertise. Before the results were announced, each finalist had a chance to ask a question of one to the panel of judges who are all senior experts in their fields. Here is some of what they had to share.

Published 23 September 2022

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On creating like-minded networks:

Tell your story. There is a lot of innovation happening in Africa and we are not good at talking about it. Humility is one of the core values in Africa and we believe in just doing your work quietly and people will notice. Well, that doesn't always work. Don't be afraid to tell your story. – Muloongo Muchelemba

On funding your ideas:

Inventors should use the same innovative and imaginative spirit they apply to problem-solving aspects of ventures to the payment side of it too. -Elliot Gerson

On banks investing in new ideas:

When you have a “development finance” hat on, you need to also see yourself as being part of whatever risks that are associated with the entity so you are able to take those risks with the entrepreneur. I don't think we see enough innovative ideas from the financial sector really coming on board to make sure there is enough support for entrepreneurs. – Peggy-Sue Khumalo

On guaranteeing the sustainability of your business:

You have to be flexible. You know your objectives, you know where you're going but you also know that the path that you set out for yourself, even if you had the best business plan, might need to be ripped up and started from scratch. You have to really be focused on reality and have your ears open and look at the political factors and economic factors. – Salif Niang

On bringing renewable energy to remote communities:

It starts with the government. They play a very critical role. Yes, entrepreneurs also play a role, but unless the regulatory environment is conducive it will be difficult to make the impact that you want to have. – Rethabile Melamu

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