25 Young African Leaders Honored for their Social InnovationsRead All Posts
An Algerian youth who developed a mobile solution for improving eye health care and a young leader in Burundi who is economically empowering youth with disabilities are among 25 accomplished social entrepreneurs who were recently honored as Innove4Africa fellows.
Innove4Africa is a member of the International Youth Foundation’s (IYF) YouthActionNet® global network, which comprises 18 leadership development institutes supporting young social innovators in countries and regions across the globe. The program is part of a regional collaboration between IYF, The MasterCard Foundation, and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and is managed by the Synapse Center, IYF’s local partner in Senegal.
The fellows were selected from 14 Francophone African countries, and will receive advanced leadership training, networking support, coaching, and financing through their participation in the Innove4Africa program. Other fellow-led innovations include the development of video games to teach African history in Senegal, efforts to combat malnutrition in Togo through mushroom cultivation, and the use of music therapy to help those with chronic diseases in Tunisia.
Innove4Africa, one of three institutes established in Africa over the past year, is part of IYF’s ongoing efforts to create one of the world’s largest networks of young social entrepreneurs.
“While we often hear about the challenges facing the African continent and its young people, the Innove4Africa Fellows tell a different story,” said Deepali Khanna, Director of Youth Learning at The MasterCard Foundation. “These 25 young entrepreneurs are tackling their communities’ greatest challenges in health, education, social and economic inclusion, and the environment. They are building prosperous and more equitable communities and changing the narrative of the continent.”
“We are thrilled to welcome these exceptional young innovators—all founders or co-founders of social ventures with tremendous impact potential—to the YouthActionNet global community,” said IYF President and CEO Bill Reese. “With our trusted partner Synapse Center, we are able to bring young African social entrepreneurs together with each other for the first time to offer leadership development and continuing education opportunities in support of their projects.” The 25 Fellows who convened in Senegal join a community of over 900 young people leading positive change in 83 countries.
“Bringing YouthActionNet to Africa is an incredible opportunity for us,” said Ciré Kane, Founder and Director of Synapse Center. “When you bring together like-minded young leaders from diverse backgrounds, the chemistry and the energy make for a truly unique and unforgettable learning environment.”