The Anzisha Prize is an initiative by the African Leadership Academy aimed at awarding young entrepreneurs who have developed and implemented innovative solutions to social challenges or started successful businesses within their communities. 12 finalists are selected from across Africa and stand to win an all-expenses paid trip to South Africa to be a part of a week-long entrepreneurship workshop and conference at the African Leadership Academy campus on the outskirts of Johannesburg. The grand prize winners, selected from these finalists, will share prizes worth $75,000 USD.
Our very own Asha Abbas from Tanzania is one of this year’s finalist for the contended prize of being awarded and recognized as Africa’s youngest entrepreneur. At only 17 Asha Abbas is the youngest finalist in the Anzisha competition. Growing up Asha noticed that many young Tanzanians were not getting adequate sex education. Realizing the health risk Tanzanian teenagers face as a result of being ill-informed, and where young Tanzanian women are at a higher risk of contracting HIV than men, she was inspired to found Aurateen.
Aurateen is an online platform which educates teenagers about sex by raising awareness about the health risks–especially with the growing trend of having ‘sugar daddies’. Annually, she hosts two seminars, drawing youth and health practitioners from far and near. They provide counseling services both online and in person, working with medical practitioners and youth experts to educate about STDs and other sexually related topics such as cervical cancer.
Asha’s venture has made many impactful strides within it few years of existence. It presently employs 10 people, her website pulls in over a hundred questions on a regular, and her seminars bring in over 100 participants. Asha intends to expand all over Tanzania, reaching out to over 100,000 teenagers in the next five years. She plans on achieving this by creating interesting youth magazines and establishing a confidential sms response system, increasing the access to sex education among many young people. “Through my project, many teenagers are making wiser decisions knowing the risks, the effects, and how to protect themselves from different sexual health issues.” said Asha Abbas.
Speaking at a farewell ceremony organized by a partner for the Anzisha Prize, Tanzania Private Sector Foundation TPSF Executive Director Mr. Godfrey Simbeye said ” We are very proud of Asha representing Tanzania as a finalist in this year’s competition”. “Asha as the youngest finalist in this year’s competition has shown courage and determination which we would like to see among many more youth in Tanzania, and wish her the best of luck and look towards her return as the winner” he added. Asha is expected to attend to head to Jo’burg South Africa next week to attend Anzisha Accelerator Camp. Tanzania’s first finalist for the competition was Sirjeff Dennis who the same year won the competition back in 2015.