Uganda’s Bed Mot Wins Inaugural AfrInnovate Youth Challenge, Securing $6,000 Seed Funding

The inaugural AfrInnovate Youth Challenge (AYC) has concluded on a high note, with Uganda’s Bed Mot standing out and crowned AYC of the Year. The event, organized by JA Africa and Z Zurich Foundation, celebrated exceptional social enterprise innovation and showcased the immense potential of Africa’s youth in addressing pressing challenges.

The AYC, the culminating event of the JA-ZZF Social Equity Program, was held online on Thursday, January 18, and was a resounding success, bringing together young minds from Côte d’Ivoire, South Africa, and Uganda. It served as a platform to recognize and reward innovative solutions addressing local community needs related to social equity, climate action, and mental well-being.

Bed Mot secured the top position with their groundbreaking project their innovative project, which creates bricks from plastic waste and tackles plastic pollution, one of the biggest environmental concerns in Africa. They impressed the distinguished panel of judges and demonstrated a clear path toward creating sustainable change in their community and beyond. They took home seed funding of $6,000, an investment to further propel them on their journey as social entrepreneurs.

SUMMARY OF AWARD WINNERS:

  • AYC of the Year Award –Bed Mot (Uganda)
  • Innovation Award – Bed Mot (Uganda)
  • Impact Award – Red Heart (Cote d’Ivoire)
  • Volunteer of the Year Award – Valerie Lebrun
  • Facilitators of the Year Award – Serge Ouattara (Côte d’Ivoire), Zayd Julius (South Africa), Linda Abeja (Uganda)

The urgency of empowering young people to be innovative job creators rather than job seekers is now more important than ever as twelve million youth compete for three million jobs annually; leading to what is now referred to as youth Not in Education, Employment, or Training (NEET). This challenge, addressed by JA Africa and ZZF through the Social Equity Program (SEP), is currently running in Cote d’Ivoire, South Africa, and Uganda. The program will further expand this year to Burkina Faso, DR Congo, Tanzania, and Togo, empowering 27,600 post-secondary youth, aged 16-25, with a focus on reducing youth unemployment in Africa. SEP equips these young individuals with the entrepreneurship and employability skills required to access employment opportunities.

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