By Elias Hakizimana.
In line with boosting youth talents and innovations, the City of Kigali in partnership with 1000 Alternatives Rwanda youth based-funded Programme have on June 18, 2020 awarded best three projects of youth in order to let them flourish as far as home grown solutions are concerned.
Best winners are three top finalists who scored the most points across all stages of the competition dubbed ‘ImpactReimagined Rwanda 2019/2020’. The awards include RWF 2,000,000/- as a cash prize for the first prize, RWF 1,500,000/- as a cash prize for the second prize and RWF 1,000,000 as a cash prize for the third prize.
Eric Safari, the founder of Aquasafi Ltd the company that deals with improving fish productivity by treating water quality is the winner of 1000 Alternatives Rwanda competition. This young man invented a device that is useful for fish productivity.
He said that his innovation will help to reduce the loss in fish productivity as their device will be able to check the water and cover all the losses that may happen.
“Aquasafi, we are here to give the device to the fish farmers to be able to check the water and to cover all the losses that may happen. We have started to experience that for the fish farmers in Bugesera and Nyanza districts, and their feedback is very warming,” safari said, adding that the device has the capacity to alert the fish farmer if any problem is going to happen.
The device is affordable for the fish farmers and can notify them at any time for example if the water is going to be abnormal for fish health.
Athman Ali, Chief Executive Officer of 1000 Alternatives Rwanda said that the programme is to support youth businesses to thrive to another level.
“This programme does not end up here, this ceremony aims at recognizing the milestone of youth projects and to award the top three winners, there are 15 teams in this competition, the top three have been here and have been awarded and we plan to award more in coming days to make sure their companies are flourishing,” he said.
1000 Alternatives is an entrepreneurship support, consulting and impact-investing firm focused on sub-Saharan Africa and South East Asia. Working with partners, 1000 Alternatives is developing the following cross-continental platforms: an emerging markets venture fund, a global founders’ network, an investors’ summit and a deal flow platform for profit-driven, impact-sustaining youth-led and women-led businesses.
1000 Alternatives has two divisions; the impact investment division and the consulting division. Under its impact investing division, 1000 Alternatives invests in companies and projects whose products and services create large-scale profit and large-scale impact towards better industry and trade, better education, better health, better housing, better agribusiness and better cities in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.
Umutoni Gatsinzi Nadine, the Vice Mayor of City of Kigali in charge of Socio-economic Affairs has welcomed the initiative, affirming that the seed capital given to the winners will help to implement their projects.
“This is a good beginning that will help you to further your projects’ development; it is a good initiative on your younger age to think about the projects that benefit the country. Your creativity will undoubtedly give jobs to other people. We wish that you will be supporting other projects in coming days.” Umutoni said.
She lauded the efforts employed by 1000 Alternatives Rwanda to give seed capital to creative and innovative projects as many other youth will take a lesson from these young innovators.
Since 2018, every year, 1000 Alternatives runs an impact venture competition together with partners and sponsors. In 2018, 1000 Alternatives, the Swahili Pot Hub and 1M Startups mooted and ran the #PIWPitch venture competition at the Pwani Innovation Week at Mombasa, Kenya. From December 2019, 1000 Alternatives ran the #ImpactReimagined venture competition in Kigali with the endorsement and support of the City of Kigali.
#ImpactReimagined Rwanda 2019/2020 is a unique competition that rewards teams of innovators who use cutting edge technologies to create profit-driven and impact-sustaining ventures that deliver opportunities for better education, better health, better agribusiness, better access to markets and better technology forhousing and cities for the City of Kigali and the wider Rwanda.
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