Startups::UNICEF Promotes Youth Entrepreneurship

The Cameroon selection for the continental contest in Casablanca, Morocco next June held in Yaounde on April 18, 2019.

Four Cameroonian startups were on April 18, 2019 in Yaounde retained for the Seventh Hub Africa entrepreneurial competition from June 12-13, 2019 in Casablanca, Morocco, on the theme, “Open innovation at the service of Small and Medium-size Enterprises.” The two-day contest, before an international jury of 10, was conducted by Dèsiré Mankan II, Chief Executive Officer of Africa Business Solutions, ABS.

The Hub Africa selection contest was patronized by the United Nations Children Fund, UNICEF, whose concern is also to see children and young people grow into future entrepreneurs. UNICEF envisions a world where no child dies from a preventable cause, but for all children to reach their full potential in health and well-being – especially income-generating activities that uplift their standards of living as well as create jobs for others. It will be Cameroon’s third participation in the continental entrepreneurial competition. Of the over 80 applicants, 17 startups were shortlisted for the competition. The winners were Aissata Ibamie, Dr Diana Mfondoum, Serge Zambo and Danielle Akini. Akini’s Genius Centre presented an e-learning interactive platform whereby children aged 4 to 17 years learn how to create video games, robot systems, android applications, etc. “In this way, children create content with computers instead of simply watching games,” she explained. Market studies began in 2014, but the startup was incorporated in 2017.

Aissata Ibamie’s Food Boiler uses sand. After boiling food on gas, firewood or stove for 5 to 8 minutes, it is then placed in the device which preserves heat and does the rest of the cooking within 45 minutes. “The food does not get burnt. While boiling is going on, the user can go about their household chores,” Aissata explained. Dr Diana Mfondoum’s startup deals with Moringa Tea, which handles cases of malnourished HIV patients on anti-retroviral treatment as well as cures diabetes, hypertension and other pathologies. According to her, the startup began in September 2018 and already has high demand for Moringa Tea. Serge Zambo, on the other hand, invented the Pocket Recovery Phone, PRP electronic device. It is connected to a telephone through Bluetooth. If the phone is misplaced or stolen, the device – which is kept aside of the telephone - immediately sets off an alarm. “The phone will keep on ringing, but the thief cannot do anything as it is blocked,” Zambo explained. The application was developed a year and half ago.

“The level of competition this year was higher. This is why Hub Africa accorded Cameroon four places in the contest next June in Morocco. Unlike the other 17 African nations that have three places each. The other achievement is that we now have a partnership with the incubator of the National Advanced School of Engineering, Yaounde (Polytechnic) to mentor all 17 candidates shortlisted this year for Hub Africa,” Dèsiré Mankan II disclosed.

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