2023 JA Africa Company of the Year (COY) Competition

December 2023 Kigali, Rwanda

The Tomorrow Foundation participated in the 2023 JA Africa Company of the Year (COY) Competition, held in Kigali, Rwanda, from December 6 to 8, 2023. This event brought together finalist teams comprising high school entrepreneurs from 10 African countries who underwent training through the Company Program.

During the competition, 40 young students showcased their business projects, products, and services in various segments, including presenting their company reports, pitching on stage, and engaging in a trade fair.

The award ceremony, held on Friday, December 8, 2023, commenced with captivating local dance and music performances that infused a vibrant and positive energy into the event. Team MI Tech from Zimbabwe claimed the 1st prize for their innovative virtual reality environment. This platform enables students without access to scientific labs to conduct experiments, thereby supporting their learning. As winners, they earned the opportunity to compete globally against victors from five other continents at JA Worldwide’s Ralph De la Vega Global Entrepreneurship competition.

The 2nd prize was awarded to AID Electronics from Ghana for their inventive product—a solar-powered bag that efficiently heats food anywhere without the need for a microwave or oven. The 3rd prize was secured by the South African team Unwind, creators of a protective device for cellphone chargers.

All the participating teams stood as authentic examples of the creativity and determination inherent in African youth. They served as a poignant reminder of the significance of experiential learning, empowerment, and the promotion of entrepreneurship.

During her address, Simi Nwogugu, President and CEO of JA Africa, emphasized the empowerment of Africa's youth, stating, "At JA Africa, we firmly believe in the potential of Africa's future. We must equip Africa's youth to envision themselves as CEOs and global leaders from as early as ages 14, 15, or 16. By doing so, by the time they assume leadership positions at 25 or 26, they will do so fearlessly."

About the Company Program

The Company Program serves as an entrepreneurship development initiative engaging 30,000 high school students in acquiring the fundamental skills required to manage a business. Through this program, students gain hands-on experience in understanding the inner workings of a company. They form a board of directors chosen from their peers, raise share capital, and take charge of marketing and financing a product or service of their choosing.  Over a thousand student-run companies vie for success at provincial and national levels, aiming for the opportunity to represent their respective countries in Africa's largest high school pitch competition at a continental level.

For a duration of five years, the Tomorrow Foundation actively supported the Company Program. Presently, it extends its support to JA DEEP, the digital adaptation of the Company Program."

Photo gallery (click to enlarge)