JA Africa Company of the Year (COY) Competition, Africa’s largest high school entrepreneurship competition, returns for its 12th edition

December 2022 Lagos, Nigeria

As a historical sponsor and instigator of the award dedicated to technology and innovation, Tomorrow Foundation participated in the 12th edition of the JA Africa Company of the Year competition, the largest entrepreneurship competition for high school students in Africa. It was the great post-covid return of physical competition after two years of virtual sessions. Holding the event in person was a great reminder that nothing could replace real events for sharing emotions and creating bonds between people. The event was held in Lagos from 7 to 9 December under the theme “Fueling Changemakers”.

This year, nine student start-ups, all winners of their respective national competitions, came to represent their country in the final to win the grand prize and the signature prizes. These were teams from Eswatini, Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The teams redoubled their efforts to highlight their project to the members of the jury during the presentation of their report, the pitch on stage, and the fair, demonstrating professionalism, determination and impressive creativity for their young age. The Foundation also noted the prominent place and leadership qualities of young girls in the finalist teams.

Tomorrow Foundation awarded its innovation prize associated with a $1,000 endowment to the Hekima Inc. team from Zimbabwe for their educational application that connects teachers, students and parents to discuss, exchange documents, carry out exercises, planning activity… Their leadership and the exceptional quality of their productions were decisive in this choice. To present the prize, Tomorrow Foundation had brought Joeboy, rising star of Afrobeat in Africa and idol of many young people and his presence was very warmly welcomed by the public. The prize was initially to be presented by Mr. Eazi, friend and partner of the Foundation, African music star and renowned entrepreneur, but there was an impediment.

The Hekima Inc. team also received the final grand prize and will therefore participate in the global competition of Company of the Year winners from 5 other continents to hope to win a prize of $15,000, educational opportunities and many other advantages. The 2nd and 3rd prize winners were respectively Green Apex from Nigeria for their reusable and biogradable sanitary wipes and Time Out from Eswatini for their remote power manager.

During its 3 days, the representative of Tomorrow Foundation Mr. Denis Daronnat participated in the press conference where he recalled the exceptional potential of Africa in terms of digitalization and its ability to play a leading role in the technological race. world. He also participated in an outing with the students and a gala dinner with the members of the board of directors of JA Africa, where he had the pleasure of meeting again Mr. Asheesh Advani, CEO of JA Worldwide and getting to know better Simi Nwogugu, CEO of JA Africa. The Foundation also invited Mr. Khalil Halilu, serial entrepreneur very active in social impact in Nigeria and Mle. Elizabeth Serrano who multiplies charitable projects in the field of health and sustainable agriculture so that they discover the work of the Foundation and meet the teams of JA Africa.

The event also gave the opportunity to listen to many speeches including that of Simi Nwogugu who recalled the support of Tomorrow Foundation for 5 years and the fact that we had been the only foundation with Citi Foundation to continue to support them during the Covid period. Finally, keynote speaker Uche Pedro, founder and CEO of Bella Naija, entertainment and lifestyle media technology brand, highlighted the quality of children's work and Mr. Charles Olumuyiwa Moyela, Board Member of JA Africa, reminded that there is still a long way to go for JA to be in the 54 African countries and that he hoped that JA could expand to 5 to 6 new countries in the next 5 to 10 years.

Tomorrow Foundation wishes once again to thank all the Junior Achievement teams for the quality of the organization and their good humor, the other sponsors, the participating teams and their mentors and teachers, the volunteers and all the other guests of the event.

Photo gallery (click to enlarge)