King Baudouin Foundation Awards 2016-2017 African Development Prize

The Brussels-based King Baudouin Foundation has announced the 2016-17 winners of the King Baudouin African Development Prize.

The biennial prize recognizes the outstanding achievements of young African tech-entrepreneurs who are driving social change across the continent. By empowering those at the heart of social enterprise, the prize seeks to promote a model of global development that views entrepreneurship and local leadership, rather than traditional aid, as the key to sustainable change. For the first time, the prize, which includes an award of €75,000 (approximately $84,000) for each organization as well as access to a network of stakeholders, will be awarded to three organizations in recognition of the growing number of socially minded tech-entrepreneurs living and working on the continent.

The winners of this year's prize are Gerald Abila, the founder of Uganda-based Barefoot Law, the first online, pro bono legal service in East Africa; Alloysius Attah, the co-founder of Ghana-based Farmerline, which connects more than two hundred thousand farmers to market information, peers, and more established organizations; and Tonee Ndungu, founder of Kenya-based Kytabu, which has developed an innovative textbook content-leasing app for students that makes school-reading accessible to eleven million students in Kenya.

"By enabling local, creative initiatives focused on social good...we promote a culture of self-sufficiency and empowerment, not dependency," said King Baudouin Foundation chair Thomas Leysen. "Traditional foreign aid and [private donations] have proven their limits if what we want is to create long-term change on the continent. The foundation believes in recognizing and supporting local entrepreneurs who are passionate about finding solutions to local development challenges. Our winners have set a new precedent on how technology can change lives across Africa."