In 2014, Benjelloun spearheaded the African Entrepreneurship Award during Global Entrepreneurship Summit which was held in Marrakech. The award was officially launched in 2015, and during the third edition of the awards in 2017, the organizers take pride in over 12, 000 project proposals that have been presented. The main aim of hosting this event is to motivate the spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation in Africa.
Christelle Kwizera Awarded in the Innovation Category
Presently, 132 countries have sent their representatives to give proposals, and all the 54 African states have submitted various proposals. The organization has kept a clear record of over 112 young entrepreneurs who have been trained and mentored from this program.
During the recently concluded 2017 awards, Christelle Kwizera from Rwanda was one of the participants who won price worth $50,000. She participated in the innovation category since she developed VOMA Groundwater Solar Kiosks which purifies and distributes drinking water to vulnerable communities.
The total prizes awarded during BMCE BANK of Africa African Entrepreneurship Award were worth $1 million, and the amount was distributed among 12 winners. Out of the $1 million, eight participants were given $100, 000 seed capital while the other four received $50, 000.
Those who participated were among 40 individuals from 19 African states who participated in a bootcamp which was held between 6th and 10th December 2017.
The Lucky winners
The eight individuals who won the main prize included a Kenyan Adan Mohammed, Kwame Ababio from Ghana, Allen Kimambo from Tanzania, Paul Bartels and Louise Williamson both from South Africa, Flavien Simo from Cameron, Sylvester Mujakperuo and Folashade Amusa from Nigeria.
The other three individuals who were awarded $50,000 in the innovation category included the Ugandan Geoffrey Ssekatawa, Meryam El Ouafi and Badr Idrissi from Morocco.
The winners were selected from a sober bench of judges led by Brahim Benjelloun Touimi, the BMCE Bank of Africa Group executive managing director, Othman Benjelloun, the Chairman of BMCE Bank of Africa. He was assisted by Marie Paul Niat, a Cameroonian entrepreneur, John-Bernard Duler, a French-American investor and entrepreneur, and, Gong Li, ex-chairman of Accenture, China.