Africa’s Think Tank Shark Tank is a regional competition aimed at supporting innovation in the promotion of liberty. Three professionals pitch their programs to a panel of judges, for a chance to win $5,000 in seed funding for their pitch project.
Thanks to the generous support of the Smith Family Foundation Think Tank Shark Tank was held during the Africa Liberty Forum on Friday August 24th in Lagos, Nigeria.
Winner: Free Enterprise Fellows
Denis Foretia, Senior Fellow, Nkafu Policy Institute
Project: Free Enterprise Fellows
The Nkafu Policy Institute is seeking funding for its project to educate and train the next thought leaders in Cameroon. The greatest challenge to free enterprise policies in Cameroon is the lack of credible, talented and experienced policy scholars. This program will begin to fundamentally change that through an intensive week long course on free enterprise, policy formulation and engagement.
"Winning this shark tank competition will be a major first step in our goal to move Cameroon away from government-led socialist policies to a country where free enterprise and economic freedoms are the backbone of the society."
Dr. Foretia is co-chair of the Denis & Lenora Foretia Foundation and Senior Fellow at the Nkafu Policy Institute, a leading Cameroonian think tank. Along with co-chair Lenora Ebule, he shapes and approves strategy, advocates for the foundation, and helps set the overall direction. A surgeon by training, Foretia has always been involved in philanthropic activities and issues related to international development.
Nathan Tjirimuje, Founding President, Chevauchee Foundation
Project: Schools Enterprise Challenge
The Chevauchee Foundation is seeking funding for their project to help underprivileged Namibians succeed in school. By championing innovative learning techniques, it hopes to help more students graduate, and become entrepreneurs and leaders within their communities.
“The end of apartheid in Namibia ushered in a new era of democracy, rule of law and tolerance. But the legacy of poor education for the black majority under apartheid threatens all of this with very low matric pass rates of below 50% for students from previously disadvantaged and resulting unemployment amongst youth of 42%. This is a ticking time bomb for any country and for a country with Namibia’s history it is a calamity just waiting to happen. Innovative programs such as our Schools Enterprise Challenge can help change this dynamic by creating entrepreneurs and future leaders with experiential learning techniques and giving schools in underprivileged communities discretionary income to invest in better facilities.”
Nathan Tjirimuje is the Foundation President of the Chevauchee Foundation. At only 17 years of age, he co-founded the Hengarihoff Group of water management companies. In 2014 he left to complete his BA and strengthen the work of the Chevauchee Foundation, which was founded as a result of Nathan’s experiences with the nefarious effects of corruption working with water utilities across Africa. Currently the Chevauchee Foundation runs a program for high school learners and provides reading materials to around 3,500 people. In addition, the foundation recently conducted the first ever Economic Freedom Audit of Namibia.
Olumayowa Okeduran, Assistant Director of International Programs, African Students for Liberty
Project: Freedom Writers’ Fellowship Program
African Students for Liberty is seeking funding for their The Freedom Writers' Fellowship Program. While there are hundreds of active volunteers in African Students For liberty who are skilled in student organizing and advocating for the ideas of liberty, there is a deficiency with respect to the writing skills of many students. While effectively organizing student groups and events is very important, it is also very important for students to have great writing skills, so as to communicate the ideas of liberty. This is why this project is very important, it fills that skills gap. Students who complete the program will be invited as fellows of African Liberty. As fellows, their articles would be syndicated widely with media partners across the continent, thereby reaching many more thousand readers with their arguments for individual and economic freedom.
“The Freedom Writer's Fellowship Program will identify and train young writers and journalists for liberty across Africa. The program will take already effective idea leaders and take them to the next level as action leaders defending individual and economic freedom for all Africans.”
Olumayowa is the West Africa Policy Fellow at South Africa’s top political and economic think-tank, the Institute of Race Relations and Founding Partner at the War Room Associates. He serves as Assistant Director of International Programs at the world’s largest youth movement for human freedom – Students For Liberty. He was listed on the 2016 YNaija PowerList as one of the most influential young Nigerians under 40 and nominated for the 2016 Future Awards Africa in Advocacy, an award the World Bank calls the "Nobel Prize for Young Africans." Olumayowa was educated at the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta and completed a Masters degree in Humanitarian and Refugee Studies at the University of Ibadan. He is an alumnus of the Atlas Think Tank MBA. He also holds professional certification in Strategic Foresight from the University of Houston and in Financial Journalism from the Gordon School of Business Science, University of Pretoria. He is the Author of Navigate: A Prospection of Nigeria's Future to 2030.
Left: June Arunga Kimani (Usafi Comfort, Kenya), Kofi Bentil (Lex Praxis Incorporated, Ghana), and Tom Palmer (Atlas Network, US).
Panel of judges:
- Kofi Bentil, Lex Praxis Incorporated, Ghana
- Linda Edwards, UK
- June Arunga Kimani, Usafi Comfort, Kenya
- Tom Palmer, Atlas Network, US