Atlas Network announces the finalists in the 2019 Think Tank Shark Tank-Africa competition, which will be held during Africa Liberty Forum in Nairobi, Kenya. Three think tank professionals will pitch their projects to a panel of judges, showcasing some of the region’s most exciting new liberty-advancing projects. The competition is sponsored by the Smith Family Foundation, and the winner will receive $10,000 in seed funding for the project.
The finalists are John Mustapha (Students’ Organization for Liberty and Entrepreneurship, Sudan), Aimable Manirakiza (Center for Development and Enterprises Great Lakes, Burundi), and Evans Badu Boampong ( Institute for Liberty and Policy Innovation (ILAPI), Ghana).
John Mustapha, Executive Director/Founder, Students’ Organization for Liberty and Entrepreneurship (SOLE)
Project: Rights of South Sudanese Women to Own Property
In South Sudan, women are withheld from owning private property due to cultural barriers put in place by their male counterparts. Through this project, SOLE would like to educate and empower 1500 women from various institutions and professions to defend and learn about their rights to acquire, own, and utilize the property for economic development. SOLE also hopes to conduct a widespread awareness campaign that includes a series of community meetings, radio talk shows, and informative seminars.
John Mustapha Kutiyote is the Executive Director and Founder of SOLE. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree and a diploma in Business Administration and an advanced certificate in Public Administration and Community Service. He believes that pursuing and advancing a free, peaceful, and entrepreneurial society in South Sudan are his purposes in life as a libertarian.
Aimable Manirakiza, Founder and Chief Executive Director, Center for Development and Enterprises Great Lakes (CDE-Great Lakes)
Project: Free My Business Free Mind
In Burundi, the government often creates conditions that are unfavorable for small & medium entrepreneurs by imposing unnecessary fines, and in some cases, imprisoning business owners. Through this project, CDE-Great Lakes will conduct a research study that will highlight the obstacles faced by entrepreneurs, run a five-day training course that will educate business owners on their rights, and raise awareness of the unfair business climate through media campaigns.
Aimable Manirakiza is the Founder and Chief Executive Director of the Center for Development and Enterprises Great Lakes; Member of the Executive Committee of SFL in Africa. He is a former student of Atlas Network’s Think Tank Navigator and other Atlas Leadership Academy programs. Manirakiza holds bachelor's degrees in Political Science and International Relations from the University of Bujumbura, and he is currently a Master's candidate in the Faculty of International Business Law.
Evans Badu Boampong, Vice-President and Director of Research, Institute for Liberty and Policy Innovation (ILAPI)
Project: Removing Export Monopoly on Ghana’s Cocoa Sector
The government of Ghana has monopolized the sale and export of cocoa beans for over 30 years. Due to this protectionist policy, farmers are forced to sell their produce at lower costs—leaving many unable to make a profit. ILAPI hopes to remove these barriers by working directly with farmers in informative group discussions, reaching the general population through a series of media campaigns, and creating a petition to repeal the protectionist laws.
Evans Badu Boampong is the Vice-President and Director of Research at the Institute for Liberty and Policy Innovation, Ghana (ILAPI) and a graduate with BSC in Applied Biology from the University for Development Studies, Ghana. He has lectured Biology and Integrated Science in a number of schools. He lecturers at Dimension College and Brains College in Accra, Ghana. He is also a social commentator and is passionate about leadership, public policy advocacy, health, and scientific innovation.