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Young, Black Woman Scientist Discovered Pivotal Leprosy Treatment in 1920s But Someone Took the Credit

[The Conversation Africa] Hansen's disease, also called leprosy, is treatable today - and that's partly thanks to a curious tree and the work of a pioneering young scientist in the 1920s. Centuries prior to her discovery, sufferers had no remedy for

  • Apr 16 2024
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Forbes Africa has released its annual 30 Under 30 list, which celebrates the achievements of exceptional young entrepreneurs, innovators, and leaders under the age of 30. This year's list, 2024 Forbes Africa 30 Under 30 list, includes four Kenyans doing exceptional things in different sectors.

1. Alex Mativo, a 29-year-old CEO and Co-founder from Kenya, is involved in multiple ventures including E-LAB, Nanasi, and Duck. E-Lab's core business involves collecting e-waste and transforming it into innovative consumer products. Additionally, the startup creates job opportunities and contributes to cleaning up the environment by preventing the accumulation of potentially cancerous dumped electronics.

2. Ayushi Chandaria, 26, Kenya, Founder, Design Thinking Program (Kenya), Industry: Education. The hub at USIU-Africa aims to empower students with a human-centered approach to problem-solving. Through interdisciplinary education, research, and hands-on experiences, students develop a deep understanding of design principles and methodologies. The center believes in the transformative potential of design thinking and seeks to create a community of empathetic problem solvers.

3. Kenneth M. Njeru, a 25-year-old from Kenya, is the Director and Founder of Africa Afya Healthcare, operating in the health investment services industry. Originally focused on investment acquisitions in the healthcare sector, the company now also provides technological solutions to healthcare facilities. It has forged partnerships with institutions possessing extensive experience to bring world-class services to the continent.

4. Arooj Sheikh, 28, Kenya, Founder and CEO, Beyond Kenyan Bars, Sector: Social development . This is an organization whose mission is to work with women, girls and children impacted by the criminal justice system, to restore dignity and hope for successful reintegration.

The African continent is home to the world's youngest population and greatest growth market, ripe for catalyzing entrepreneurial capitalism at-scale. From over a thousand applicants this year from all around Africa, the finalists were selected after a rigorous vetting process by the editorial team, led by Under 30 curator Chanel Retief, alongside a panel of independent external judges and subject-matter experts such as Mo Abudu, Kate Kallot, Chris Maurice, Dr. Tlaleng Mofokeng, Dr. Helena Ndume, Desiree Ellis, and former Forbes Africa 30 Under 30 alumni.

The 2024 FORBES AFRICA 30 Under 30 list (full list in no specific order)

  • Alex Mativo, 29, Kenya, CEO and Co-founder, E-LAB, Nanasi and Duck, Industry: Multiple ventures.
  • Ann-Kathrin Joos, 28, South Africa, CEO and Founder, Standard Beauty, Industry: Beauty.
  • Vimbai Masiyiwa, 29, Zimbabwe, CEO, Batoka Hospitality, Industry: Tourism.
  • Andrew Ddembe, 28, Uganda, Co-founder and CEO, MobiKlinic, Industry: Healthtech.
  • Chad Jones, 28, South Africa, Social Media Content Creator and Brand Influencer, Industry: Social media.
  • Adedamola Oyinlola Adefolahan (Fireboy DML), 28, Nigeria, Singer-songwriter, Industry: Entertainment.
  • Tyla Laura Seethal, 22, South Africa, Singer-Songwriter, Industry: Entertainment.
  • Ayushi Chandaria, 26, Kenya, Founder, Design Thinking Program (Kenya), Industry: Education.
  • Ama Qamata, 25, South Africa, Actress, Producer, Industry: Entertainment.
  • Daniel Novitzkas, 28, South Africa, Co-founder and Chairman of the Board, Specno, Industry: Software development and technology solutions.
  • Prisca Wegesa Magori, 29, Tanzania, CEO and Co-founder, TenTen Explore and Smart EFD, Industry: Software development.
  • Luke Mostert,27, South Africa, Co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer, CatalyzU, Industry: Venture Capital.
  • Kenneth M. Njeru, 25, Kenya, Director and Founder, Africa Afya Healthcare, Industry: Health investment services Services.
  • Arooj Sheikh, 28, Kenya, Founder and CEO, Beyond Kenyan Bars, Sector: Social development.
  • Cayley Jorgensen, 29, South Africa, CEO and Founder, Ingage Support; Registered Counselor, Sector: Mental health.
  • Hildah Magaia, 29, South Africa, Forward for Mazatlán F.C Femenil and Banyana Banyana, Industry: Sport-football.
  • Victor Osimhen, 25, Nigeria, Footballer and Striker for Super Eagles, Industry: Sport-football.
  • Tobi Amusan, 26, Nigeria, Track and Field Athlete, Industry: Sport - athletics.
  • Damian Willemse, 25, South Africa, Stormers and Springboks Rugby Player, Industry: Sport - rugby.
  • Ricardo Lognath, 29, South Africa, Co-Founder and CEO, Omninela Medical, Industry: Healthcare/E-commerce.
  • Nicolas Lognath, 27, South Africa, Co-Founder and Director, Omninela Medical, Industry: Healthcare/E-commerce.
  • Ruth Erikan James, 29, Nigeria, Founder, Veekee James, Industry: Fashion.
  • Shaun Maswanganyi, 23, South Africa, Track and Field Athlete, Industry: Sport - athletics.
  • Jeremiah Thoronka, 24, Sierra Leone, Founder and CEO, Optim Energy, Sector: Climate change and sustainability (Social Impact).
  • Calvin Usiri, 28, Tanzania, Co-founder and CTO, Ramani, Industry: Geographic Information Systems (GIS).
  • Peace Wutawunashe, 27, Zimbabwe, Founder, Trigershot Engineering, Industry: Solar/Renewable Energy.
  • Esethu Cenga, 29, South Africa, Co-founder and CEO, Rewoven, Industry: Fashion.
  • Josiah Akinloye, 29, Nigeria, Founder and CEO, Mainlogix Technology, Industry: Automation and technology.
  • Abioye Oyetunji, 29, Ghana, Founder and CEO, FXKudi, Industry: Fintech.
  • Nadine Roos, 27, South Africa, South African Rugby Union (Springboks) and Sevens player, Industry: Sport - rugby.

In addition, in honor of the brightest young leaders from the continent and beyond, Forbes will be hosting its third #Under30Summit, an exceptional networking opportunity set to take place in Gaborone, Botswana, from May 5-8. Across four days in Botswana, the most successful, innovative and impact-minded young entrepreneurs and leaders from around the continent and around the globe will convene with featured speakers who will include government officials, venture capitalists, CEOs and celebrities. Activities will include exploration around Gaborone, taking in the scenery, music, cuisine, and local staples of our host country.

(Source: FORBES AFRICA celebrating the 10th edition of its coveted annual 30 Under 30 list in the April/May 2024 issue of the magazine, now available in both print and digital formats.)


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