Meet the 2024 Catalyst Grant Winners

Since 2014, Mandela Washington Fellowship Alumni have been investing their time and livelihoods in tackling key challenges across Sub-Saharan Africa.  That’s why, in 2021, the Fellowship launched the Catalyst Grant, which aims to address poverty challenges by scaling proven solutions and providing long-term benefits to communities and countries.

This year, the Fellowship is pleased to award three Catalyst Grants:

  • Temo-Thuo Setho (Agriculture for Humanity) led by Bojosi Antonette Ncube, 2023 Fellowship Alumna from Botswana, addressing agriculture and rural community development
  • Ghana Arrive Safely Campaign, led by Akusoa  Osei-Appaw, 2016 Fellowship Alumna from Ghana, addressing transportation
  • Project EmpowerHERVenture, led by Amara Chineme, 2023 Fellowship Alumna from Kenya, addressing training and support of single mothers

These projects highlight the dedication and impact of changemakers across the continent. We can’t wait to see the impact in their communities and are proud to support their work.

Temo-Thuo Setho

Bojosi Antonette Ncube, a 2023 Alumna from Botswana is an agronomist who founded Temo-Thuo Setho (Agriculture for Humanity).  Using agriculture as the tool for rural community development, her project, Peo-Boswa (Seeds of Heritage), aims to support small scale farmers by providing millet and sorghum seeds, along with locally manufactured fertilizers.  These resources will be distributed during the ploughing season through an agricultural pop-up store by Bojosi and her Catalyst Grant team.  During the off-season, the same pop-up store will transform into an Information Service Desk.  Initially, Peo-Boswa will assist 100 small scale farmers in Chobe Enclave of Botswana, a region renowned for its scenic safari experiences.  The project’s medium-term goal is to extend support to 1,000 farmers across the country.

Ghana Arrive Safely Campaign

Akusoa Osei-Appaw, a 2016 Alumna from Ghana leads the Ghana Arrive Safely campaign, which won the Catalyst Grant Road Safety Challenge.  Her initiative aims to address road safety challenges by focusing on TroTro drivers, who operate public transportation buses in Greater Accra.  The program will educate passengers about road safety and encourage them to advocate for safe driving practices; and will train the TroTro drivers, equipping them with knowledge and skills to improve their road safety practices.  The campaign leverages social media platforms to disseminate road safety information and raise awareness among the public and Akusoa’s team will collaborate with driver associations and relevant government agencies involved in addressing road safety.  Initially, the campaign will focus on Greater Accra, where nearly half a million daily commuters and drivers rely on TroTro buses.  Within the first three months, they plan to train 1,000 TroTro drivers.  Their longer-term vision is to expand their efforts to the Ashanti and Northern Regions over the next two years.    

Project EmpowerHERVenture

Amara Chineme, a 2023 Alumna from Kenya leads Project EmpowerHERVenture, winning the Poverty Graduation Challenge.  By focusing on training and supporting single mothers with underperforming businesses, the project aims to enhance their financial independence and business performance.  The organization offers entrepreneurial skills training, mentoring, psychosocial support, and market access, crucial to supporting these vulnerable women.  With the Catalyst Grant, Project EmpowerHERVenture will work with up to 100 single mothers from the Thika and Yatta communities of Kiambu County.  Over the next two years, the group intends to scale to over 500 single mothers working in partnership with the Kiambu and Machakos County Governments. 

The Mandela Washington Fellowship and D-Prize are proud to support the recipients of the 2024 Catalyst Grant. It is our hope that not only will they reach their goals, but that their solutions will be transferable to other communities and countries, contributing to solutions across Sub-Saharan Africa.

Learn more about the Catalyst Grant.