The Äänit Prize supports initiatives that can deliver positive social impact for Africa’s most marginalised populations. The competition is open to alumni of the Mandela Rhodes Scholarship and the Rhodes Scholarship. The Mandela Rhodes Foundation (MRF) seek businesses or non-profit projects that will deliver social impact, that are feasible and sustainable prospects, and that are run by people with the capability to succeed.
Äänit means “common work” or “joint effort” in the language Koalib, a minority language spoken in Sudan. This name speaks to MRF belief in coming together to take collective responsibility for Africa’s future. It was also chosen to highlight our continent’s linguistics.
Requirements for the The Mandela Rhodes Foundation (MRF) Äänit Prize
Entrants must be Mandela Rhodes Alumni (any year from 2005 onwards) or Rhodes Scholar Alumni (from 2005 onwards).
Entrants must demonstrate that they are contributing (or will contribute) to one of the below impact areas in Africa.
Entrants must be founders, co-founders or members of the executive team of the business or organisation which they are entering.
Any model and stage
Non-Profit and For-Profit initiatives are both eligible. Initiatives at different stages of development can apply.
Successful candidates will be expected to stay with their projects for two years from the time of the award.
Method of Application:
Step 1: Indicate interest (17-27 May 2022)
Submit a short motivation explaining why your project, business, or idea is socially impactful. Tell us how you plan to realise it and why you’re the perfect person/team that has what it takes to make it happen. Don’t self exclude — we’ve designed this part of the process to make applying quick, easy and approachable.
Step 2: Wait to be invited to apply
We will review all of the indications of interest and then invite 30 candidates to submit full applications. We will let you know if you are not successful.
Step 3: Submit your application (10 June 2022 – 11 July 2022)
Submit your application. This will include a written project statement, a project /business plan (maximum of 12 pages) and relevant supporting documents. The 30 applications will be evaluated by reviewers with relevant experience and expertise.
Step 4: Prepare to pitch
The longlisted candidates will be invited to an interview in the week of 22 August, which will include a short pitch that builds on the value proposition of your written application.
Step 5: Iterate and improve
The candidates who go through to the final round will receive written comments. They will have 48 hours to improve their proposals and record a two-minute pitch to submit.
Step 6: Winners decided
The shortlisted candidates’ applications will be sent to an external, independent panel of judges. They will make a final decision on how many winners to choose, and how to allocate the prize money.
The winners will be informed and then announced publicly at a celebration on the 17th of September 2022.
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