Anne Githuku-Shongwe Fellow 2011
Living in: Pretoria — South Africa
Venture: Afroes Transformational Games
Transforming Africa through digital media
Operating in: Sub-Saharan Africa
Impact Area: Children and Youth, Democracy and Governance, Education,...
"Afro-optimist, innovator, bridge-builder, mother, courageous"
Describe yourself briefly.
I am a passionate Afro-optimist and mother of 3, I am committed to seeking innovative solutions to empower Africa's future leaders including through interactive digital media
Describe your Unreasonable Venture in 100 words or less.
Afroes develops innovative digital media solutions to respond to social issues & build mindsets of possibility in Africa
Describe your relevant experience (especially entrepreneurial).
My mother has run numerous enterprises in Kenya since my teenage years. These have ranged from coffee farming and processing, shoe retail, wholesale clothing, fast food and wholesale foods. From age 16 I assisted her with procurement, logistics, stock management, sales and accounts. Personally, I have worked as a Project Leader on numerous development projects all requiring innovative strategies, unique and effective solutions; fundraising and mobilisation of partners. Though my experience is primarily in the development space, I find that these skills are applicable to the business requiring the same skills: strategy, sales and marketing, defining solutions and partnership development.
Why is your team uniquely qualified to run this venture?
As the lead in this business, I have the vision, passion and network to ensure that Afroes succeeds. I have a Masters degree in International Development Management with communication electives & have served as a Policy Advisor and Manager of Development Projects for over 20 years.
Tom leads on operations and has an MBA from SAID Business School and has successfully developed and managed 3 start-ups in China and Kenya.
Phil leads on technology and innovation. He has a degree in Politics & International Relations, is a self-taught technology expert and has lived & worked in China as a Journalist and led projects on live fiction and cross-cultural dialogues.
Mxolisi Xaba leads on Creative and User Engagement. Mx has a degree in fine arts & graphic design, is experienced in youth & mobile.
What is the urgent social or environmental need you're addressing?
Leadership Mindsets: Afroes mission is to inspire new choices and conversations amongst African youth, to seek innovative development solutions and change future prospects for good governance. Afroes interactive digital solutions are rooted in locally relevant content designed to celebrate Africa while solving social challenges.
Service Delivery and Social Issues : Afroes partners with governments and social agencies to design innovative responses to social challenges like children's rights, HIV/AIDS, Gender Based Violence (GBV), conflict and disaster mitigation.
Investments to Africa: Through positively branded African content we hope to change perceptions and encourage global investments for Africa's development.
What is your solution to this need? Describe your business strategy.
Afroes develops powerful social messaging campaign packages using mobile gaming as the primary new media tool complemented by SMS technology -- both very popular with our youth target market. Afroes partners with organisations with an aligned mission and builds a tailored campaign that focuses on the positive rather then negative messaging, using locally relevant content - music, graphics, characters -- and makes learning cool and fun. Afroes is also targeting businesses that are keen to reach young people with positive messaging through its new media, interactive campaign packages.
In partnership with investors or larger Corporates, Afroes plans to create a dynamic platform that encourages interaction by users globally with interest in a renewed Africa & attract sponsors and advertising.
Convince us it will work. What milestones have you achieved?
Afroes built a stand alone first prototype game: Tekachamps - a soccer mobile game for the World Cup. Afroes was contracted by the Nelson Mandela Childrens Fund to build a campaign package on child protection that would reach young people and hard to reach communities. Afroes developed three solutions: an educational game promoting child safety;To date the game has attracted close to 60,000 downloads and about 15000 surveys completed; an SMS reporting line and young community representative. Afroes has recently been contracted by the United Nations for Women in Africa for a similar campaign Africa wide. The Founder was nominated as a finalist for the global Cartier Womens Initiative in 2010 and now has a full business plan. Afroes has 3 exciting projects in the pipeline for 2011.