There has never been a more inspired generation of young Africans. These builders, innovators and risk takers are fervent in their resolve to transform the continent. They are solving critical socio-economic problems, exporting African culture to the world, creating job opportunities for Africans, re-telling Africa’s stories, and writing the future.
Following a request I made last week, I received over 800 nominations for this year’s tally of Africa’s brightest young entrepreneurs under age 30. Seven of the names on this year’s list were featured last year, but there are 23 new rising stars you need to watch. Since there weren’t enough under-30 entrepreneurs who could meet the criteria, I included a few 30-year-olds.
I present to you Africa’s brightest young entrepreneurs. These are the ones who are making the most dramatic impact in Africa today in manufacturing, technology, real estate, media & entertainment, financial services, agriculture, fashion and the service industry. They are impatient to explore new possibilities and slowly but surely, they are building empires. They may be today’s upstarts, but they are tomorrow’s legends. Aliko Dangote, Tony Elumelu, Chris Kirubi and Patrice Motsepe may call the shots today, but these ones will take center stage tomorrow.
Meet the 30 prodigies transforming Africa as we speak.
Christian Ngan, Cameroonian
Founder, Madlyn Cazalis
After working in financial services in France, first as an analyst at French investment bank Quilvest Group and as an associate at Findercord in Paris, Christian Ngan returned home to Cameroon to start his own business in 2012. With $3,000 of his savings, he founded Madlyn Cazalis, an African hand-made bio cosmetic company that produces body oils, natural lotions, creams, scrubs, masks and soaps. Madlyn Cazalis products are sold and distributed across more than 30 chemist stores, beauty institutes and retail outlets in Cameroon and neighboring countries in Central Africa. The company does not reveal revenues but says it is profitable. Ngan, 30, is also founder of GoldskyPartners Advisory, a small financial advisory firm in Cameroon.