Rwandan Entrepreneur Albert Munyabugingo Among Top 10 Finalists for $1.5M ABH Funding, Showcasing Global Impact

Rwandan entrepreneur Albert Munyabugingo, co-founder of the VubaVuba delivery company, has achieved a remarkable feat by securing a place among the top 10 finalists in the Africa’s Business Heroes (ABH) initiative.

This prestigious initiative, backed by the Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Philanthropy, offers a substantial funding pool of $1.5 million. Munyabugingo’s journey to this achievement involved a rigorous competition, where he was one of 20 entrepreneurs who presented their projects during the ABH 2023 semi-finals held in Kigali from September 1-2. What makes this accomplishment even more impressive is that these top 10 finalists were selected from an exceptionally competitive field of over 27,000 applicants from across the African continent.

Munyabugingo expressed his jubilation, stating:

This is an exciting moment. I am full of joy after making it to the top 10 out of 27,000 applications.”

During an interview with The Source Post, Munyabugingo underscored the profound importance of securing this funding. He explained that it would serve as a catalyst, empowering VubaVuba to advance its mission, which revolves around forging vital connections between farmers and buyers. Furthermore, Munyabugingo elaborated on the company’s plans to allocate resources to specialized vehicles, specifically designed to ensure the safe and optimal preservation of food. This strategic investment addresses a pivotal aspect of VubaVuba’s overarching mission.

Notably, VubaVuba’s vision transcends national boundaries. The company is actively engaged in preparations to expand its operational footprint to two additional countries by 2024. This well-thought-out growth strategy is poised to enable VubaVuba to extend its influence and impact, thereby introducing its innovative solutions to fresh communities.

Albert Munyabugingo emphasized the significance of the ABH competition, recognizing its alignment with the scale of business activities undertaken by global giants like Jack Ma and Alibaba. He emphasized the unique opportunity it offers for exposure and collaboration, particularly for entrepreneurs from Rwanda. Furthermore, with a growing interest in China among Rwandans, this platform serves as an ideal arena to foster dialogue and explore ways to create a more accessible and reliable means of delivering goods to ordinary people.

Mr. Albert Munyabugingo, CEO and Co-Founder, Vuba Vuba Africa LTD during the pitching event in Kigali, September 2, 2023

In summary, the $1.5 million funding represents not just financial support but also a gateway to expanding VubaVuba’s endeavors, enriching its impact, and engaging with a broader audience. This milestone is a testament to the dedication and innovation of Rwandan entrepreneurs on the global stage. As Munyabugingo highlighted, the government’s efforts to empower young founders in Rwanda have played a crucial role in nurturing and supporting innovators. His advice to fellow entrepreneurs is clear: persevere and apply for opportunities persistently.

Among the other top 10 finalists is Mawuse Christina Gyisun, CEO, and co-founder of Sommalife, a Ghanaian agriculture enterprise. Gyisun detailed their plans for utilizing the ABH funding, which includes launching carbon credit projects for smallholder farmers and enhancing their software technology with features such as farmer verification, tree-monitoring AI tools, remote sensing, and drone imagery.

Judge during the competition

The remaining finalists hail from various African countries, including Benin, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa, and South Africa. In November, the allocation of the $1.5 million in funding will be unveiled, with the top winner receiving $300,000, the first runner-up $250,000, and the second runner-up $150,000. The other seven finalists will each receive $100,000, and the remaining $100,000 will be allocated for additional training programs.

The top 10 finalists in alphabetical order, by country:
1. Ms. Bola Bardet, CEO and Co-Founder, Susu (Benin)
2. Mr. Ayman Bazaraa, CEO and Co-Founder, Sprints (Egypt)
3. Mr. Andrew Takyi-appiah, Founder, Zeepay Ghana Limited (Ghana)
4. Ms. Christina Gyisun, CEO and Co-Founder, Sommalife Limited (Ghana)
5. Mr. Thomas Njeru, CEO and Co-Founder, PULA ADVISORS LIMITED (Kenya)
6. Mr. Ismael Belkhayat, CEO and Founder, Chari (Morocco)
7. Mr. Ikpeme Neto, CEO and Founder, Wellahealth Technologies (Nigeria)
8. Mr. Albert Munyabugingo, CEO and Co-Founder, Vuba Vuba Africa LTD (Rwanda)
9. Ms. Nthabiseng Mosia, CMO and Co-Founder, Easy Solar (South Africa)
10. Mr. Theo Baloyi, CEO and Founder, Bathu (South Africa)

This achievement further underscores the growing success of Rwandan innovators on the global stage, with four Rwandan entrepreneurs securing a total of $385,000 in funding from the Alibaba initiative since 2019. These remarkable individuals include Francine Munyaneza, Yvette Ishimwe, Christelle Kwizera, and Kevine Kagirimpundu. As Rwanda continues to foster a supportive environment for entrepreneurship, the world eagerly anticipates the positive impact these visionary leaders will have on their communities and beyond.

Specialized judges during the pitching event


Africa’s Business Heroes Prize Competition is a philanthropic initiative sponsored by the Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Philanthropy. It aims to support, inspire and enable the next generation of African entrepreneurs across all sectors who are building a brighter future for the continent, by offering grant funding, training programs and support for the development of an entrepreneurial ecosystem. Over a 10-year period, each year the ABH Prize Competition and Show features 10 entrepreneur finalists as they pitch their business to win a share of US$1.5 million in grant money.

This years’ Grand Finale is expected to take place in Kigali on November 23 and 24, 2023 during the ABH’s 5th Anniversary Summit.