By JOHN SAKALA
Muzalema Mwanza, the founder of Safe Motherhood Alliance, a Zambia-based social enterprise that develops simple, low-cost disposable baby delivery kits has won the Pitch@Palace Africa 2019.
The announcement was made at Pitch@Palace Africa hosted by Prince Andrew, the Duke of York at St James’s Palace London on March 7, 2019.
Zambia’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom Muyeba Chikonde and members of Staff from the Mission were in attendance to support Muzalema.
The Kits developed by Safe Motherhood Alliance contains tools for midwives in Zambia delivering babies in clinics or at home births. Each kit includes basic items like a scalpel, sanitary pads, a hygienic sheet and cotton swabs, requirements needed for would be mothers.
The 17 entrepreneurs coming from six different African countries presented their innovations.
“It is an honour to win the Pitch@palace Africa 2019. My innovation was inspired by my own experience when giving birth to my first child. At the hospital I was told that I needed to provide my own baby delivery kit. I decided to come up with Safe Motherhood Alliance and we produce thousands of kits each month, and we sell them to pregnant women who can’t afford baby delivery kits,” she said.
Mr Chikonde said Muzalema Mwanza had made Zambia proud.
He said he was encouraged to see such wonderful talent from African engineers whose innovations have solutions to change their communities.
The Zambian engineer will receive eight months of bespoke business mentoring, training, and networking opportunities, to enable her turn her prototypes into a profitable business that will have economic and social impact.
And the Duke of York said “This is a very special event in our calendar, and it is a great privilege to work alongside the Royal Academy of Engineering. The Academy have a huge network across Africa and do a great amount to encourage entrepreneurial activity, without whom Pitch@Palace Africa would not be possible. Together we can help to showcase some of the great things going on in sub-Saharan Africa,” he said.
Africa Prize judge and CEO of AppsTech, Rebecca Enonchong, said: “I am incredibly proud of our Africa Prize entrepreneurs, they always impress us and help show the world what African innovation is really about.”Since its launch in 2014, Pitch@Palace has helped 802 startup businesses to create 3,669 new jobs and generate over £890 million of new economic activity.
In June 2019, Muzalema and 2 other African prize finalists will present their pitches at an event held in Kampala, Uganda, with the winner receiving £25,000 and three runners-up each awarded £10,000.
Pitch@Palace Africa is a collaboration between the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Africa Innovation and Pitch@Palace, an initiative founded by the Duke of York in 2014 as a platform to amplify and accelerate the work of entrepreneurs.
This is according to a media statement made available by First Secretary for Press and Public Relations at the Zambian Embassy in the United Kingdom Abigail Chaponda.