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African leaders selected for Facebook community accelerator

By , ITWeb
Africa , 15 Jul 2020

Social media giant Facebook has announced 12 African community leaders will join its 2020 accelerator programme, with six of the leaders from South Africa.

Titled the Facebook Community Accelerator, the six-month programme aims to equip the participants with growth-related training, hands-on mentorship and funds to grow their communities.

An extension of the Facebook Community Leadership initiative launched in 2018, the community accelerator invests in leaders who are building communities around the world, including bringing people together, offering encouragement and driving change.

Following the call for applications in March, 77 community leaders from around the world were chosen, with 12 selected from Sub-Saharan Africa. South Africa accounts for six of the selected leaders, while Nigeria and Kenya have four and two, respectively.

According to Facebook, it will be awarding up to $3 million in funding, and the selected community leaders will receive up to $30 000.

“In the first three months of the programme, these leaders will learn from experts and coaches, whilst developing customised curriculums focused on growing their own communities. The following three months will then be focused on iterating and executing their plans, with funding and continued support from their network, as well as from a dedicated programme team.

“The community accelerator will then culminate in an event with community leaders to showcase their communities and progress to external funders and partners.”

Kezia Anim-Addo, head of communications for Sub-Saharan Africa at Facebook, says: “We’re delighted to be welcoming 12 African community leaders to Facebook’s first community accelerator. We’ve seen time and again the power of communities in bringing people closer together and feeling more connected.

“We know community leaders can do amazing things when they have adequate support from others, tools to get the job done, funding to grow and belief in themselves. The Facebook Community Accelerator will enable these great communities to make an even greater positive impact in the world, and we hope that through the support of the programme, these communities will have extraordinary impact, even in extraordinary times.”

The community leaders selected from SA include:

Lauren Dallas founded Future Females in 2017, with a mission to increase the number of female entrepreneurs and support their success. It has become the go-to destination for aspiring and early-stage female entrepreneurs to receive the inspiration, education and support needed to build profitable businesses online.

Refilwe Nkomo established Visual Arts Network South Africa in 2007 as a support point and development agency for contemporary art practice in the country. It aspires to be a dynamic and resilient network-based organisation contributing to growth, innovation and opportunities in the arts.

Naadiya Moosajee runs WomEng, which is a social enterprise aimed at attracting, developing and nurturing the next generation of women engineering leaders.

Dillion Phiri launched Creative Nestlings in 2011, to connect young African creatives to each other, to opportunities and to resources, democratising how young African creatives connect, get paid, learn and grow.

Rufaro Mudimu started Enke, which means ink in SeTswana, in 2009, to bridge socio-economic inequality by bringing young people together and equipping them with the skills and experiences to improve their lives. Enke connects, equips and inspires young people to make their mark, authoring a positive future for themselves and their communities.

Tariro Bure is in charge of MINDS, which was founded in 2010 as a platform rooted in cultural heritage and knowledge systems for youth to reclaim their African identities and transform the continent. It has become a movement of youth and crucial stakeholders which aspires to shape policy, foster economic development and enhance evolution of African institutions.

Click here to find out more about the Facebook community accelerator programme and other selected participants.

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