Judges announced for BBC Swahili entrepreneur competition
BBC Swahili has selected a panel of the leading business minds in Africa to judge the regional heats of its Faidika Na BBC (Prosper With The BBC) competition for budding entrepreneurs.
The experienced judges operate in a range of industries including fashion, motoring and media.
They will decide which of the 18 finalists could best use US $5,000 to turn their idea into a successful business that would have a positive impact on their community.
The regional heats start in Burundi on Monday 2 June followed by further heats in Kenya, Rwanda (with DR Congo finalists), Tanzania and Uganda.
In each country the finalists will pitch their ideas to a panel of three judges made up of a BBC journalist and two local adjudicators chosen for their business success.
The six finalists will then battle for the top prize at the televised grand final taking place in Uganda on Thursday 26 June.
Halima Abdallah, who sits on the Ugandan judging panel, also judged the competition last year.
Halima, who owns a small grocery store in the Kampala suburbs, has worked as a news reporter and as a freelancer with BBC Swahili. She is currently freelancing with the WIP online news service in California.
She said: "There are many hard-working, driven, passionate young people in Africa who have brilliant ideas but lack the support to make their dreams come true.
"This competition gives the winner the financial help and advice they need to make their dream happen."
The local judges in Burundi are Bakene Mfaume, who runs a computer software and hardware business, and Baraza Sadi, a retail shop owner. The BBC judge is the Bujumbura office reporter Kazungu Lozy.
The Rwandan panel on Tuesday 3 June will have local judges Furaha Mugisha, who owns a number of private newspapers, and Madina Musa, who has worked in various top financial positions over the years and is currently studying for a Master's degree in Management. The BBC judge is the Kigali reporter Ismael Misigaro.
The Tanzanian panel on Wednesday 4 June will include local judges Anna Lubuva, who owns computer software and hardware suppliers Netlogic Solutions Tanzania Limited, and Arnold Kweka, who owns and employs up to 20 people in a modern automobile workshop. The BBC judge is the Dar es Salaam editor Vicky Ntetema.
The Kenyan panel on Thursday 5 June will consist of local judges Mariam Amin, who works in the safari tours business, and John Ndungu, the owner of a Turkish restaurant. The BBC judge is the Nairobi reporter Anne Mawathe.
The Ugandan panel on Friday 6 June will feature local judges Jasmine Nakayima Adam, owner of Jasmin Restaurant, and Halima Abdallah. The BBC judge is the Kampala editor Ali Mutasa.
Kiswahili-speaking audiences can follow the regional heats over the five days on BBC Swahili's popular programme Dira Ya Dunia at 15.30 GMT or listen online via bbcswahili.com/faidika.
Notes to Editors
BBC Swahili is a multimedia broadcasting service providing radio and online content to Swahili-speaking audiences across Africa and the rest of the world.
Its flagship breakfast programme, Amka Na BBC, is broadcast at 6.00am EAT and brings regional and world news as well as music and human interest features.
Its most popular news and current affairs programme, Dira Ya Dunia, starts at 6.30pm.
Leo Afrika is the last show of the day. Broadcast between 8.45 and 9.00pm, it focuses on African news.
BBC Swahili's popular 24/7 website is bbcswahili.com. Visitors can access, in text and audio, up-to-the minute news, features and analysis on East Africa and the rest of the world. It also features the award-winning Kimasomaso project, which aims to break down taboos and myths around sex and sexuality and was launched jointly with the BBC's international charity, BBC World Service Trust.
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