The Young Achievers Awards founded in 2009 is an initiative of Reach A Hand Uganda that rewards excellence, hard work and innovations of youth and entrepreneurs in Uganda. Over 100 have been rewarded with this accolade including the Life Time Achievement Award that has been accepted by H.E Yoweri K. Museveni, H.E Paul Kagume, H.E William S. Ruto, the late Dr. James Mulwana, Sister Rachelle Fassera, Prof Senteza Kajubi, Noelina Kareeba, and Ali Mufuruki.
Reach A Hand, opened its submission to all applicants who were impacting society and their communities through unique and creative entrepreneur and businesses and other ways of changing society.
According to Ambrose Murangila, one of the head judges of the awards, over 400 applications were submitted but only 45 were selected – 5 in each of the 9 categories; Innovation and ICT, Social Entrepreneurship, Farming and Agro-Processing, Outstanding Sports Personality, Business, Fashion, Film and Photography, Media & Journalism Excellence, and Performing Arts.
The selection criteria of the nominees, according to Ambrose pointed out that the judges did an analysis on each of the nominees’ profile, analysed the uniqueness of each of their innovation, looked at the originality of their ideas, and also looked at how their ideas were able to inspire other youths.
On Saturday 18th, August 2018, 9 winners in each category were unveiled each receiving the Young Achievers Accolade, a Framed Certificate, and a bottle of Johnny Walker. Johnny Walker was one of the premier sponsors of this year’s awards. In addition, four more awards were given out, Hero Awards, Star Hall of Fame Award, Overall Young Achiever, and the Life Time Achievement Award.
The gala graced the Prime Minister of Uganda; Ruhakana Rugunda who attended on behalf of H.E Yoweri Museveni who was supposed to be the Guest of Honor, H.E Deputy President to Kenya, William Ruto who delivered the keynote address. In attendance, were; Ministers; Amelia Kyambadde, David Bahati, and Florence Nakiwala.
Notably, Co-Founders of the Young Achievers Awards; Awel Uwihanganye, and Ivan Serwano Kyambadde took the honor to present the Life Time Achievement Award to H.E William Ruto. Who was then invited to the podium by the Prime Minister; Ruhakana Rugunda to deliver his keynote address.
“I accept this award, not because the organizers are well known people in society, but because of the idea it represents, that Africa must begin to celebrate and reward its Achievers and validate their dreams, and not wait for others to do so,” said H.E William Ruto, Deputy President, Kenya before he delivered his keynote address
During his keynote address, William said he strongly believes that creativity and innovation can pay more than we think.
Full list of winners of the 2018 Young Achievers Awards
Young Achievers Award for Fashion: Anita Beryl, Founder, Beryl Qouture.
Young Achievers Award for Flim and Photography: Richard Mulindwa, Movie Producer, Writer, Director.
Young Achievers Award for Media and Journalism: Raymond Mujuni, Journalist, Next Media Services.
Young Achievers Award for Performing Arts: Eddy Kenzo, Musician.
Young Achievers Award for Farming & Agro-Processing: Jean Onyati, Founder & CEO, Akellobanker.
Young Achievers Award for Innovation and ICT: Brian Gitta, CEO and Co-Founder Matibabu.
Young Achievers Award for Business: Natalie Bitature, Co-Founder, Musana.
Young Achievers Award for Outstanding Sports Personality: She Cranes, Rugby 7s Team.
Young Achievers Award for Social Entrepreneurship: Andrew Musoke, Founder, Initiator and CEO, Gifted Hands Network.
Overall Young Achiever: Phyllis Kyomuhendo, Co-founder, Mscan.
Life Time Achievement Award: H.E Deputy President of Kenya, William S. Ruto.