When Deborah Ahenkorah first began developing her idea for the Golden Baobab Prize, she had one goal in mind: to get the best African children’s literature on library shelves around the world. Working from an internet cafe in Accra, Ghana, Ahenkorah launched the prize in 2007, honoring African authors by giving them a spotlight and exposure to a potentially bigger audience. It’s not a bad acheivement for a young woman who began this work as a summer project for college.
Now, Ahenkorah herself has been honored by Echoing Green, a social development fund that provides seed grants to young entrepreneurs looking to help the world through positive change and impact. Echoing Green itself was founded in 1987, spun off from equity firm General Atlantic, and has invested $32 million in over 500 entrepreneurs.
What does Ahenkorah hope to do with her seed grant? As the Golden Baobab prize currently operates with a satellite staff of volunteers, Ahenkorah hopes to do more to attract corporate sponsors to be able to pay a staff to help adminster the prize in the future. The deadline for submissions for the next prize is next Tuesday, June 21, 2011. If you’re an author who wants to get some recognitio
n—or if you’re a fan of African children’s literature in general—make sure to check out the Golden Baobab website and show your support.