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Swazi Team Wins Junior Achievement Competition   
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Eco Eagle PTY Limited from Swaziland beat off stiff opposition from 20 other companies from 14 African countries to emerge top in the Junior Achievement (JA) Company of the Year competition.

The team walked away with medals, plaques, certificates and a trophy at the grand finale of the event in Accra last week. The JA Company of the Year competition is aimed at creating a signature showcase for junior achievement by high school students who have benefitted from the impact of the JA Company Programme.

Sean C. Rush, President and CEO, JA Worldwide, said Eco Eagle deserved to be the winner: “This company demonstrated strength in each of the four areas of assessment -- from the company report, to the business presentation, to the trade booth, and finally the private interview with judges.

“All the panelists unanimously agreed that this company is deserving of this prestigious award, and encouraged it to quickly patent their idea.” He added: “These students have successfully tackled some of the challenges they will soon face upon starting a business or entering the workforce.

“They have devised a product that meets the needs of their customer base. In addition, these young entrepreneurs understand the implications of globalisation, how to effectively harness technology to meet business objectives and how to cross-culturally collaborate with peers across the globe.”

Speaking on behalf of the winning team, Executive Director, JA Swaziland, Jean M. Mwenda, expressed appreciation to JA for giving this opportunity to the young and budding entrepreneurs that make up the team. “We are extremely excited by winning this competition. I am so proud of these students. Although some of them come from very challenging backgrounds, they have been able to overcome the challenges to win.

“They will become good role-models to their other colleagues and the community. They will encourage other students to learn hard and establish JA companies,” she said. Eco Eagle is an environmentally-friendly company focused on the production of organic vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower & lettuce using their own unique, innovative organic and modern scientific methods.

They used locally available waste material as a growing medium without any synthetic fertilisers and pesticides thus a 100% environmentally-friendly and cost-effective project. Members of the winning team included Fisiwe Mhlanga (CEO), Lindo Mdluli (Sales Manager), Thembela Sifundza (Production Manager), Welile Khumalo (Financial Manager), and Melusi Tfwala (Human Resource Manager).

Guardian Angels Company Limited from Botswana and D-Smart Company Limited, Kenya, came second and third respectively. Eco Eagle was also the winner of the FedEx Access Award. Each member of the team received a scholarship. The winner of the Barclays Innovation & Creativity Award was D-Smart Company Limited from Kenya.
Source: B&FT

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