The African Social Innovators Bootcamp held in partnership with the African Union Youth Envoy. This is a 4 months rigorous program dedicated to training and empowering innovators leading change across the African continent.

Following the immense success of the boot camp last year, where social innovators from Nigeria received technical support, this year, it was extended to other African countries, and from over 187 applications and 23 countries, 45 innovators were selected to receive 3 months of intensive training. This rigorous training was completed, 8 finalists emerged for a final pitch and a winner and runner was announced at an in-person event in Lagos, Nigeria.

EM has a Q and A session with Omobolanle Ajibola runner up at the final pitch competition.

  1. Please introduce yourself

I am Omobolanle Shakirat Ajijola,a Trauma therapist, Ankaracrafter, Startup Urban Farmer and the Founder of Bina Al-Amal Foundation a not-for-profit organization based on Lagos, Nigeria. I am also an Executive member of The African Network of Professional Counselors(ANEPCO) and a graduate of Attitude Development International (ADI) a top Professional Counseling school in Lagos. Nigeria.


2.How did you feel when you met other participants?

To be honest , I felt a little intimidated and excited at the same time. It was interesting meeting a mix of people from different backgrounds, cultures and environments with innovative ways of serving humanity and I was thrilled to meet them all.


3.Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?

As a foremost Trauma Counselor and SGBV Advocate and humanitarian offering real time solutions to those who need my services.


4.What gave you confidence during the contest?

Trust in Allah, Encouragement and support from friends. The fact that I knew what I was pitching for from the heart and the project is something I’m extremely passionate about gave me all the confidence I needed.


5.Did you have any fears?

Yes, I did a one page slide and for someone used to doing 3-5 slide presentations ,I knew it was a risk and I was scared it wouldn’t pay off. I was also scared I wouldn’t deliver well enough.


6.How did you handle communication with other participants?

By establishing rapport and being a good listener. There was a willingness to share information and offer help and we understood each other. In all we all got along really well


7.What is your next line of action?

Work never stopped and is still underway. Next lines of action are:

Finding shelter for the informal community families. Building our network of morally and socially upright young adults and above all continuing the fight against all froms of Sexual and Gender Based Violence.


8.Final word

In everything that you set out to do, intention is important as it sets the tone for what you’ll achieve and the accomplishments you’ll make.

This quote by Richard Branson sums it all up:

“There is no greater thing you can do with your life and your work than follow your passions – in a way that serves the world and you.”

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