Her Initiative receives approximately 560 million Tanzanian shillings to support 100,000 more women across East Africa to achieve financial resilience. 

Brussels, Belgium, June 2024 – The King Baudouin Foundation has awarded the 2023-2024 Africa Prize to Her Initiative, in recognition of its work to unlock women’s economic potential, tackle the youth unemployment crisis and accelerate economic and social development in sub-Saharan Africa. 

Tanzania has made significant progress on women’s empowerment and women’s rights. Yet, 60% of women still live in poverty and many don’t have access to the resources they need to shape their future and participate in economic development.

As a youth-first and women-led organisation, Her Initiative offers a range of innovative and holistic programmes which equip young women with the education, skills and resources needed to enter the job market or run their own businesses. Notably, Her Initiative aims to remove persisting barriers by leveraging the power of technology to advance digital inclusion among young women and girls.

Its Panda Digital platform uses SMS technology to deliver learning courses in Swahili to young women with limited internet access, and its Digimali project helps young entrepreneurs scale-up their businesses online. Since its foundation in 2019, Her Initiative has reached over 15,000 young women and girls through its programmes, including supporting over 200 women to launch a business through Panda on the Ground and enabling 2,805 more to digitalise an existing business.  

To support the next phase of its development in Tanzania and beyond, the KBF Africa Prize will provide Her Initiative with 200,000 euros (about560 million Tanzanian shillings), as well as the opportunity to connect with the King Baudouin Foundation’s international network of non-profit organisations and development professionals. With this support, Her Initiative aims to expand its programmes in Tanzania and across East Africa to reach 100,000 more women over the next five years. It will also use the funds to bring together an ecosystem of youth organisations to facilitate knowledge sharing, share resources, and harness the power of African youth. 

Lydia Charles Moyo, Founder and Executive Director of Her Initiative, comments:  

“Gender-based violence, underage marriage and HIV are just a few examples of the problems that are stopping women from going to school, getting a job and breaking the cycle of poverty. My friends and I experienced these barriers when we were in high school, and so started to look for solutions to the challenges we were coming up against. And that’s how Her Initiative started.  

“We already support young women to build their financial resilience in six Tanzanian regions, but with the KBF Africa Prize we will be able to scale our work to help so many more women to achieve their dreams in Tanzania and beyond.” 

The 2023-2024 Africa Prize will be presented to Her Initiative at an awards ceremony at the Royal Palace of Laeken in Brussels. The organisation was selected from a pool of more than 400 applicants by an independent committee of 12 international experts, including past winners of the KBF Africa Prize.

Bilikiss Adebiyi-Abiola, Chair of the KBF Africa Prize Selection Committee 2023-2024 says: “The selection committee was highly impressed with Her Initiative’s combined approach to advancing women’s rights and financial independence. Coupled with its innovative use of modern technologies and strategic local partnerships, Her Initiative is a highly deserving recipient of this year’s KBF Africa Prize. We look forward to seeing what the team achieves in the years to come.” 

The KBF Africa Prize recognises African organisations working to drive African-led solutions to the challenges facing the continent and to sustainably improve the lives of Africans. The Prize plays a transformative role in helping organisations scale-up and advocate for their work on a wider stage. Several past laureates, including Dr. Denis Mukwege, Elman Peace and Grameen Bank, have since been awarded and shortlisted for the Nobel Peace Prize.  

About the King Baudouin Foundation 

The King Baudouin Foundation’s mission is to contribute to a better society in Belgium, in Europe and elsewhere in the world. It is an actor for change and innovation, serving the public interest and increasing social cohesion. It seeks to maximise its impact by improving skills in organisations and for individuals. It also stimulates effective philanthropy by individuals and corporations. The King Baudouin Foundation was set up in 1976, on the 25th anniversary of King Baudouin’s reign. 

About Her Initiative  

Her Initiative is a young women-led non-profit organisation committed to reshaping the narrative surrounding the value of girls through redefining societal norms that perpetuate the cycle of poverty and fostering financial resilience among adolescent girls and young women in Tanzania through the fusion of economic empowerment and technology integration.

Her Initiative is also cultivating a thriving ecosystem of youth-driven and women-led organisations championing the cause of advancing the rights and interests of young women and youth. Its ultimate goal is to catalyse gender equality and contribute to the fabric of inclusive economic growth in the region. 

Biography: Lydia Charles Moyo, Founder and Executive Director of Her Initiative  

Lydia Charles Moyo is a young feminist and passionate changemaker. As a young woman growing up in Tanzania, she observed how poverty-related barriers were impacting her peers’ education and employment opportunities. Her experiences inspired her to found Her Initiative in 2016, a not-for-profit organisation breaking the cycle of poverty and helping young women and girls to achieve financial resilience. She also championed the development of Panda Digital, the first Swahili hybrid e-learning platform for young women.