The Duke of York invited Cameroon Catalyst to attend Pitch@Palace Africa, held in Partnership with the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Africa Prize on Wednesday 28th February at St James’s Palace. Trustee Patrick Mballa helped to judge the 16 sub-Saharan African Entrepreneurs who presented on their scalable solutions to local challenges. The event highlighted the importance of engineering as an enabler of improved quality of life and economic development.

Patrick, Trustee and Cofounder of Cameroon Catalyst,  summarises his experience at Pitch@Palace Africa in three key areas:

1. Engineering solutions for development
The Duke of York passionately believes in investing in young entrepreneurs and innovative engineering. This will be a powerful engine for development and social regeneration in Africa. The Royal Academy of Engineering provides crucial support to the shortlisted applicants through a six-month programme of training and mentoring.

2. Collaboration with like-minded organisations
We had the opportunity to network with some of the entrepreneurs, to hear first hand their ambitions, and motivation to be part of the change and development in their countries. We also met representatives from the ACE and the University of Southampton.

3. Diverse Representation
This year Cameroon was represented by only one candidate, who was promoting music through social media. We hope that Cameroon Catalyst can work with the Royal Academy to help encourage Cameroonian entrepreneurs promoting water and sanitation enterprise to apply for the award in future years.

I felt honoured to attend such a prestigious event on behalf of Cameroon Catalyst in recognition for the difference we are making, in improving the quality of life of people in rural Cameroon.