Social Entrepreneur from South Africa Wins Prestigious Global Fellowship

Basil Kransdorff of Johannesburg, South Africa has been selected by Ashoka: Innovators for the Public as a member of its global fellowship of leading social entrepreneurs. At an upcoming gathering scheduled for May 2011, Ashoka will be formally recognizing Kransdorff for his many years of work innovating and improving lives in the fields of nutrition and health.

Basil Kransdorff is being recognized by Ashoka for his entrepreneurial leadership of the Econocom Foods and for its production and promotion of its innovative e’Pap product. In his work, Basil is addressing the critical problem of malnutrition (the hidden hunger) in Africa. He is changing the "approach" to food production and consumption and challenging society’s current understanding of the importance of nutrient form in relation to bioavailability or bioefficicy.

Calories alone don’t fight malnutrition; understanding and providing the correct combinations of the micro-nutrients available in the food you are eating does. Basil’s objective is to create "nutrient-replete" and "physiological functional" people, something most nutrition and feeding programs still fall short of achieving. To do this Basil has invented a unique approach to nutritional supplementation in the form of a modified version of a staple food in Southern Africa. He has taken traditionally eaten "pap" – which is a porridge made from ground maize – and developed “e'Pap,” an affordable package of a ready to eat food that delivers 28 nutrients, formulated with a strong focus on bioavailability. For the first time in South Africa, Basil, along with his business partner and wife Rose, has changed the objective of nutritional interventions to focus on achieving “nutrient repleteness” in the fight to combat malnutrition and poverty.

Bill Carter, Ashoka’s Director for Africa programs, said, “Basil Kransdorff has come up with a practical way to address nutrient repleteness in highly vulnerable populations - people with compromised immune systems and infants for whom continuous access to micronutrients is essential for brain development. Basil's insight has the potential to allow people much broader access to choices about their health and the health of their families and communities.”

Basil Kransdorff now joins 350 other Fellows from 17 African countries elected since 1991 and more than 2,700 Ashoka Fellows globally.

About Ashoka:

Ashoka is the world's leading network of social entrepreneurs – extraordinary changemakers who find new solutions to social problem… people like Muhammad Yunus, who pioneered the microfinance sector. Founded by Bill Drayton in 1980, Ashoka supports social entrepreneurs with stipends, professional support, and/or access to its large network of global peers. Ashoka has to date elected and supported more than 2,700 social entrepreneurs in 70 countries. For more information, please visit www.ashoka.org.

For more information, contact:

Simon Stumpf
Ashoka East Africa
Mobile: +254 725 879 521
E-mail: sstumpf@ashoka.org

To view other NGO press releases, refer to www.ngopulse.org/group/home-page/pressreleases.

Date published: 
Friday, 29 April, 2011
Organisation: 
Ashoka

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