Akanksha Hazari to be honored at Vital Voices Global Partnership awards in Washington, DC

Hazari is founder of m.Paani.

AB Wire

Akanksha Hazari (Courtesy of YouTube)
Akanksha Hazari (Courtesy of YouTube)

Akanksha Hazari, a social entrepreneur using mobile-based technology to accelerate economic development and empower underserved communities in India, is one of four women chosen to receive awards at the Vital Voices Global Partnership 15th Annual Global Leadership Awards at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, in Washington, DC, on March 9.

Hazari, who will receive the Economic Empowerment Award, is the founder of m.Paani, which develops impact-focused loyalty programs that leverage mobile technology as a platform to provide key products and services to the underserved.

Users of the platform earn points for their mobile phone usage or expenditure on select FMCG products that can be monetized for products and services – such as safe water, education, energy and healthcare – which will improve their lives and livelihoods.

Hazari graduated with an MBA from Cambridge University and an A.B. in Politics and Near East Studies from Princeton. She was a founding partner of Young Professionals in Foreign Policy, and has been a peace negotiator, sustainable energy consultant, professional athlete and non-profit leader. She led the m.Paani (Cambridge) team that won the Hult Global Case challenge in 2011.

The other honorees are:

HAFSAT ABIOLA-COSTELLO – Leadership in Public Life Award – A pro-democracy activist and political representative fostering women’s leadership in Nigeria and throughout Africa.

KHANIM LATIF – Human Rights Award – A fearless leader defending women’s equality and offering a refuge to survivors of gender-based violence in Iraqi Kurdistan.

YOANI SÁNCHEZ – Light of Freedom Award – A blogger, journalist and voice for change, pioneering a movement to establish a free press in Cuba.

The awards program will feature appearances by designer Diane von Furstenberg, Ambassador Melanne Verveer, Tina Brown, Theranos Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Holmes and others, according to a press release.

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