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Page last updated at 15:06 GMT, Wednesday, 8 September 2010 16:06 UK
Manchester student named Britain's top black graduate
Edwin Broni-Mensah
Edwin received a first class degree in Mathematics and Computer Science

A Manchester student who created a re-useable water bottle to raise money for African countries has been named Britain's top black graduate.

Edwin Broni-Mensah, who is studying for an Applied Maths PhD at the University of Manchester, was given the title by Future Leaders magazine.

He topped their list of 100 graduates, which profiles bright students of African and African Caribbean origin.

He said he was "overjoyed to be named number one on such a prestigious list".

Twenty-five year old Edwin made the news in August 2010 when he launched GiveMeTap, which raises money for drought-stricken countries through the sales of a special aluminium bottle.

What gives me the most pleasure is being in a position where I can meet and inspire young people to pursue their dreams as literally anything is possible
Edwin Broni-Mensah

Seventy percent of the company's profits go towards providing clean water and irrigation in Africa.

It was his entrepreneurship in setting up the company, coupled with his first class degree in Mathematics and Computer Science (which led him directly into a scholarship for his PhD), that impressed the judges enough to put him the top spot.

Edwin said that he was "extremely delighted and feel very honoured at being recognised as one of the Future Leaders."

Adding: "What gives me the most pleasure is being in a position where I can meet and inspire young people to pursue their dreams as literally anything is possible."

'Entrepreneurial spark'

The Future Leaders list profiles Britain's brightest students of African and African Caribbean origin and is collated to provide a link between publishers Powerful Media's Powerlist, an annual list of Britain's 100 most influential black people, and the young people it was created to inspire.

The judges of the student list - Harvard selector Nick Basden, former NUS Black Students Officer Bellavia Ribeiro-Addy and Yashica Olden, the European Head of Diversity at Barclays Capital - selected Edwin after a rigorous process that included contacting every university in the country and formal interviews with all those on the shortlist.

The University of Manchester are understandably proud of their student's achievement.

Dr Martin Henery, entrepreneurship lecturer at the institution's Manchester Business School, said Edwin's "entrepreneurial spark was clear from the outset."

He explained that it was "rare to work with someone who combines the ability to make things happen with such original thinking."

"His is one of those concepts that nearly everyone can see the value of straight away, but it's really tough to make happen.

"It needs true vision and tenacity to stick with it and see it through to the end goal."

Edwin said he hopes to work full-time on his company, with the aim of offering his bottle's services at the 2012 Olympics.

Student's water plan for Africa
04 Aug 10 |  Manchester


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