CAPE-TOWN, South-Africa, November 13, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ —
Orange (http://www.orange.com) announced the three winners of the Orange African Social Venture Prize during the AfricaCom Awards ceremony held in Cape Town last night
The three winners will receive financial assistance and the first prize winner will also benefit from a patent application
This year, a special Orange Partner award has been introduced to specifically reward a project using an Orange API
The 10 finalists will benefit from support by experts through an online acceleration program offered by Orange on the VC4Africa platform
This prize, which has enjoyed considerable success since its launch in 2011, aims to support the development of entrepreneurs and start-ups that offer solutions using information and communication technologies (ICT) to meet the needs of people living in Africa.
More than 450 candidates responded to the call for projects, which ran from May to September 2014, clearly demonstrating the underlying entrepreneurial vitality that exists on the African continent. Proposed projects spanned a variety of fields such as healthcare, agriculture, education, energy, industry and commerce illustrating the high potential of telecommunications for development in Africa.
The panel of judges, consisting of Orange specialists, the media and institutions that promote development, chose three prizewinners and an Orange Partner prizewinner from among 11 nominated projects that were presented on Orange’s pan-African web portal, www.starafrica.com.
The awards ceremony was held yesterday in Cape Town, South Africa, during the AfricaCom Awards, an annual event that recognizes the most significant innovations and achievements of the telecommunications industry in Africa. The winning projects are:
The first prize was awarded to Modisar, a livestock farm management application (desktop, web and mobile) that makes it easy for a farmer to manage hisher farm. The application is designed to stimulate development of the livestock industry in Botswana and cultivate interest in livestock farming among younger generations by associating modern technologies with the nation’s passion for farming. Modisar aims to ensure the continuity and sustainability of the livestock sector, a major contributor to the Gross Domestic Product in Botswana.
The Station Energy Ivoire project was awarded second prize. This project, which aims to set-up several franchise stores in rural or urban areas of Côte d’Ivoire, is based on an innovative retail concept for energy services. Inspired the models used by both service stations and grocery shops in Africa, Station Energy is a solution that provides wide-spread and affordable access to energy. The shops are equipped with photovoltaic panels to provide a range of shared services (batteries allowing access to lighting, cold spaces, Internet access, sale of low consumption equipment, etc.).
The third prize was awarded to the Senegalese company Bouquet Pass Santé. This project provides an online platform that enables people living abroad or in Senegal to pay directly for medical consultations for themselves or family members.
Finally, a “favourite project” was also selected by visitors of the Group’s web portal StarAfrica. Over 20,000 visitors voted for the Ivorian project “Pubcell”. The concept is to offer advertisers the ability to promote their brands to mobile phone users by paying advertising fees for the rental of their private spaces.
The special Orange Partner API prize was awarded to Mewanko Farm, a project that involves the creation of an online platform to enable the sale of agricultural products on both urban and international markets. The aim is to facilitate the lives of small farmers by using ICT tools to provide them with a direct means of access to markets and enabling them to increase their income.
In addition to financial grants of up to 25,000 euros and a patent in the country of deployment for the 1st prize winner, Orange will offer professional and expert coaching not only for the winners but for the 10 finalists of the Orange African Social Venture Prize 2014. The 10 finalists will join the coaching program hosted by VC4Africa.
“Entrepreneurs in Africa have always shown an ability to harness technology for the development of lasting, socially-responsible innovations that stimulate growth. Through this prize, Orange is proud to be able to contribute to this dynamic, particularly by providing active support to the prize-winners,” said Marc Rennard, Orange’s Senior Executive Vice President for Africa, the Middle East and Asia. “This year’s jury was impressed by the overall quality of the projects submitted. We can clearly see that technology is a relevant tool for driving social development, and this gives us an added stimulus in our commitment to Africa.”
Orange operates in 20 countries in Africa and the Middle East and has close to 100 million customers. To contribute to the social and economic development of these countries, the Group has put together the “Orange for Development” programme, which is based on three central themes:
the development of its networks to maximize the number of people who are able to benefit from digital services;
innovation to meet the needs of populations through value-added services in essential fields such as healthcare, education, agriculture and banking services; and
contributing to the local development of ICT markets and innovation ecosystems.
It is to meet this last goal, which is aligned with both its innovation strategy as well as its Corporate Social Responsibility policy, that the Group decided to launch the Orange African Social Venture Prize in 2011.
See the presentation of the competition on www.starafrica.com.
Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Orange.
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StarAfrica.com is Orange’s pan-African web portal, which combines content from all sub-Saharan countries in its six channels – news, soccer, more sports, music, education and jobs – with a special focus on young talent. The portal is also the online store that provides expatriate communities with access to innovative communications services that allows them to stay in touch with their contacts.
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