The winners in the second edition of Orange African Social Venture Prize have been recognised.
With an entre of of more than 450 applications and the competition having run from May to September 2012, you can understand that there is some underlying entrepreneurial vitality that exists on the African continent.
The proposed projects submitted spanned a variety of fields such as healthcare, agriculture, education, energy, industry and commerce.
The panel of judges consisted of Orange specialists, the media and institutions that promote development. They chose three prize winners from among the 13 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.
Some of the winning projects are;
- Vivus Limited – A start-up from Côte d’Ivoire that allows agricultural or farm produce traders to optimize their stocks by adjusting to supply and demand, thereby avoiding waste. A SMS-based system provides traders with real-time information on the latest deals enabling them to order the exact quantity of stocks required. This system will contribute to the development of a more efficient and profitable trade-cycle.
- The Takachar project – It has already been launched in Kenya. This provides an innovative system to improve waste management by using telecoms technologies to track waste collection in real time. This enables cooperatives to operate more efficiently and increases the proportion of organic waste that can be transformed into charcoal.
- The third prize was awarded to the e-commerce business Niokobok. This business enables Senegalese people living abroad to send basic necessities to their families back home avoiding the extra cost of transferring money and enabling them to better manage their finances. Twenty-three references are already available for basic foods as well as hygiene and cleaning products.
The 3 winners will receive a financial grant (25K€, 15K€, 10K€) and they will also benefit from a 6-month mentoring by management experts.
In addition, a “favourite project” was selected by visitors of the Group’s web portal StarAfrica. Over 50,000 visitors voted for the Egyptian start-up “Innovative Electronic Employment Platform”. This innovative recruitment service uses an interactive platform and SMS alerts to help people seeking short-term jobs or freelance work to complement their revenues. StarAfrica will support this recruitment service throughout the year, in particular by providing additional online visibility.
France Telecom , Orange, currently operates in 20 countries in Africa and the Middle East and has a total of over 78 million customers.
The social innovation prize is part of the group’s “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.
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.