By Nixon Kanali, Nairobi
Orange has announced the three winners of the Orange African Social Venture Prize who will receive financial assistance to support their projects.
Launched in 2011, The Orange African Social Venture Prize 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.
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 also been introduced to specifically reward a project using an Orange API
The 10 finalists will also benefit from support by experts through an online acceleration program offered by Orange on the VC4Africa platform.
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.
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.
Marc Rennard, Orange’s Senior Executive Vice President for Africa, the Middle East and Asia said 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’’ “.
He said that this year they were 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.” he added’’
More than 450 candidates submitted their projects for this award which ran from May to September 2014.