Telecommunications provider Orange initiates fourth competition to support technological innovation in Africa
By Farah El Akkad
To promote social entrepreneurship and technological innovation, the telecommunications company Orange has launched the fourth edition of the Orange African Social Venture Prize to reward startups in Africa.
The competition rewards entrepreneurs and product designers for their development initiatives in Africa. After three years and more than 1,500 projects submitted to the competition, a new category titled “Orange Partner” will be added this year. The “Orange Partner” award will be given to the best project that incorporates the use of Orange services and technology.
In addition to supporting social entrepreneurship to benefit African development, Orange focuses on projects that would meet the needs of African countries in fields such as health, agriculture, education, energy, industry and trade. As a telecommunications company with more than 95 million customers, Orange prioritizes the improvement of connectivity in rural areas and the introduction of innovative mobile products.
“Orange is committed to financially supporting and offering its expertise to the management of the growing small and midsize companies who are awarded this prize,” according to the company’s website.
Internet users can vote online for their favorite project at www.starafrica.com. “The winner of the ‘favorite project’ will have their project submitted to the jury along with the other finalists shortlisted by the experts and will therefore have the maximum possible chance of being among the top four winners for 2014,” according to the competition’s website.
Entrepreneurs over the age of 21 are eligible to participate in the competition without any restrictions on nationality. Projects submitted to the competition must be designed for at least one African country in which Orange is a service provider.
Applications will be accepted between May 22 and September 19, 2014 on Orange’s pan-African web portal www.starafrica.com.
The competition’s prizes include a 1st prize worth €25,000, a 2nd prize worth €15,000, a 3rdprize worth €10,000 and the special “Orange Partner” prize.