For the seventh year in a row, the Orange Group recognizes innovative projects that further development within the region. The objective of the prize is to stimulate entrepreneurial initiatives that use new technologies to meet the needs of people in Africa and the Middle East.
Open from February to June 2017, the call for applications received nearly 1,200 innovative project entries, which was 60% more than 2016. These projects illustrate the diverse ideas from local entrepreneurs and the potential of ICT in the development of Africa and the Middle East. Amongst the 49 local winners, 11 projects were selected and submitted to a jury made up of professionals, investors, external organizations and Orange organizations. The three winners will receive bursaries of €25,000, €15,000 and €10,000 and the Special Content Prize winner will receive €5,000. The finalists of the Orange Social Entrepreneur Prize will also enjoy priority support for six months from the NGO Grow Movement and Orange experts.
The winning projects are:
1st prize was awarded to Manzer Partazer in Madagascar: The objective of the Malagasy startup is to reduce food waste by sharing excess food from restaurants, hotels or supermarkets with partner organisations such as orphanages and disadvantaged populations. A collaborative platform will allow direct communication between different stakeholders.
2nd prize was awarded to City Taps in Niger: CityTaps has developed a solution which bridges the gap between water services and the most disadvantaged citizens: a pre-payment service which includes a smart water meter and billing software. The beneficiaries use their mobile to prepay for running water with any mobile phone, at any time, for any amount, which improves their household budget.
3rd prize was awarded to eFret.tn in Tunisia: eFret.tn is a website based on the freight exchange principle. It links up senders, whether private individuals or companies, with transport and transit professionals in Tunisia. The senders publish adverts describing their needs and receive free quotations from carriers, movers, and international transport companies and customs forwarding agents.
The Special Orange Content Prize was awarded to Génie Edu in Cameroon: This is an e-learning platform which aims to help students having problems by providing online video courses. The startup wants every student, including those in remote areas, to have access to high-quality courses at a very low cost, anytime and anywhere.
Internet users were also invited to choose their “User Favourite” project. This project automatically qualified for the international final. This was the Malgasy project Majika – which received over 2,800 votes out of 12,242 votes online. Majika is a social company aiming to facilitate economic development conditions in rural zones. It is based on two areas: access to renewable electricity and support for rural entrepreneurship. Majika works on an autonomous and ecological power plant in the village of Ampasindava.