SMS Campaign Wins Orange African Social Venture Prize

Orange has announced the winners of the second African Social Venture Prize for entrepreneurs and start-ups that offer ICT solutions to meet the needs of people living in Africa.

First prize was awarded to Vivus Limited, a start-up from Côte dIvoire that uses SMS to enable agricultural traders to optimise their stocks by adjusting to supply and demand.

The Takachar project, which has launched in Kenya, was awarded second prize. It uses telecoms technologies to track waste collection in real time. Third prize went to an eCommerce business, Niokobok.

The three winners will receive up to €25,000, along with management and technical support from Orange specialists.

A ‘favourite project’ was was voted for by visitors to Oranges Pan-African web portal, StarAfrica. More than 50,000 people voted for the Egyptian start-up Innovative Electronic Employment Platform.

This recruitment service uses an interactive platform and SMS alerts to help people seeking short-term roles or freelance work. StarAfrica will support this service throughout the year.

Nearly 450 candidates responded to the call for projects and 13 were chosen to be judged by a panel of Orange specialists, media commentators and institutions that promote development. The solutions spanned fields including healthcare, agriculture, education, energy, industry and commerce.

The awards were announced during the AfricaCom Awards, an annual event that recognises the most significant innovations and achievements of the telecommunications industry in Africa.