Healthcare Technology Featured Article

November 18, 2013

2013 Orange African Social Venture Prize Announced

If there is one technology in the world that is able to bring parity between developed and developing worlds, it is information and communications technology (ICT). With the right infrastructure investments, governments in developing countries have shown ICT has improved communications, commerce, healthcare and entrepreneurial opportunities. The Orange African Social Venture Prize was established in order to highlight individuals and organizations that use ICT technology to improve the livelihood of the African citizenry. The recipients of the 2013 award were announced during the AfricaCom Awards ceremony held in Cape Town.

The Orange African Social Venture Prize has enjoyed a growing popularity on the continent since it was established in 2011 as the company's Corporate Social Responsibility policy. This year more than 450 candidates responded before the final three winners were elected. Between May to September 2013 participants in healthcare, agriculture, education, energy, industry and commerce demonstrated how ICT can be used for further development in Africa.

A panel of judges composed of Orange specialists, organizations that promote development and the media selected three prizewinners among the 12tprojects that were nominated and presented on Orange's pan-African web portal.

The three winning projects are:

First place – QuickDo is a platform that provides citizens in Cameroon an affordable access to books in digital format. It was established in 2011 by a French–Cameroonian entrepreneur to provide an all-in-one solution for local publishers, readers and institutions such as universities, libraries and cultural centers.

Second place – The Ivoire Job project is designed to provide residents in Côte d'Ivoire or Ivory Coast an online platform that simplifies the process of finding employment opportunities in the country. Because not everyone has access to computers, it is designed to be compatible with mobile devices with an SMS-based system.

Third place – Chifco is an energy-saving solution which monitors high consumption devices in the home and workplace in real time to find ways to lower overall energy expenditure. The Tunisian company tracks several different data points including production rates and the weather to find solutions.

Prizewinners received funding of up to $25,000 as well as support from Orange for six months with expert advice from telecoms and business organizations. Additionally the company will be providing a patent application for the first prize winner in the country in which it was developed.

Orange has a global presence in 32 countries with a customer base of more than 232 million as of September 30, 2013. The social and economic development programs the company has established called Orange for Development has three central themes designed to contribute in the development of these countries. The themes are:

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.

Contributing to the local development of ICT markets and innovation ecosystems.

"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," said Marc Rennard, Orange’s Senior Executive Vice President for Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

Edited by Cassandra Tucker
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