Egypt, Cameroon, Mali startups win Orange African Social Venture Prize

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Egyptian “click-funding” startup Bassita has been named winner of the Orange African Social Venture Prize, taking home EUR25,000 (US$26,714).

Now in its fifth year, the Orange African Social Venture Prize recognises three innovative projects that are set to stimulate development in Africa. The prize aims to encourage entrepreneurs as they launch initiatives using technology to meet the needs of people living in Africa.

Orange received over 600 submissions from across the continent, from which a shortlist of 11 candidates was compiled.

The shortlisted 11 were then put to the public, who voted online for their favourite project on Orange’s entertainment portal in Africa, StarAfrica.com.

“Click funding” platform Bassita was named first prize winner, securing EUR25,000 (US$26,714), six months’ support from Orange, as well as a patent registration.

The platform allows businesses to host their social, cultural or environmental projects and receive donations depending on whether the project reaches its objectives in terms of number of clicks or times shared on social networks.

In second place came Cameroon’s upOwa, an intelligent solar-powered solution that aims to provide electricity to rural areas of Western and Central Africa that have not yet been connected to the national electricity grids. The startup was awarded EUR15,000 (US$16,028).

The third prize of EUR10,000 (US$10,685) was awarded to Mali’s myAgro, a mobile application which enables farmers to buy high-quality seeds and fertilizer, and to benefit from a range of training programmes.

The online vote also included a “people’s choice” award, which went to Moroccan startup Kezakoo, an e-learning platform that publishes free online educational material allowing members to share their own content with the community. The startup won with 22,000 votes from the public.

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Inspired and excited by the African tech entrepreneurial scene, Gabriella spends her time travelling around the continent to report on the most innovative tech startups, the most active investors, and the latest trends emerging in the ecosystem.

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