French-Cameroonian startup QuickDo, founded in 2011 which provides readers in Cameroon with affordable access to books in digital format won the first prize at the Orange African Social Venture Prize during the AfricaCom Awards ceremony held in Cape Town last night .
QuickDo also works with local publishers, readers and institutions such as universities, libraries and cultural centers.
The second position went to Ivoire Job project, an online platform that facilitates access to employment opportunities in Côte d’Ivoire through a web and an SMS-based system.The platform also has a forum that facilitates discussion and sharing of experiences between young job seekers, workers and recruitment agencies.
The third prize went to Chifco, a Tunisian startup which offers a system for saving energy when using high-consumption devices both at home or in a workplace environment. The system aims to reduce spending on energy by remotely monitoring and controlling the use of such devices in real time. By tracking data such as production rates or the weather, users can reduce energy consumption.
The three will get funding of up to 25,000 euros each (over $100,000) from Orange plus support for six months through its local subsidiaries and as well get expert advice from business and telecoms professionals. Orange will also provide a patent application for the first prize winner in the country of deployment.
Kenya’s “Dukalangu” -Swahili for my shop, an online shop offering customers a wide range of products at competitive prices was chosen as the “favourite project” by over 24,000 visitors of the Group’s web portal StarAfrica. Dakalangu also allows Kenyan entrepreneurs and designers to market their wares online.
“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. “This year’s jury was impressed by the overall quality of the projects submitted. We can clearly see that technology is a relevant tool for driving social development, and this gives us an added stimulus in our commitment to Africa.”
The Orange African Social Venture Prize was launched in 2011.