Recently, there have been different competitions and challenges that have been hosted all over the world for startups and people in technology. As a matter of fact great ideas have been brought up due to such projects. These competitions have created great opportunities and prizes for the winners. One of the greatest innovations challenge created is known as the internet.org innovation. Since it began their mission and vision has been to see a connected world. They have been supporting people who have been trying to solve economic and education problems by using internet-based solutions throughout Africa. The challenge encourages the development of apps, websites and online services that provide people with real value in education as well as economic empowerment. The innovation challenge began last year from December 1st whilst the winners were announced on September 2016.
In Africa only 28% of the population has access to Internet, this fact has been the drive for the challenge. The winners are meant to bring more people in Africa to the Internet through online forums by making the Internet accessible and cheaper for everyone. This is why after a few months of great presentations; internet.org presented six-innovation challenge in Africa awards that would provide real value in education and economic sector. There were two $150,000 USD innovation challenge award prizes presented: one each to the leading app, website, service or idea that best meets the needs of the designated population categories – Education and Economic Empowerment, as well as four additional $50,000 USD Impact awards within each category.
The winners were:
- Innovation challenge award winner: Esoko allows a two-way data flows that allow smallholder farmers to access vital agricultural information and markets, and businesses to gain better visibility into their supply chains. The name Esoko comes from “e” representing electronic and “soko” meaning market in Swahili. Esoko has since spread its services to eight additional markets across Africa.
- Impact award winner: mPedigree Goldkeys from Ghana is tracking and tracing solution that uses consumers’ mobile phones as a verification tool. In Uganda and Kenya, this service is being used to help farmers determine whether they are buying original counterfeit seeds. They have since spread their services to Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda and Egypt for pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, agro-inputs like seeds and pesticides, and electrical components.
- Impact award winner: Nigeria’s SaferMom provides pregnant and new mothers with simple tools to help make informed health decisions via sms, voice services and its mobile app. SaferMom uses a chain of community health partners and mobile technology to track the health of pregnant moms and newborn babies, immunization schedules for babies, nutrition and behavioral routines based on their fetal development stages and antenatal care. This service is available in the English, Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo and Pidgin languages.
- Innovation challenge award winner: The winner is from South Africa and managed to build the first online course platform for computer science education known as http://hyperiondev.com/. Hyperion Development allows anyone to take online courses in coding with a personal computer or mobile phone; even without a broadband connection, which fewer than 1% of Africans have.
- Impact award winner: Launched in Ghana, Mutti by mPharma is a drug affordability service that enables patients to access high quality medicine at lower prices with flexible payment terms through micro-payments. Mutti means medicine in Bemba, a Zambian language. They also operate in Nigeria, Zambia and Cote D’Ivoire, targeting three main chronic conditions: hypertension, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
- Impact award winner: Nigeria’s Tuteria connects people seeking to learn with people around them who can teach. Tuteria provides an online platform which allows users to find, evaluate, book and pay for lessons with competent local tutors, coaches, instructors and mentors.