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2020 Orange Africa and Middle East Social Entrepreneur Prize winners

Orange, one of the world’s leading telecommunications carriers announced the winners of the Orange Africa and the Middle East Social Entrepreneur Prize. The prize was split into three categories titled International Grand Prix, International Women’s Prize, and the Special 10th Anniversary Prize.

Winners of the prestigious award received prizes ranging from €25,000 for first place and €10 000 for third place. 

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POESAM celebrates 10 years of providing support to African and Middle Eastern entrepreneurs

Orange Africa and Middle East Social Entrepreneur Prize (POESAM) celebrates 10 years of operating in 2020. POESAM aims to recognise startups developing innovative projects that use mobile phones to improve the livelihood of people in the Middle East and Africa. The innovative projects created target education, healthcare, agriculture, mobile payment, e-commerce, and sustainable development. 

A total of €500 000 was shared with over 30 international prize winners over the 10 years POESAM has been operating. 

Seventy-five people have received six-months of coaching and mentoring offered by Orange and its partners to drive financial inclusivity and environmental sustainability in Africa and the Middle East.

Competition process

Forty-one winners were assisted after participating in the domestic competitions in the 17 African Orange subsidiaries. Of the 41 winners, 18 finalists were selected to compete in the international competition which took place from 9 to 12 November 2020 at the AfricaTech Festival. 

At the AfricaTech Festival, the finalists presented their innovations to a panel of social entrepreneurship experts. The jury decided on the following winners in each category. 

Winners in each category

The International Grand Prix winners

  • First place was awarded to Ahkili (Tunisia) which is an innovative psychological assistance telephone hotline that is available seven days a week across North Africa. It connects people to qualified psychologists without making an appointment.
  • Second place was awarded to Teliman (Mali) which is the first Malian on-demand motorbike taxi service that operates in Bamako.
  • Third place was awarded to Weeglo (Liberia) which is a project that offers an online learning solution tailored to the Liberian education system.

The International Women’s Prize winner

Ahmini (Tunisia) is a digital platform that offers access to rural women to the Tunisian welfare and healthcare system. Ahmini received a Prize to the value of €20 000 which is supported by the Orange Group Diversity and Inclusion unit.

The Special 10th Anniversary Prize winner

Toto Riibô (Burkina Faso) is a food ordering and delivery Burkinabé service whose meals are prepared by women stallholders and served in the streets of Ouagadougou. The winner received a prize to the value of €10 000.

SOBATIC (Burkina Faso) is an organisation that provides training and develops IT tools to assist people with impaired vision. SOBATIC was awarded the Jury’s favourite prize as it grabbed the attention of the international jury. 

The impact of POESAM is that it reaches social and technological entrepreneurs and aims to drive education, healthcare, financial inclusivity, and environmental protection. 

This multi-service operator takes on the responsibility of providing support for the social, societal, and environmental traditions it has created over the years. 

Read more: Three African startups graduate from renowned international accelerator
Read more: 2020 AgriPitch competition 25 finalists announced

Featured image: Antonio Jamal Roberson via Pexels

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