Winners of the AfricaCom Awards 2012, which acknowledges the growth and importance of the telecoms and digital sectors across the African continent, were announced on Wednesday 14 November 2012 at an awards ceremony which took place in Cape Town, South Africa.
This years awards reportedly recieved more entries than ever before, all of which are of an extremely high calibre. This is an indication to the innovative work that has taken place in Africa over the past 12 months.
And the winners are...
Best Network Improvement Helios Towers Africa - Shared Telecoms Infrastructure
Most Innovative Service Orange Group - Deezer
Best Quality User Experience Sicap - Mobile Money ATM
Best Cost Efficiency Initiative ZTE - Solution for Airtel
Rural Telecoms Award Viettel - Movitel Rural Network
Best Backhaul Solution for Africa Comtech EF Data - Mobile Backhaul Solution
Best Marketing Campaign Prezence Digital - #Mandelastory
Best Smart-Device for Africa Etisalat Misr - Smart Device
Best Pan African Initiative WIOCC - Seamless, High-Capacity International Connectivity Ring around Africa
The 2012 Mobile Data and Social Media Award Bozza Mobile - The Bozza.mobi App
Industry Personality of the Year Alan Knott-Craig - Cell C
Changing Lives Award Safaricom - DAKTARI-1525
To celebrate the launch of AfricApps at AfricaCom 2012, the winning entrants of the App-focused awards were:
Best Smart Phone App Prezence Digital - Ster-Kinekor mobile app
Best Feature Phone App biNu
Orange African Social Venture Prize
Following the first edition in 2011, the Orange African Social Venture Prize has been awarded to three entrepreneurs or start-ups offering solutions that use ICT in innovative ways to meet the needs of people living in Africa.
The panel of judges, consisting of Orange specialists, the media and institutions that promote development, chose the three prize-winners from among almost 450 candidate projects covering a variety of fields such as healthcare, agriculture, education, energy, industry and commerce illustrating the high potential of telecommunications for development in Africa.
The winning projects are:
Vivus Limited, a start-up from Côte d'Ivoire that allows agricultural or farm produce traders to optimize their stocks, and thereby avoid waste, by using a SMS-based system providing information on ongoing deals.
Takachar provides a system that has already been launched in Kenya to improve waste management by using telecoms technologies to track waste collection in real time.
The e-commerce business Niokobok enables Senegalese people living abroad to send basic necessities to their families back home avoiding the extra cost of transferring money.
Etisalat Prize for Innovation
The 'Etisalat Nigeria Prize for Innovation' seeks to promote the utilisation of mobile broadbansd in Africa. The inaugural 'Etisalat Prize for Innovation is aimed at encouraging and celebrating valuable innovation in the African market and will awarded in two categories. The first prize of $25 000 for the most innovative product or service launched in the last 12 months and a second prize of $10 000 for the most innovative idea.
Etisalat believes innovation should go beyond improvements in existing products and services and instead have real valuable social or economic impact to customers.
The winner of first prize was Mobile Maths Practice, a mobile application to help students around the globe prepare for maths exams. The invention relates to wireless communications and methods and systems in which a wireless service provider may offer wireless data messages to mobile subscribers.
Second place went to iConnect Project, which supplies mobile broadband internet connection vehicles to schools in a variety of geo-locations. The vehicles are refurbished shipping containers connected to a truck head and are fully mobile and are therefore scheduled into a school's timetable which enables sharing and full connectivity.
Speaking on the success of the competition which witnessed an impressive array of entries for the two award categories, chief executive officer of Etisalat Nigeria, Steven Evans, explained that the competition was instituted to provide the opportunity for innovative and relevant mobile broadband products/services and ideas.
"We are delighted at the creativity shown by all the entries and this is a clear indication of the importance of broadband in Africa. Innovative broadband projects, products and services have improved the way we live and work and so we launched this award because we realise the importance of broadband in the industry. Innovation is core to our business strategy at Etisalat Nigeria and we see ourselves as a young and innovative business setting the pace for others in the Nigerian telecommunications industry" said Evans.
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