The winners of Facebook’s Internet.org Innovation Challenge in Africa were announced last week Friday. Winners will get $150,000, and Facebook has picked 6 people in four categories.
In December 2015, Facebook launched the Internet.org Innovation Challenge in Africa to recognize individuals and organizations that are working on internet-based solutions to promote education and economic empowerment in countries throughout Africa.
Internet.org‘s Innovation Challenge in Africa encouraged the development of apps, websites and online services that provide real value for people under the following pillars:
- Learning/Education: Apps, websites or online services that make use of technology to inspire and deliver learning
- Economic Empowerment: Apps, websites or online services that help to advance the economic strength and ability of communities
Two organizations or entrepreneurs will each receive $150,000 USD Innovation Challenge award prizes: one each to the leading app, website, service or idea that best meets the needs of the designated population categories â€“ Education and Economic Empowerment, as well as four additional $50,000 USD Impact awards within each category.
Innovation Challenge Award Winner -Â Economic Empowerment
Under the Economic Empowerment category, Esoko – an Agri-technology company from Ghana thatÂ makes it easier for businesses, governments, NGOs and others to connect with farmers was selected as the Innovation Challenge Award Winner.
Through its web and mobile apps, Esoko enables 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.
Impact Award Winners
- mPedigree Goldkeys – an anti-counterfeiting, tracking and tracing solution that uses consumersâ€™ 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.
- 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 -Â Education
Hyperion Development – a social enterprise in South Africa that has built the first online course platform for computer science education supported by the largest online community of software developers in Africa has been selected as the winner for this category. They receiveÂ $150,000 USD to support their online coding program.
Impact Award Winners
- 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 Dâ€™Ivoire, targeting three main chronic conditions: hypertension, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
- Founded in Nigeria,Â 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.
The challenge was judged by Ike Eze, Head, PocketMoni, Ime Archibong, Director of Product Partnerships, Facebook, Rob LeBlanc, Chief Investment Officer, The Amethu Project and Terryanne Chebet, Founder, Keyara Organics.