KIGALI, Rwanda, October 18, 2023/ — Launched in 2011, the award recognizes innovative startup projects using information and communication technologies that have a positive impact on society in Africa and the Middle East. Most of the projects focus on education, healthcare, e-commerce, agriculture or the environment.
POESAM is at the heart of Orange’s strategy to develop the entrepreneurial ecosystem and promote employability.
Since starting this program, Orange has rewarded 47 projects and financed the support of 90 entrepreneurs through expert guidance from Orange or its partners.
POESAM 2023 is divided into three major prizes:
- The International Women’s Prize worth €20,000, is awarded to a startup whose project is led by a woman and that helps to improve living conditions by providing specific solutions to social or environmental problems. This award reflects Orange’s desire to encourage women’s independence and their creativity through entrepreneurship.
- The International Grand Prize is awarded to three projects that have a social or environmental impact and are based on new technologies. The three projects receive:
- €25,000 for 1st place
- €15,000 for 2nd place
- €10,000 for 3rd place
- For the third time since POESAM’s creation, the Jury’s Favorite Prize, worth €10,000, was awarded. This year it went to a project that stood out for its originality.
The big winners of the international competition
There were 1,300 applicants from 17 countries, and only 5 of them were awarded prizes at Mobile World Congress (MWC) Africa, held from October 17 to 19, 2023, in Kigali, Rwanda. The names of the winners were revealed on October 18, 2023, at the award ceremony hosted by Elizabeth Tchoungui, Executive Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility, Orange Group, and Jérôme Hénique, Managing Director, Orange Middle East and Africa (OMEA).
The winner of the International Women’s Prize is:
- Bionic Soul (Tunisia) – Bionic Soul manufactures and markets smart, custom-made, affordable bionic prostheses for amputees.
The winners of the International Grand Prize are:
- 1st prize: Adinkra Jeunesse (Cameroon) – Adinkra specializes in digitally publishing African children’s books with characters that convey African cultures and stories.
- 2rd prize: Egrobots (Egypt) – Egrobots offers farmers a digital solution (robots + analytics generated by artificial intelligence) to optimize their business.
- 3rd prize: Smart WTI (Jordan) – Smart WTI offers advanced water management solutions using IoT/AI technology. It aims to help companies and local authorities manage their water consumption efficiently, reduce waste, and improve water quality.
The winner of the Jury’s Favorite Prize is:
- Services for aged (Cameroon) – Services for aged provides health, hygiene and assistance services for elderly people living at home in rural areas.
Under the banner of responsible, high-impact innovation, the 13th edition fulfilled all of its promises by showcasing the increasing role of women in the entrepreneurial landscape of Africa and the Middle East.
The POESAM winners in the 17 countries will receive support at Orange Digital Centers, with the prospect of expanding their business beyond the borders of their respective countries through the network of Orange Digital Centers in Africa, the Middle East and Europe.