The African Telecommunications Union has commended Huawei Technologies for sponsoring the second edition of its ‘ATU Africa Innovation Challenge’.
The competition, co-sponsored with Intel Corporation, provides both short and long-term solutions and opportunities to the African youth.
Themed ‘Best Ecosystem Practices in Africa Enabling Youth ICT Innovation’, the competition runs from June 15 to September 28, 2021, according to a statement made available to Financial Street.
Speaking at the launch recently, the ATU Secretary-General, John Omo, was quoted as saying, “This initiative will be instrumental in supporting institutional solutions that will boost innovation in Africa and address some of the challenges facing the African community.
“I want to thank our sponsors, especially the headline sponsor, Huawei, for, once again, demonstrating their commitment to promote innovation and the wider ecosystem in Africa.”
The competition is also open to all ecosystem stakeholders, such as regulatory authorities, entrepreneurial support organisations, incubators, accelerators, or institutions such as colleges or universities from Africa, ATU stated.
“African organisations and institutions that have created an enabling environment for youth ICT innovations to thrive are eligible to participate.
“The winning entity will be awarded $10,000 aside the practice-gaining recognition as the best ecosystem practice in Africa enabling youth ICT innovation,” the statement read in part.
Reflecting on the first innovation challenge and the anticipated benefits of the second edition, the Vice President at Huawei, Southern Africa Region, Samuel Chen, said, “Huawei is committed to developing innovations that bring the benefits of technology to all, alongside supporting and enabling innovation and digital ecosystem development in Africa by Africans through training and partnerships alongside infrastructure and digital services.”
The sponsors were applauded by the Minister of Information and Communication Technology for Namibia, Dr Peya Mushelenga, who was the chief guest at the launch, for their initiative and for acknowledging the significance of a public-private partnership in promoting development.
“The collaboration between ATU, Huawei and other partners is a tool delivered to our hands. Let us use it to generate sustained economic growth in Africa,” Mushelenga said.
The inaugural ATU Africa Innovation Challenge that took place in 2020 recognised and awarded 11 finalists across Africa, who had developed mobile applications helpful in benefiting Africa’s fight against the Coronavirus Disease and its effect.
Egypt’s Mai Nagy topped the competition, followed by Mr Abdinoor Yerrow from Kenya and Ms Bequerelle Matemtsap Mbou from Cameroon.
Other countries that made it to the top 11 were Zimbabwe, Senegal, Lesotho, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Benin and Tanzania.
“Participants are required to submit, via www.atuuat.africa, a unique practice that has created an enabling environment for youth ICT innovation to thrive, together with success stories of two innovators that are beneficiaries of the practice.
“The practice must be an original idea/concept developed by the ecosystem stakeholder and must have been successfully implemented (and running) for a minimum of one year. It can be in the form of a policy, an initiative or a programme,” the statement added.
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