African tech innovators get the nod for inaugural Innovation Award

Web and emerging technology Conference, Tech4Africa, has announced the 11 finalists for its inaugural Innovation Award – designed to recognise homegrown innovation and inspire the industry to develop global solutions to uniquely African challenges.

Entries for the Award, which was open to both companies and individuals closed on 12 September, with the finalists spanning a myriad of tech fields and areas of focus. According to Gareth Knight – founder and MD of Tech4Africa, the Award is “another mechanism for us to realise our goal to engage, inspire, enable and innovate”.

He says the idea is to recognise a single person or organisation that has developed something that has changed the lives of people in Africa. “A great number of successful innovations emerge every year, yet many slip under the radar and this is something we hope to remedy through this initiative”. The Award also serves as a platform to expose what Africans are doing with the web and other emerging technologies, and provide them with exposure among fellow entrepreneurs, technologists and media.

The 2011 Tech4Africa Conference will be held at The Forum in Byanston from 27 to 28 October.

The 11 Innovation Award finalists are:

The Artist Project: ARTIST (Adaptive Real-Time Internet Streaming Technology) is a project focused on introducing an appropriate technology for low infrastructure regions (developing countries) to broadcast minimum-delay live video streams over the Internet with improved perceived picture quality than is currently possible with ‘off the shelf’ solutions. Helping to reduce the high number of road deaths in South Africa, is a digital platform which connects learner drivers with accredited and verified driving instructors.

Project Masiluleke employs mobile phones and other technologies as high impact, low-cost tools, in the fight against HIV/AIDS in South Africa.

PayU Computing aims to increase the availability of computing devices and Internet to the masses in East Africa by providing affordable access to these services.

Sentigol: Tendersure is a web based tendering tool, designed to combat corruption and high costs often associated with the tender process, whilst offering free and fair competition.

Powertime offers prepaid electricity users in South Africa the convenience of buying electricity on their mobile, whilst providing useful information on their energy usage and smart ways to contribute to more efficient use.

MISS (Mobile Information System Services) is an online (mobile and web) based public transport integrated communication system. It aims to provide a simple answer to the question: how do I get from A to B using public transport?

Evalunet, an education software developer, creates simple educational software products that solve real problems that South African teachers and children face daily.

Snapbill is an automated billing system that allows you to easily sell your services online.

Whive Social Media Platform, aims to enhance access of information to Africans including millions of mobile phone subscribers across Africa by using SMS technology to provide content in their local languages on their mobile phones.

TxtAlert is a mobile technology platform designed to improve adherence to Anti-Retroviral Treatment (ART). The system alerts ART patients about their next visits to the clinic. It also allows a patient to send a “please call me” message, free of charge, when they want to re-schedule their next clinic appointment.

Source: memeburn

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