Facebook initiates Internet.org Innovation Challenge in Africa

NEW DELHI: World’s popular social interactive website Facebook is launching the Internet.org (http://Internet.org) Innovation Challenge in Africa (https://info.internet.org/en/story/innovation-challenge), with the aim of recognizing developers and entrepreneurs who are using the Internet to improve the standard of education and economic health in their communities. Developers across Africa are invited to enter this challenge.

Facebook says that the company will present an Innovation Challenge Award of $150,000 to the app, website or service judged to be the best in two categories: learning/education and economic empowerment. Each Innovation Challenge Award winner will also receive a package of tools and services worth up to $60,000 from Facebook’s FbStart program (https://fbstart.com). Two apps, websites or services in each category will receive an Impact Award prize in the amount of $50,000.

This follows the success of Facebook’s Internet.org Innovation Challenge in India (https:/info.internet.org/en/2015/10/20/innovationchallengeindia), an award designed to recognize people making the internet more relevant for women, students, farmers and migrant workers in India. Facebook awarded prizes to services working on these challenges in India, where it was inspiring to see the range of entrepreneurship devoted to improving people’s lives.

“The Internet.org Innovation Challenge in Africa supports our vision of a connected world by recognizing those who are working on solutions that aim to improve education and economic health of communities in Africa,” says Ime Archibong, Director of strategic partnerships at Facebook. “We’re looking forward to seeing how African developers are providing real value for their communities. By connecting people and empowering them with access to services and information, we can help them achieve extraordinary things and help them to enhance their lives.”

The awards are open to developers of apps, websites and online services that provide real value to African communities under the following pillars: learning/education (apps, websites or online services that make use of technology to inspire and deliver learning); and economic empowerment (apps, websites or online services that help to advance the economic strength and ability of communities). Facebook has indicated that all entries must be sent by May 1, 2016 and the winners will be announced in August/September 2016.

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