Orange, one of the world’s leading telecommunication operators, has announced applications for the 2017 edition of its Orange Social Venture Prize in Africa and the Middle East (OSVPAM) are now open.
The competition is aimed at rewarding entrepreneurs whose innovative ICT projects are improving living conditions for Africans and Middle East residents in fields such as health, finance, education and agriculture.
Last year’s edition was won by Moroccan biotechnology startup, MedTrucks, receiving €25,000 in the process. Nanoé (Madagascar) and Ma Tontine (Senegal) got €15,000 and €10,000 respectively for placing second and third.
“With a record 750 candidates in 2016, the success of the OSVPAM prize with entrepreneurs in Africa and the Middle East speaks for itself,” said Bruno Mettling, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Orange group and CEO of Orange Middle East and Africa.
This year’s edition is open to 17 countries  and will feature a national, and international phase, where winners of the national phase will compete before an international panel of judges for the Grand Prize.
Three winners will emerge, receiving €25,000, €15,000 and €10,000 respectively along with support from professionals in startup creation and funding.
The winners will receive their awards during the AfricaCom Awards Ceremony in Cape Town, South Africa, on 8 November 2017.
“This year, 17 countries in which we operate will recognize 3 winners, the better to promote the local start-up ecosystem, in addition to the winners at the international level. This is our way of reaffirming our ambition of becoming a major partner, in particular by showcasing innovation that serves people,” Bruno added.
The competition is open to any student, employee or entrepreneur over the age of 21 whose initiative is less than 3 years old. They are required to apply by 6 June 2017.
 Botswana, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea-Conakry, Madagascar, Mali, Morocco, Niger, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Senegal, Tunisia, Jordan, Liberia or Burkina Faso.