Afroes wins Tech prize

Afroes Mobile App

Afroes Mobile App

Pretoria – Science and Technology Minister Derek Hanekom has congratulated a South African mobile applications company for their selection as one of the top five innovative and entrepreneurial companies in the world.

“African innovators like Afroes are increasingly receiving global recognition in important technology areas. Such success stories clearly illustrate the impact innovation can have,” said the minister.

The South African company Afroes took the third prize of USD 8000 at the 5th Global Forum on Innovation and Entrepreneurship that ended in East London on Friday. The company was chosen among top 50 companies which had entered the Dragon’s Den Pitching Competition.

Judging in the competition involved criteria such as commercial potential, long-term success and impact on society.

The Dragons’ Den was one of the highlights at the three-day Global Forum, organised by the World Bank’s infoDev, the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the Eastern Cape Province.

Founded by Anne Shongwe, Afroes inspires the conversations and choices of young Africans through branded digital media and social responsible campaigns.

The start-up company is hosted by mLab in Pretoria at the Innovation Hub in Pretoria.

“We are very excited that Afroes has won such a coveted prize. It is important for African based start-ups to get the opportunity to pitch in front of a global audience to win mind-share in the mobile innovation space. Anne is an amazing role model not only for young innovators and entrepreneurs but also for women across Africa,” mLab Southern Africa CEO Derrick Kotze said.

Afroes creates uniquely African mobile applications and tools for social development agencies and corporate enterprises keen to spread educational and branded messages across the continent.

Hanekom said that Africa was embracing its role in advancing the global innovation agenda, at the same time empowering citizens, creating jobs and growing the economy.

He said the DST supported research, development and innovation activities with the ultimate aim of contributing to a more competitive economy through the development of small enterprises, for example, and to an improved quality of life for people in the country and region.

Other South African companies that had entered the competition include Kuza Mobile, Khaya Power and Mobiflock. They were among the top 20 of the top 50 companies. –