Orange funds African ICT start-ups

Orange is pledging financial, management and technical support to three African start ups as part of a scheme to back new companies in the continent.
The operator will pump up to €25,000 into the start ups, connect them with business and telecoms professionals, and offer management support for six months.
Orange chose the three from a field of 450 projects and businesses that applied for its annual African Social Venture Prize, an award that seeks to promote the use of ICT to meet the continent’s social needs.
"Entrepreneurs in Africa have always shown an ability to harness technology for the development of lasting, socially-responsible innovations that stimulate growth,” said Marc Rennard, Orange’s senior executive vice president for Africa, the Middle East and Asia. “This year’s jury was impressed by the overall quality of the projects submitted. We can clearly see that technology is a relevant tool for driving social development.”
The winning project is QuickDo, a startup founded in 2011 providing an e-book ecosystem in Cameroon. In second was the Ivoire Job project, an online platform designed to make it easier to access jobs in Côte d'Ivoire, and third Chifco, Tunisia-based firm offering remote monitoring of high-energy devices in the home and workplace to enable efficient energy use.