The maiden edition of the Africa Technovate Awards came off successfully on Saturday, April 2 at the grand auditorium of the University of Professional Studies (UPSA) in Accra with 17 technology institutions and individuals winning honours.
The event, organized by Africa Integrated Development and Communications Consultancies (AIDEC), was held under the theme ‘Information Technology and the Way Forward for Africa under the Fourth Industrial Revolution’.
Hubtel won Fintech Company of the Year with its CEO, Alex Bram winning Outstanding Entrepreneur of the Decade. Enterprise Computing took home Digital Business Transformation of the Year while DreamOval won Ambitious Tech Company of the Year.
Digital Excellence went to Hanergy Global with Quality Standards Award going to Research ICT Africa. Soko Aerial was adjudged Blossoming Tech Company of the Year with Chatbot Africa winning Digital Innovation and Creativity of the Year.
The Digital Agribusiness of the Year went to Esoko while Tech Insurance Company of the Year was won by BIMA; E-Health Company of the Year was Africa ICT Right and Outstanding EduTech Institution of the Year went to Academic City University College. The Tech Startup of the Year was MSoft and Young Tech Startup of the Year went to Gambia Tech Project (The Gambia).
The rest include Mature Tech Company of the Year, Isolutions Associates (Kenya); Long Standing Service Engagement, Delbondtek; and Lifetime Achiever of the Year going to Prof. Nii Narku Quaynor.
Addressing the ceremony, Chairman for AIDEC, Robert Yenneh said the award scheme was organized to motivate technology innovators ‘Technovate’ to remain even more competitive and enthusiastic about driving Africa on the road of a fast-transforming technological world.
Highlighting the importance of technology and innovation as a critical economic development tool, Mr. Yenneh noted that the way forward for Africa is to devise more smart policies to maximize and harness the gains of technology as the answer lies not in its denial.
“The many successes of 2021 and the host of fast-growing tech companies across the continent are creating hope for more fantastic feats in years to come. Generally, the pandemic has forced a greater demand for digital reliance across the board, and this outcome is likely to be here to stay in the ‘new normal’, as the utility of more abundant data and the ever-lower cost of using those data influence how entrepreneurs, policymakers, and professionals make decisions. The pandemic, however, is just one driver of current trends. Climate responsibility, continued economic development, demographic shifts, and social well-being are also key drivers.
One thing is certain; there is no turning back for us now amid this new normal. However, one thing that should be of concern is how we can devise more smart policies to maximize the benefits of technology,” he said.
Country Director for GIZ Ghana, Regina Bauerochse Barbosa called on the need to effectively train and equip Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) with the necessary digital skills emphasizing that they serve as a lever for integrated sustainable and inclusive development.
She said the ability to leverage technology has opened up room for different opportunities in sectors ranging from logistics to healthcare, education and across different markets but SMEs particularly the informal sectors have a hard time leveraging these opportunities because they lack the requite skills.
“As an integral factor in the pursuit of the Agenda 2063 of the African Union, the Digital Development Strategy (2020–2030) emphasizes the role of digital transformation as a lever for integrated sustainable and inclusive development. It addresses the untapped potential of millions of offline and unbanked inhabitants while considering risks arising from an existing and growing digital, income and gender gap.
In contrast to the thriving start-up scene in urban centers like Accra, it is particularly rural areas and informal businesses that have not yet fully benefited from the opportunities of digital transformation. Particularly the digitalization of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises bears huge potential for growth and employment.
Yet, the uptake and use of respective digital tools and channels is frequently prevented by a lack of digital skills or awareness of such services,” she said.
Full list of award winners
1. The Digital Agribusiness of the Year- Esoko
2. Tech Insurance Company of the Year – BIMA
3. Fintech Company of the Year – Hubtel
4. E-Health Company of the Year – Africa ICT Right
5. Outstanding EduTech Institution of the Year – Academic City University College
6. Digital Innovation and Creativity of the Year – Chatbot Africa
7. Digital Business Transformation of the Year – Enterprise Computing
8. Tech Startup of the Year – MSoft
9. Young Tech Startup of the Year – Gambia Tech Project (The Gambia)
10. Blossoming Tech Company of the Year – Soko Aerial
11. Mature Tech Company of the Year – Isolutions Associates (Kenya)
12. Ambitious Tech of the Year – DreamOval
13. Long Standing Service Engagement – Delbondtek
14. Quality Standards – Research ICT Africa
15. Digital Excellence – Hanergy Global
16. Outstanding Entrepreneur of the Decade – Alex Bram
17. Lifetime Achiever of the Year – Prof. Nii Narku Quaynor
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