By Prince Osuagwu (Just back from Cape Town, South Africa)

Two Nigerian youths, Messrs Anthony Oniwon and Abdulganiyu Onabanjo were the cynosure of all eyes, Wednesday week, Night in Cape Town as they carted away a whopping $35, 000, approximately, N6 million, as winners of Etisalat Pan-African Prize for Innovation 2014.

Etisalat used the opportunity of the AfricaCom Awards Gala Dinner which rounded off this year’s AfricaCom Conference, at the Cape Town International Conference Centre Nov 11-13 to present the prizes.

Oniwon created and developed Exam mate solution, an Exam preparatory programme for JAMB candidates, designed to reduce the failure rate in JAMB examinations. The application, according to Etisalat, rated highest among others considered in the Most Innovative Product or Service category of the award and therefore merited the coveted Prize of $25,000- over N4million, while Onabanjo’s Interactive Media Interface Design (IMID), a remote communication interface for GPRS-enabled pre-paid meters, ranked top in the Most Innovative Idea category and also deserved the top prize of N$10,000 – approximately N1.7 million. Presenting the Awards, Etisalat Nigeria’s Director, Consumer Segment, Oluwole Rawa and his colleague Adia Sowho, Head Digital Media, described the award initiative as Etisalat’s way of encouraging and celebrating valuable innovation in the African market. The Award is in its third edition.

Rawa expressed pleasure that the competition was beginning to inspire local software developers and ingenious people to create innovative and relevant mobile broadband products and services that can make a positive impact on the aggregate African economy. “At Etisalat, we see ourselves as a young and innovative company, setting the pace for others in the telecommu-nications industry.

Therefore we are glad to see that the Etisalat Pan-African Prize for Innovation is spurring young people across Africa to be creative” he said. Beneficiaries of the Prize, The Anthony Oniwon and Abdulganiyu Onabanjo both commended Etisalat for introducing the award. They expressed confidence that the Prize will not

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