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Motswana IT Guru Scoops Orange Africa Prize

Twenty Five-year-old Botswana ICT professional, Thuto Paul Gaotingwe, has made the nation proud after he beat 450 others from 17 African countries in IT innovation competition sponsored by Orange to be crowned the winner. The competition is known as the Orange Africa Social Venture Prize.

The winners were announced in Cape town Thursday.

Gaotingwe’s innovation through an IT project  for farming called Modisar also won him  P300,000 financial grant, mentorship and training  from Orange to roll out and implement its farm management application. The application will also be patented in the country of deployment which is Botswana and Orange will offer professional and expert coaching to the team. The start-up was competing against more than 450 applicants from 17 African countries.

The winning project , Modisar is a youth owned agriculture innovative start-up incubated under the Botswana Innovation Hub First Steps Venture Services.

The Orange African Social Venture Prize rewards entrepreneurs developing products or services that use ICT in an innovative way to achieve social impact and meet the needs of Africans.

Modisar is a livestock farm management application (desktop, web & mobile) that makes it easy for farmers to manage their farms. The start-up company aims to ensure the continuity and sustainability of the livestock sector, a major contributor to the national Gross Domestic Product in Botswana.

The Managing Director and Founder of Modisar Gaotingwe said: “The goal of Modisar as a Precision Livestock Farming (PLF) software is to assist livestock producers by allowing them to keep accurate records & automated, continuous monitoring of their farm animals. We developed a web application ( ) & a set of desktop applications for goats, cattle & sheep that works-offline, and we should be launching them soon. After launching we plan to invest most our time in building the Modisar Mobile application”.

CEO of Botswana Innovation Hub,  Alan Boshwaen said: “BIH is proud that Modisar, which has come through

our technology entrepreneurship program has won this amazing international recognition at this early stage .We firmly believe it shows the latent potential in our country in this area of activity and this gives us the confidence to scale up our further support programs to young Batswana tech entrepreneurs to commercialize and grow their ventures.”

The Orange African Social Venture Prize is an innovative Corporate Social Responsibility competition launched in 2011 by the Orange Group to encourage social entrepreneurship and ICT for development in Africa. The competition is in line with the Orange innovation strategy and rewards entrepreneurs developing products or services that use ICT in an innovative way to achieve social impact and meet the needs of Africans in fields such as health, agriculture, education, energy, industry or trade.

The 1st and 2nd prizes of EUR15, 000 (P175, 000) and EUR10, 000 (117,000) went to Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal. There was also a special prize of EUR10, 000 for the Orange Partner who uses the Orange Application Programming Interface (API) and this went to an applicant from Cameroun.

Modisar and other 9 start-up enterprises that were among the top 10 finalists will receive intensive online acceleration program facilitated by VC4Africa, which will help the entrepreneurs to position themselves for growth and prepare for investment. By the end of the program they will be fully prepared to have a conversation with investors.

Upon successful graduation, the enterprises will be showcased on the VC4Africa platform to a group of investors including angels, seed and early stage venture capital investors and impact funds, all part of the VC4Africa Investor Network.




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