Ready for take-off: Winners of the first ‘ICT 4 Inclusion Challenge’ in Africa announced

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The first ICT  4 Inclusion Challenge has come to an end. After an initial round in which 10 teams were selected by 24 judges to attend a 2-week virtual Bootcamp. The 9-experts-strong final jury panel made up of Atos executives, as well as experts from GIZ, the private sector, civil society, and international organizations chose three finalists. The teams were awarded at the Innovation in Disability Inclusion event on the 3rd of December, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

Each participant from each of the three winning teams was awarded a dedicated 3-month mentorship program at Atos starting in January 2022, monetary prizes, as well as an opportunity to pitch to be a part of Atos Scaler, the Atos Group’s accelerator program.

The winners are:

1st prize and Competition Winner: ‘Vinsighte’, Nigeria

Vinsighte is a reading software/application that makes use of Artificial Intelligence to aid the visually impaired to read conveniently. It works by scanning through texts on books and reading the books aloud to the visually impaired user. The team won €6,500.

2nd prize: ‘Virtual E&T’, South Africa

This customized app provides an accessible and affordable Virtual Education and Training Portal for people with intellectual disabilities. The team won €2,500.

3rd prize: ‘Talking Charts’, Kenya

This solution addresses the accessibility challenges of data visualization for people with visual impairment, including blindness, through synthetic speech and auto-captioning. The team won €1,000.

Commenting on these results

Commenting on these results, Udo Littke, Head of Atos in Central Europe, and Jürgen Zattler, Director General in the Germany Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development said the following at the Award Ceremony: 

“Congratulations to our winners and to all of our contestants! I’m blown-away by the creativity and quality of the entries. Access to education is one of the greatest barriers to inclusion for children, young persons and adults with disabilities in Africa and digital innovations can help to overcome this challenge by removing barriers to education for persons with disabilities. We’re very proud to encourage the new generation to help shape inclusive education in Africa”.

Udo Littke, Atos

“The award ceremony marks the end of this years’ ICT 4 Inclusion challenge  but we hope it will be the starting point for new and innovative solutions to shape inclusion of persons with disabilities but also without disabilities in Africa and around the world. I would like to thank all teams of the ICT 4 Inclusion challenge for their participation and contribution to a more accessible digital world”

Jürgen Zattler, BMZ

   

Disability Inclusion Event recording

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Collection of pictures of some members of the international jury

ICT 4 Inclusion Challenge Jury

The judging panel is composed of experts of Atos, GIZ, private sector, civil society and international organisations. The panel is carefully selected to provide expertise in the fields of education, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), innovation, accessibility and inclusion and regional African perspectives.

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Intellectual workshop

What’s in it for you?

Whether you are a tech-savvy digital entrepreneur who tackles challenges with a solution-oriented approach or if you are someone directly impacted by a lack of accessibility to education with an idea on how to improve the situation; if your submitted idea is successful, you will be provided with the unique opportunity to turn your idea into an operating and impactful solution.

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What are we looking for?

What are we looking for?

We wish to foster & scale digital and technical innovations that provide or improve access to education for children, youths and/or adults with disabilities in Africa.

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More information on why this challenge is crucial now

Why is this challenge crucial now?

Education is the foundation on which inclusion is built. However, children and young persons with disabilities in Africa are significantly less likely to attend and complete basic and higher education.

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