FacebookFacebook is launching the Internet.org  Innovation Challenge in Africa, aimed at recognising developers and entrepreneurs who are using the internet to improve the standard of education and economic health in their communities. Developers across Africa are invited to enter the challenge.

The social media platform will present an Innovation Challenge Award of $150,000 to the app, website or service judged to be the best in two categories: learning/education and economic empowerment. Each Innovation Challenge Award winner will also receive a package of tools and services worth up to $60,000 from Facebook’s FbStart program (https://fbstart.com). Two apps, websites or services in each category will receive an Impact Award prize in the amount of $50,000.

Connecting people across growth economies

This follows the success of Facebook’s Internet.org Innovation Challenge in India, an award designed to recognise people making the internet more relevant for women, students, farmers and migrant workers in India. Facebook awarded prizes to services working on these challenges in India, where it was inspiring to see the range of entrepreneurship devoted to improving people’s lives.

“The Internet.org Innovation Challenge in Africa supports our vision of a connected world by recognizing those who are working on solutions that aim to improve education and economic health of communities in Africa,” says Ime Archibong, director of strategic partnerships at Facebook. “We’re looking forward to seeing how African developers are providing real value for their communities. By connecting people and empowering them with access to services and information, we can help them achieve extraordinary things and help them to enhance their lives,” Archibong adds.

The details of the awards

The awards are open to developers of apps, websites and online services that provide real value to African communities under the following pillars:

Learning/education (apps, websites or online services that make use of technology to inspire and deliver learning)

Economic empowerment (apps, websites or online services that help to advance the economic strength and ability of communities)

All entries must be received by May1, 2016. Winners will be announced in August/September 2016.

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