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Orange looks to help fill gaps in Botswana’s innovation space

Orange Botswana says its annual Orange Social Venture competition will help foster a culture of innovative thinking among start-ups and encourage growth at scale – despite gaps in the country’s innovation space.

Speaking at the prize giving ceremony for the 12th Orange Social Venture Prize for the Botswana region and national phase of the overall competition, Orange Botswana CEO, Nene Maiga said the initiative creates opportunities for sustainable growth of Botswana’s economy in line with UN SDGs

“This platform serves as a catalyst for encouraging innovation amongst Batswana and rewards projects based on ICT,” said Maiga. “The Orange Social Venture Prize competition brings recognition and exposure to start-ups, and provides even greater potential for growth. The start-ups are contenders amongst the very best in the world, on par with international youth innovators.”

However, Intellegere Holdings Director, Itumeleng Garebatshabe, one of the judges for this year’s Botswana Orange Social Venture Prize 2022, described the local response to the competition as “lukewarm” and added this was “a sign that academia is not doing enough to open minds of the graduates.”

He said that local innovators were not targeting their projects at the global market.

“We identified a few gaps in the innovation space … all the entrants in Botswana only want to solve the problem in Botswana. They are still not thinking out of the box,” said Garebatshabe.

The international phase of the competition will see 51 national winners from 17 Orange businesses across Africa and the Middle East go toe-to-toe.

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