Students from Ethiopia and Nigeria score big at 6th edition of DStv Eutelsat Star Awards organised by Eutelsat and MultiChoice Africa
- Leoul Mesfin from Ethiopia wins essay prize
- Emmanuel Ochenjele from Nigeria wins poster prize
Johannesburg, Lagos, Paris, 7 February 2017 – The winners of this year’s DStv Eutelsat Star Awards, the unique pan-African competition that encourages young minds to explore innovative thinking in science and space technology were announced tonight in Nigeria. The sixth edition shows sustained interest from African learners aged 14 to 19, attracting over 1000 entries from 20 countries. Levels of accuracy, creativity and originality were judged to be higher than ever before, both in the essay and poster categories.
Prizes from out of space
Nearly 1,000 entrants were inspired by the topic of the essay category, encouraging them to envision the role played by satellite technology in the Africa of the future. The winner in the essay category, Leoul Mesfin from Ethiopia, his entry particularly struck the judges as it considers continental and country specific needs and closely aligns to the topic. He has won a trip to Paris and onwards to a launch site to witness a rocket blast into space to place a satellite into orbit. The runner-up in the essay category was Davids Bwana from Tanzania who wins a trip for two to visit MultiChoice facilities and the South African National Space Agency near Johannesburg.
In the poster category, first place went to Emmanuel Ochenjele from Nigeria for his depiction of a constellation of diverse satellites all contributing towards the advancement of solutions to challenges such as global warming, conservation of biodiversity, as well as stable energy supply. He will visit Eutelsat in Paris to understand how satellites are operated, as well as a satellite factory. Aobakwe Letamo from Botswana was the runner up in the same category. The four winning schools attended by the overall award winners and runners-up were also rewarded with a DStv installation, including dish, TV set, PVR decoder and free access to the DStv Education Bouquet.
Claudie Haigneré, Europe’s leading female astronaut and now special advisor to the Director General of the European Space Agency (ESA), chaired the jury of the Awards for the first time. She commented: “Taking part in the DStv Eutelsat Star Awards for the first time has been quite simply a mind-changing experience, especially as this year’s topic was particularly challenging. The visionary ideas on Africa’s future satellite landscape developed in essays and posters underscore how Africa’s youth expect technology to drive positive change for their continent. The Jury engaged in intense discussions to award the most realistic and creative proposals that deserve to stand out on the African stage. Our congratulations go to all the finalists for their work and to the winners for their brilliant ideas.”
She was assisted in her duty by a panel of international skilled industry experts: Ronke Bello, CEO at Innovative Technology Literacy Services Ltd (Nigeria), Elizabeth Ohene, journalist and former Minister of State to the Ministry of Education, Science and Sports (Ghana), Prof. Stephen Simukanga, Former University of Zambia Chancellor and now Director General of the Higher Education Authority, Jenerali Ulimwengu, well known writer, columnist and lawyer (Tanzania).
The winners were announced in the presence of the Hon. Permanent Secretary, his Excellency Mr. Sunny Echono, representing the Minister of Communication Technology who said: “To my mind, this sixth edition shows sustained interest from African youths, adding fresh impetus to the mission shared by MultiChoice and Eutelsat to encourage young minds to positively change their world via innovative thinking in science and technology. This can be attested to by the number of Ministries, Departments and Agencies present at this event.” The next edition of the competition will open for entries later this year.
About the DStv Eutelsat Star Awards
In 2010 MultiChoice Africa and Eutelsat combined their expertise to initiate an annual pan-African student competition called the DStv Eutelsat Star Awards. The DStv Eutelsat Star Awards encourages 14-19 year-old students to write an essay or design a poster on a satellite-related topic. Country winners from across Africa then compete in the overall awards for a trip to the Eutelsat facilities in Paris, with the essay winner travelling onwards to witness a live rocket launch. Runners-up win a trip to South Africa as guests of MultiChoice Africa and the South African National Space Agency at Hartebeesthoek. Schools attended by the overall winners also receive a DStv installation, including dish, television, state-of-the-art PVR decoder and free access to the DStv Education Bouquet. Winners at national levels win prizes such as computers or tablets.
About Eutelsat Communications
Established in 1977, Eutelsat Communications (Euronext Paris: ETL, ISIN code: FR0010221234) is one of the world’s leading and most experienced operators of communications satellites. The company provides capacity on 39 satellites to clients that include broadcasters and broadcasting associations, pay-TV operators, video, data and Internet service providers, enterprises and government agencies. Eutelsat’s satellites provide ubiquitous coverage of Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia-Pacific and the Americas, enabling video, data, broadband and government communications to be established irrespective of a user’s location. Headquartered in Paris, with offices and teleports around the globe, Eutelsat represents a workforce of 1,000 men and women from 37 countries who are experts in their fields and work with clients to deliver the highest quality of service.
About MultiChoice Africa
Entertainment is a powerful way to tell stories that open our minds, bring people together around shared passions, and connect us to new realities. It makes us laugh and cry. It informs, it educates and it inspires. MultiChoice is a video entertainment company, and our role is to enrich lives.
Our mission is to deliver value to our customers by making great entertainment more accessible. We find and develop the right mix of content and deliver it to millions of people across Africa – anytime, anywhere. Whether it’s local telenovelas, the excitement of world class sport or the latest global blockbusters, our investment in leading-edge content and technology systems deliver the shows that people love into their hands and their living rooms.
We listen to our customers to understand their changing lives, the pressures they face and what matters most to them. We are committed to using these insights to put customers at the heart of all the decisions that each of us make every day. We’re reshaping our business to improve our customers’ experience, whenever and wherever they engage with us.
Born and bred in Africa, we are rooted in the countries where our customers live. We are managed and run by local people, and strive to provide all our employees with new opportunities. We’re proud of the contribution we make to our communities, and our business has grown hand-in-hand with local economies by forging long-term partnerships with governments, national broadcasters and entrepreneurs. As the continent’s leading funder of sport and local production, we’ve built skills and capacity to become the backbone of content that matters to our customers.
As Africa continues to change rapidly, the entertainment industry is ever more relevant. We want to use our influence and resources to play a positive role in Africa, helping to grow Africa’s people and creative industries into vibrant, economic powerhouses. It’s by creating value for our customers, our employees and society that we’ll build a successful business for the future.