This year’s Innovation Time, took place on October 5th, 2019 as usual during the 6th edition of the Rebranding Africa Forum under the theme, “Socio-economic Challenges of Mining in Africa.” The competitors were two young entrepreneurs:
- Juveline Ngum NGWA from Cameroon with her BLEAGLEE project for the recycling of metal waste from mining sites;
- Bethel Roger HALL from Ethiopia, with iJOBS Project, which is a mobile platform to connect freelancers and companies on the African continent.
Although the public and the jury members were very much interested in both projects, the Innovation Time 2019 Prize was awarded to Juveline Ngum NGWA, CEO of BLEAGLEE. The winner received the 2019 Innovation Time Awards trophy, and a cheque of five thousand euro, offered by the Rebranding Africa Forum and Notre Afrik Magazine to encourage and support her initiative.
The Innovation Time Jury was composed of:
- Mrs Chantal KAMATARI, CRS Manager at BNP Paribas Fortis and President of the Jury,
- Mrs Julie SIMON, Communication and HR Manager at ULB-Cooperation,
- Ms Yacine Bio TCHANE, Economist and Consultant,
- Mr Serge BAKOA, Lawyer at the Bars of Paris and Cameroon.
A look back at Innovation Time – discovering the candidates
The first candidate to present her project was Juveline Ngum NGWA, a native of Cameroon and holder of a graduate diploma in education and professional development from the University of Bamenda, in Cameroon. She is the CEO of the BLEAGLEE organisation, founded in 2018. The main aim of its project is to equip schools in remote areas with equipments such as cooking ovens made from metal waste from mining sites. The project also has a social dimension, since it has also as objective to train and employ low-income youth, especially girls. Bleaglee also has an online community where trainers publish interactive educational content.
The second candidate, Bethel Roger HALL from Ethiopia, is the Co-Founder of the mobile application iJobs, (apps soon available). It aims at promoting inter-African recruitment, by connecting freelancers and companies in a specific way that is adapted to the African context. The objective is to become, in a few years, an essential platform for recruiting qualified personnel in Africa. The strengths of their project are based on: the use of artificial intelligence to facilitate and guide the research made by platform users, the adaptation of the platform to the African context with the use of African languages such as Amharic, Shona, Zulu, Igbo, Hausa and Oromo in addition to English, French and Arabic. Thanks to a computerized machine translation system established in the platform’s discussion space, interlocutors from different African countries will be able to engage in a working relationship without difficulty related to the language barrier.