TechInAfrica – Africa Basque Challenge (ABC) that was held in Basque County, Spain, has finally announced the winner. The winning team consisted of young innovators from Kenya and the Basque County. It became the winner after being selected by an expert of the jury.
Among those Kenyan young innovators were Friday Roseline and Sheila Koech. In fact, there were more than 20 Kenyan innovators who also joined the Challenge in Spain. The main purpose of the Challenge was to discover social as well as technical solutions to bridge the urban-rural divide in this rapidly urbanizing world.
Their idea, which they called HOCO, was to use coconut waste to produce construction materials. By doing that, they wanted to drive sustainable development in rural areas. As the winners, they received €6,000 of funding as well as six months of a mentoring program for the real implementation of their idea.
Koech shared her experience about her participation in the Challenge, “ABC has been an eye-opener for me. Our team spirit was exceptional and I believe that it played a big role towards our success. Going forward our teamwork will be stronger than before. I now believe that with determination and hard work everything is possible. Our multicultural and multidisciplinary background will go a long way in defining our objective. I am proud to be part of ABC.”
Another Kenyan winner, Roseline, added: “We are honored to receive the prize, the journey was not easy, starting from the moment when the project was only a small idea until today much work has been done. Challenges also arose, but working together as a team transformed the idea into reality.”
Besides the winning team, the other runner up winners also received a fund of €3,000 to implement their solutions.
General Manager of Trade Promotion and Tourism at the Government of Biscay, also commented about the Challenge, “The ABC is the first hub-to-hub competition for entrepreneurs, linking innovators in Kenya and the Basque Country. Kenya was chosen because it is known as the Silicon Valley of Africa and it’s a thriving hub for entrepreneurs.
He continued, “Providing a dynamic ecosystem for start-ups. It also it home to and shares co-operative values. The idea is to broaden the innovators’ horizons, show them the world is their market and that all entrepreneurs think the same regardless of their geography.”