The SASAwards is the first annual award to celebrate and recognise the spirit of innovation and achievement in the startup ecosystem in Southern Africa (SADC region).
Every country was expected to produce a country winner in 15 respective categories such as Startup of the year, Best newcomer, Founder of the year, Best financial tech startup, Best student startup and Best food tech/ Agritech startup amongst others. SASA Namibia like in any other SADC country uses platforms sponsored the Global Startup Awards.
SASA Namibia was represented by 11 regional winners from 9 startups at the SASAwards grand finale that took place on the 21-22 November 2018, in Johannes burg South Africa.
Out of the 15 categories, Namibia brought home two awards: Founder of the year was won by Mr. Kennedy Liswani of Elephonic Mobile Technologies. Twin brothers Demetrio and Devano Möwes of Solve Namibia scooped the Best water crisis management solution.
“On behalf of NBII and our partners NCRST, we thank all our sponsors and contributors FNB Namibia, SAIS and the Namibian government for the contribution in rolling out this important programme. We trust that with their continued support of this initiative we will establish and strengthen the startup ecosystem” said the Manager of Innovation Marketplace at NBII, Mr. Silas Newaka. “Namibia be ready for 2019, SASAwards are coming back even bigger and better” he added.
The Namibia Business Innovation Institute (NBII) of the Namibia University of Science and Technology in partnership with the National Commission on Research Science and Technology (NCRST) are the node of Southern Africa Start-up Award (SASA). The SASA is an official Southern Africa circuit for the Global Startup Awards, which have been running annually since 2012. Global Startup Award is celebrated in 45 countries across 7 regions including Nordics, Central Europe and Southern Africa. Southern African joined in 2018 and, has already all 15 SADC countries signed up with the initiative. The Global Startup Award annually interacts in excess of 100,000 startups, entrepreneurs, investors, and journalists throughout the award shows, and it has over 200,000 fans or followers throughout social media. Some of the organisations that support the Global Startup Awards include; Google, MasterCard, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft and IBM.
570 unemployed youths graduated from the Reconstruction Living Labs Namibia (RLabs), which is a social innovation programme under the Namibia Business Innovation Institute (NBII), at NUST.