Sierra Leone leading Telecommunication Network Orange has awarded two young Sierra Leoneans on the 1st September, 2022 as winners of the Orange Social Venture Prize at the company’s Headquarter.

The Orange Social Venture Prize is an entrepreneurship event that supports the most innovative business idea from young people in Sierra Leone.

Osman Yaah of the Auto-smart irrigation and Energy Company Ltd won the National Grand Prize Le 100,000.Adeola Carew of Safe Space Sierra Leone won the Orange Tech Queen NL50,000.

Addressing his attentive audience, finalists, local and international Judges, CEO of Orange Sekou Amadou Bah, asserted that “This is the fourth edition of the Orange Social Venture Prize. Orange is position to be the lead digital partner for start-ups in Africa and the middle east of Africa also and this is why OSVP was initiated 12 years ago to reward the best technological project with positive impact and solutions to social challenges mainly in the fields of education, health, agriculture, mobile payment or sustainable development in Africa and the Middle East. Orange as a brand continues to impact directly the lives of people by giving back and touching lives. We believe in the philosophy of philanthropy. Since the inception of this prize in Sierra Leone, this prize has become a household name and a reference partner in ICT development and start-ups. In 2021, we included an additional prize to increase female participation and to promote Project, offering a technological Solution to improve the lives and conditions of women. The pitch session today is part of Orange’s innovation strategy which is committed to providing financial support and putting expertise in the development of new businesses using ICT.

Winner of the 100,000 prizes, Osman Yaah, founder and CEO of Autosmart irrigation Company SL Limited pitched an innovative business idea that facilitates the use of mobile phones to provide water for farms from any part of the world thereby creating the first digital agricultural irrigation system in Sierra Leone. Auto-smart irrigation is a locally made solution that helps farmers to carry out year-round cultivation.

“With this system, you don’t need to wait for the rainy season you can even farm during the dries. Triple your harvest per year.”, Osman said, believing that with 70% of arable land yet we can’t able to feed ourselves. He emphasised that Sierra Leone can only achieve food security and end hunger if we practice sustainable agriculture and mechanized farming.

Adeola Carew, founder and CEO of Safe Space SL, caught the attention of the local and international judges as she pitched a business idea that aims at breaking Sierra Leone’s culture of silence on reproductive issues and creating a community in which people feel safe to share their problems without fear of stigma or shame and get to find solutions through the creation of a sexual reproductive centre and a special Mobile App to facilitate the process.

In an interview with Sierraloaded, Carew asserted that “There is limited information about Sexual reproduction in this country, Teenage pregnancy and maternal mortality, but if we use technology it will be easy to access information for instance if you are being raped, you can easily access a resource point with your phone where you can access contacts for the nearest police station and also an expert that will help you fight your case. So all of these can be effective.”

As a creative Entrepreneur, Carew also doubles as a poet, writer and sex-positive advocate.