The Africa Earth Observation (EO) Challenge was launched 14 weeks ago to promote awareness of earth observation data (EOD)’s value. We received 57 entries across 17 countries in Africa, and this figure came down to 10 finalists pitching at the grand finale hosted on Thursday the 11th of November 2021.
The finalists presented their innovative solutions and received deliberation from prestigious judges, Alex Fortescue, Africa Senior Manager at Maxar Technologies and Shanti Reddy, DEA Senior Partnership and Implementation Manager at Digital Earth Africa. The judges also included Tom Soderstrom, Director of Chief Technologists at Amazon Web Services (AWS)and Imraan Saloojee, Chief Sector, and Business Developer at South African National Space Agency, Earth Observation. Other judges included Stephen Reckie, Executive Director at GEN Space and Co-founder of Angelus Funding LLC and Janusha Singh, Non-Executive Director at ZASpace and Owner of Wanscan Consulting cc,. Furthermore, Davis Cook, Chief Executive Officer at RIIS, Non-Executive Director at ZASpace, and Karman Fellow served as the Master of Ceremonies,
Consequently, we are excited to announce the winners for the 2021 Africa Earth Observation Challenge are:
1st place: Astral Aerial Solutions
Astral is a drone technology company that uses drones to carry out essential enterprise functions. In agriculture, they support farmers by providing them with actionable data showing farm health status. The same data is leveraged for precision spraying in farm locations that require mitigation. Farm data assessment is automated to give additional insights like yield prediction through machine learning
2nd place: Ijumaa Data Analytics
Ijumaa is a company that specialises in using machine learning for mapping and providing technology that allows companies to access satellite imagery and pre-processed models that cater to feature extraction and change detection in the Forestry industry.
3rd place: AgriSpace
AgriSpace is a precision farming service that involves applying modern information technologies to provide, process, and analyse multi-source data of high spatial and temporal resolution for decision-making and operations in the management of crop or livestock production.
Nyasa Aerial Data Solutions
Nyasa Aerial Data Solutions (NADS) Ltd. is a Malawian technology company specialising in drone technology, satellite data processing, and data sciences to accelerate different programs and explore the innovative use of satellite technologies to support community programs not limited to but including climate change.
IGNITOSpace is a company specialising in using big data technology to democratise satellite and earth observation data to improve the economy through precision farming, climate change monitoring, disaster mitigation, and land and water resource management.
Aqualife Fisheries Farms
Aqualife Fisheries Farms is an aquacultural fish breeding farm that uses EOD for forecasting and monitoring breeding conditions. This improves fish production for meat and commercial purposes. The initiative responds to the increasing demand for African catfish within African countries. Furthermore, it is the most cost-effective alternative protein sources food that many can afford.
About the competition
The Africa Earth Observation (AEO) Challenge is an annual open innovation challenge sourcing novel space technologies since 2016. This challenge aims to drive entrepreneurial activity in the African space industry. Furthermore, it promotes awareness of EOD’s value across the continent and in multiple sectors such as water and food security.
The winning teams will consequently undergo a virtual mentorship and incubation programme from January to April 2022. Furthermore, the other prizes include Access to EO data from Maxar, a prize worth USD 10,000, two prizes worth USD 5,000, and Amazon Web Service Activate credits worth USD 5,000, USD 3,000 and USD 2,000 for the first, second and third place, respectively. In addition, the recipients will also receive a four-month online incubation and virtual internship worth USD 24,000. Global Entrepreneurship Network, Amazon Web Services and Digital Earth Africa will support the mentorship programme.
We are glad to have made this a worthwhile experience for all our winners. Furthermore, we would like to thank them for their time, effort, and participation in the challenge. You are all doing an incredible job, and we are humbled to be a part of this journey.
Thank you to our media partners, Space in Africa, who have supported us through this journey. Space In Africa will also be featuring the winners on their platforms.
Faleti Joshua is an avid lover of space in all its incomprehensible nature. He holds both an LL.B and a B.L degree. Joshua is a lover of music and a lawyer in his free time.