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Satnews Daily
February 9th, 2017

Stars are Brighter in Africa ... African Students Win DStv Eutelsat Star Awards

Oluwaseun P., Event MC; Members of the jury: Prof. Stephen Simukanga, former University of Zambia Chancellor now Director General of the Higher Education Authority; Rodney Benn, Regional VP Africa: Eutelsat; John Ugbe, Managing Director: MultiChoice Nigeria; Mr. Ochenjele, father of 2016 poster category winner; winner of the 2016 poster category, Emmanuel Ochenjele; Claudie Haigneré, former Astronaut now special advisor to the Director General of the European Space Agency (ESA); Elizabeth Ohene, journalist and former Minister of State to the Ministry of Education, Science and Sports Ghana; Jenerali Ulimwengu, noted writer, columnist and lawyer Tanzania & Ronke Bello, CEO at Innovative Technology Literacy Services Ltd Nigeria

The awards were presented by Eutelsat in Nigeria where some very bright minds were revealed that are eagerly studying space technology in this pan-African competition.  This is the sixth edition of DStv Eutelsat Star Awards that encourages young African students aged 14 to 19 to explore innovative thinking in science and space technology.

The enthusiasm keeps increasing, and this sixth edition shows sustained interest having attracting over 1,000 entries from 20 countries. Levels of accuracy, creativity and originality were judged to be higher than ever before, both in the essay and poster categories. 

Essay Winners

Entrants to the essay category were inspired to envision the role played by satellite technology in Africa’s future.

Essay Winner—Leoul Mesfin from Ethiopia, judges were impressed with his analysis of continental and country specific needs and for closely developing the topic.

Prize—Leoul wins a trip to Paris and a launch site to witness a rocket launch a satellite into orbit.

Essay Runner-Up—Davids Bwana from Tanzania

Prize—Davids wins a trip for two to visit MultiChoice facilities, and the South African National Space Agency near Johannesburg. 

Poster Winners

Poster Winner—Emmanuel Ochenjele from Nigeria, for his depiction of a constellation of diverse satellites all contributing towards the advancement of solutions to challenges such as global warming, conservation of biodiversity and stable energy supply.

Prize—He will visit Eutelsat in Paris and a satellite factory to see how satellites operate. 

Poster Runner-up—Aobakwe Letamo from Botswana.

Additional awards

The four winning schools attended by award winners and runners-up were also rewarded with:

  • A DStv installation
  • Including dish
  • TV set
  • PVR decoder
  • Free access to the DStv Education Bouquet


A new generation on the fast-track for positive change 

Claudie (André-Deshays) Haigneré is a French doctor, politician, and former astronaut with the Centre National d'Études Spatiales (1985–1999) and the European Space Agency (1999–2002).

Claudie Haigneré, Europe’s leading female astronaut and now special advisor to the Director General of the European Space Agency (ESA), chaired the jury of the Awards for the first time.

She commented, “Taking part in the DStv Eutelsat Star Awards for the first time has been quite simply a mind-changing experience, especially as this year’s topic was particularly challenging. The visionary ideas on Africa’s future satellite landscape developed in essays and posters underscore how Africa’s youth expect technology to drive positive change for their continent. The Jury engaged in intense discussions to award the most realistic and creative proposals that deserve to stand out on the African stage. Our congratulations go to all the finalists for their work and to the winners for their brilliant ideas.”

She was assisted in her duty by a panel of international skilled industry experts

  • Ronke Bello, CEO at Innovative Technology Literacy Services Ltd (Nigeria)
  • Elizabeth Ohene, journalist and former Minister of State to the Ministry of Education, Science and Sports (Ghana)
  • Prof. Stephen Simukanga, Former University of Zambia Chancellor and now Director General of the Higher Education Authority
  • Jenerali Ulimwengu, famous writer, columnist and lawyer (Tanzania).

The winners were announced in the presence of the Hon. Permanent Secretary, his Excellency Sunny Echono, representing the Minister of Communication Technology who said, “This sixth edition shows sustained interest from African youths, adding fresh impetus to the mission shared by MultiChoice and Eutelsat to encourage young minds to positively change their world via innovative thinking in science and technology. This can be attested to by the number of Ministries, Departments and Agencies present at this event.” 

The next edition will open for entries later this year.