World Summit Awards recognise four SA start-ups

Sibahle Malinga
By Sibahle Malinga, ITWeb senior news journalist.
Johannesburg, 07 Oct 2022
MoyaApp founder and CEO Gour Lentell.
MoyaApp founder and CEO Gour Lentell.

Four home-grown digital start-ups have been shortlisted to participate in the World Summit Awards for their work in using innovation to make a difference in South African communities.

The WSA international initiative selects and promotes local digital innovation to improve society – selectedin line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The platform is focused on recognising cutting-edge examples of how ICT can have a positive impact on society, at local level.

This year, WSA national experts selected digital start-ups from 79 countries that had submitted nearly 350 nominations.

The nominated South African start-ups are: messaging service MoyaApp (inclusion and empowerment category); smart vending machine solutions firm Imagined Earth (smart settlements and urbanisation); reverse data billing app Datafree (inclusion and empowerment); and payments platform Paymenow (business and commerce).

“We congratulate all nominees. WSA combines two major perspectives in its initiative. First, the commitment on the UN SDGs, and how to use ICTs to development,” says WSA chairman Peter A Bruck.

“And second, the development of a global knowledge society. The UN SDGs must be our measurement – in terms of what to look at and where to look.”

According to the WSA, the 2022 nominees are evaluated based on seven criteria: content, functionality, design, technology, innovation, impact and value.

Nominees receive an award and support to scale their work and help society to better tackle social issues, such as digital inclusion, the prevention of pandemics, climate change, educational divides and gender equality.

The awards ceremony will take place in February 2023.

“We are proud to have been nominated for this award and to have been selected from among the many incredible South African digital technologies,” says MoyaApp founder and CEO Gour Lentell.

“MoyaApp is about promoting inclusive mobile communication and digital services access. We do this by removing the significant data cost barrier to engage South African mobile audiences, which speaks to the UN goal on empowerment and inclusivity.”