Eutelsat Communications and MultiChoice Africa have announced the return of the DStv Eutelsat Star Awards for 2013. The awards inspire innovative thinking among secondary and high school students in Africa, to create awareness on how science and technology can be applied to everyday life and showcase the many ways that satellites already impact on the development of the African continent.
According to Nico Meyer, Chief Executive of MultiChoice Africa, the 2013 awards are perfectly aligned with the objective of WTISD (World Telecommunication and Information Society), namely to raise awareness of the impact of information and communication technologies (ICTs), and in particular satellites, on society.
“The new edition of our Awards challenges high-school students from over 42 African countries to propose how they would use satellites in space for Africa, their country or their community,” he added.
The annual awards, which grew from 800 entries in 2011 to over 1,000 last year, take the form of a competition open to 14-19 year-old students to write an essay or design a poster on a specified topic. Country winners, besides winning country prizes, will go on to compete for the overall continental awards. Like their 2011 and 2012 counterparts, this year’s overall essay and poster winners will win a once in a lifetime trip for two to the Eutelsat facilities in Paris, with the essay winner travelling onwards to witness a live rocket launch.
Runners-up will win a trip to South Africa as guests of MultiChoice Africa. Schools attended by the overall winners will also receive a DStv installation, including dish, television, state-of-the-art PVR decoder and free access to the DStv Education Bouquet.
For Eutelsat Chief Executive Officer, Michel de Rosen, the ability of the competition to stimulate thinking among young Africans on how satellite technology can shape society and economies, and the first-hand exposure of winners to the space business, is unique. “The awards present an opportunity to actively stimulate and showcase emerging science and technology talent on the African continent.They are the only competition aimed at promoting knowledge and understanding of satellite technology among African youth and kindling their interest in exploring the career paths and opportunities that the world of satellites offer. We are delighted, as a leading satellite operator engaged in developing communications in Africa, to celebrate the 2013 World Telecommunication and Information Society Day in such a fitting way.”
The power of the awards to enrich lives is attested by the 2012 best essay winner, Anthony Oyom from Uganda, whose recent trip to Paris and French Guiana was an exhilarating experience. Says Anthony: “The visit to the Guiana Space Centre was breathtaking and the tour of Parissimply amazing. Meeting and interacting with the various stakeholders in the launch programmes in Kourou was a once in a lifetime opportunity, and as I flew back to Uganda, I reflected on the achievements of these amazing people and the lessons we can learn from them.”
Students can enter the awards by collecting an entry form and other resources from their nearest MultiChoice office or download a copy at http://www.dstvstarawards.com. Entries for the awards close on 19 September 2013.