Paris, Johannesburg, 17 May 2013
As part of their commemoration of World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD) MultiChoice Africa and Eutelsat Communications 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 to 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, namely to raise awareness of the impact of information and communication technologies (ICTs), and in particular satellites, on society. “The new edition of the Star Awards challenge high school student from over 42 African countries to propose how they would use the satellites in space to address three community, country or African continental priorities” he added.
The annual awards, which grew from 800 entries in 2011 to over 1000 last year take the form of a competition open to 14-19 year-old students to write an essay or design a poster on the specified topic. Country winners, besides winning exciting country prizes, will go on to compete against each other 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 traveling 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, Michel de Rosen, the ability of the competition to stimulate thinking among young Africans on the application of satellite technology to shape society and economies, combined with first hand exposure of winners to the technology in action, is a unique offering. “The awards present us with an opportunity to actively stimulate and showcase emerging science and technology talent on the African continent,“ he said. According to de Rosen, the DStv Eutelsat Star Awards is, as far as can be established, the only competition aimed at promoting knowledge and understanding of satellite technology among African youth and to kindle their interest to explore the exciting career paths and opportunities that the world of satellites offer: “We are delighted as a leading satellite telecommunications business to celebrate the 2013 World Telecommunication and Information Society Day in such a fitting and appropriate manner.”
The power of the awards to enrich lives is attested to by 2012 best essay winner Oyom Anthony from Uganda for who his recent trip to Paris and French Guiana was an exhilarating experience. Says Anthony: “The tour of Paris was breath-taking, and the visit to the Guiana Space Centre was very enriching and educative. Meeting and interacting with the various stakeholders in the launch programs at Kourou was a once in a lifetime opportunity, and as I flew back here, I reflected a lot on the achievements of these amazing persons and the lessons we could 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 www.dstvstarawards.com. Entries for the awards close on 19 September 2013.