Ochenjele strengthens Nigeria’s place on the world map with poster prize

Emmanuel Ochenjele displaying his work at the event PHOTO: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI

Emmanuel Ochenjele has further strengthened the place of Nigeria on the world map with his depiction of a constellation of diverse satellites all contributing towards the advancement of solutions to challenges such as global warming, conservation of biodiversity, as well as stable energy supply at the DStv Eutelsat Star Awards, the unique pan-African competition that encourages young minds to explore innovative thinking in science and space technology.

Winners of the awards were announced in Nigeria at a well-attended event that held in Lagos. The sixth edition of the awards, showed sustained interest from African learners aged 14 to 19, attracting over 1000 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.

Nearly 1,000 entrants were inspired by the topic of the essay category, encouraging them to envision the role played by satellite technology in the Africa of the future. For his feat, Ochenjele will visit Eutelsat in Paris to understand how satellites are operated, as well as a satellite factory. The runner up in the category was Aobakwe Letamo from Botswana.

Leoul Mesfin from Ethiopia, winner of the essay category, with his entry, struck the judges as it considers continental and country specific needs and closely aligns to the topic. He has won a trip to Paris and onwards to a launch site to witness a rocket blast into space to place a satellite into orbit. The runner-up in the essay category, Davids Bwana from Tanzania, wins a trip for two to visit MultiChoice facilities and the South African National Space Agency near Johannesburg.

Speaking at the awards ceremony, chair of the jury, Claudie Haigneré, Europe’s leading female astronaut and now special advisor to the Director General of the European Space Agency (ESA) said: “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,” Haigneré added.

Others members of the jury include, 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, well known writer, columnist and lawyer (Tanzania).

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