This year is already proving a great year for the DStv Eutelsat Star Awards as the competition reaches a milestone of over 1,000 entries from secondary and high-school students from across Africa. The competition, sponsored by MultiChoice and Eutelsat Communications, and now entering its second year, is designed to provoke thinking on how innovation and satellite technology can propel Africa into the future. Entries have now closed for this year's event.
This year's panel of judges is another achievement, with a jury comprising high-profile academics and business leaders. Patrick Baudry , a French astronaut, born in Douala, Cameroon, and a member of the fifth NASA Discovery mission, has accepted the invitation from MultiChoice and Eutelsat to chair this year's jury. Speaking on behalf of the jury, Patrick said: " We are committed and passionate about the development of high-tech skills for young people and honoured to play a role in shaping young minds and encouraging ambition. We look forward to judging the ideas and creative thinking by the finalists in Dar es Salaam , Tanzania , on 22 November and to assigning this year ' s prize. "
The first edition of the DStv Eutelsat Star Awards, won by Mary Musimire from Uganda for her essay and Michael Yeboah from Ghana for his poster, is still generating significant interest across Africa. This will reach new heights on 9 November when Michael's illustration is taken into space by an Ariane rocket. To mark the launch of Eutelsat's newest satellite, Michael's artwork is decorating the faring of the Ariane rocket that will blast off into space from the Ariane launch site in French Guiana, South America.
"We are astounded by the talent we see emerging through this competition. As founding sponsors of this initiative with MultiChoice, we are delighted to showcase a new generation of African creativity and to see last year ' s winning poster by Michael Yeboah go into space on the Ariane rocket flying our latest satellite," said Joaquim Pereira de Lima, Regional Sales Director for Africa at Eutelsat.
MultiChoice Africa's Regional Director East Africa, Stephen Isaboke, welcomed the choice to host the awards in Dar es Salaam: "We are privileged to host these awards in Tanzania . This is not only a great initiative to honour our continent ' s young minds but it goes a long way in honouring and celebrating ourselves as Africans and the contribution we can make to the rest of the world. It will be a proud moment at the gala awards function when two of Africa ' s brightest stars will take the world stage , the winner to represent the continent overseas at a launch site for an incredible opportunity to watch a rocket go into space and the runner-up to visit Eutelsat ' s head office and satellite facilities. We wish the finalists all the best in the last stretch of the competition."
The launch of Eutelsat's satellite, EUTELSAT 21B, on Friday, 9 November can be watched on Eutelsat's website: http://www.eutelsat.com. The transmission will start at 21:50 Central European Time (20:50 UTC).
For m ore information on the competition : http://dstvstarawards.com
1. A UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, Patrick Baudry was involved in the establishment of the African Virtual University. He has also, since 2000, participated in the establishment of science and mathematics programmes for African girls. Baudry is a veteran of the Soviet Soyuz/Salyut Programme and subsequently joined the US Space Shuttle flights on the fifth Discovery STS-51G mission in June 1985.
About Eutelsat Communications
Eutelsat Communications (Euronext Paris: ETL, ISIN code: FR0010221234) is the holding company of Eutelsat S.A. With capacity commercialised on 29 satellites that provide coverage across Europe, as well as the Middle East, Africa and significant parts of Asia and the Americas, Eutelsat is one of the world's three leading satellite operators. As of 30 September 2012 Eutelsat's satellites were broadcasting more than 4,400 television channels to over 200 million cable and satellite homes in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The Group's satellites also serve a wide range of fixed and mobile telecommunications services, TV contribution markets, corporate networks, and broadband markets for Internet Service Providers and for transport, maritime and in-flight markets. Eutelsat's broadband subsidiary, Skylogic, markets and operates high speed Internet services through teleports in France and Italy that serve consumers, enterprises, local communities, government agencies and aid organisations in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas. Headquartered in Paris, Eutelsat and its subsidiaries employ just over 750 commercial, technical and operational professionals. This culturally diverse staff comprises employees from 30 countries. http://www.eutelsat.com
CONTACT: Contact at Eutelsat: Frederique Gautier, Tel.: +33-1-53-98-37-91, firstname.lastname@example.org. Contact at MultiChoice: Anda Ngani, Tel: +27-11-289-5363, email@example.com