International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Secretary General Houlin Zhao (second left) poses for a group photo with winners of the Young Innovators Competition at this year's  ITU Telecom World in Budapest,Hungary. Kenyan innovators Calvince Okello of M-Shamba (centre) and Felix Kimaru of Toto Health (second right) are among those who scooped the ITU Telecom World Entrepreneurship Award.The event ended on Thursday.

Two Kenyan ICT start-ups have won awards at this year’s International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Telecom World Expo that ended on Thursday in Budapest, Hungary.
The two, M-shamba and Totohealth, won the ITU Telecom World Entrepreneurship Award, are among four start-ups sponsored to the event by the Communications Authority of Kenya.
The two were selected for the best SMEs and initiatives exhibiting at the event as selected by an expert jury as part of the Telecom World’s focus on fostering ICT-based SMEs and digital entrepreneurship, recognizing the most innovative and promising SMEs and initiatives using ICTs for social impact.

Toto Health also received an excellence award among very best of the SMEs and Pavilions exhibiting at the event, which saw 14 other SMEs awarded from across the world.
The four start-ups sponsored by the Communications Authority are M-shamba that offers innovative solutions in agriculture, transport, education and service sectors; Toto Health, that uses mobile technology to help reduce maternal and child mortality; Darasani, an innovation that links up educators with their students and Kejahunt that helps people locate houses to rent in an easy, convenient and credible way.

The ITU Telecom World is a premier global ICT innovation event for SMEs, corporates and governments. Kenya’s state-of-the-art pavilion, sponsored by the Authority, attracted many visitors, among them the ITU Secretary General, Houlin Zhao.

Mr. Zhao, speaking at the opening ceremony, acknowledged the critical role which SMEs and start-ups play within the ICT ecosystem and how this forms the cornerstone of a new and exciting direction for ITU and ITU Telecom.

Speaking via video message, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon encouraged government and technology industry leaders gathered in Budapest to “foster greater innovation and entrepreneurship in the ICT sector, especially among small and medium sized business.”

The event brought together 4,000 participants from 129 countries, 239 leaders and 247 speakers from 62 countries and 238 exhibitors from 54 countries.
The Young Innovators Competition celebrated six winning young social technopreneurs, selected from a total of 493 entries from 74 countries.