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Teleco firm; MTN Uganda has today announced officially a panel of five judges that will make the decision on the winners of the MTN Innovation Awards 2017. The judges were selected on the basis of their experience in understanding technology and potential to offer an objective assessment of the submissions made by the finalists.

The panel will review each of the 45 shortlisted submissions at a workshop and exhibition to be hosted at the Shoprite Lugogo Mall parking lot on Saturday, 28th October 2017 which will be open to the public for viewing of the mobile and web-based applications.

“The contribution to society is measured by impact especially in the long-term. Additionally, we are looking at positioning Uganda as having the innovation space and skilled individuals that can compete on the global stage,” Olivier Prentout the Chief Marketing Officer at MTN Uganda said in a press statement.

The winners will be recognized at an Awards Gala to be held on November 8th 2017 where each category winner will recievce a cash prize of USD$3000 (roughly 10,965,000 UGX).

Meet the judges:

TMS Ruge
TMS Ruge is passionate about innovation. Ruge has over a decade of experience helping African and international organizations, including clients like the World Bank, use design, social media and technology to engage with the public, maintain a competitive edge and foster a global presence.

Ruge is the founder of a number of businesses and initiatives working on cutting-edge solutions for social change. He is the founder and CEO of Raintree Farms, an agriculture business in his hometown of Masindi, Uganda, as well as the co-founder of remit.ug, a money transfer platform, and Hive Colab, Uganda’s first technology incubator.

Suzan Kitariko
Suzan is a senior executive with more than 15 years’ experience in the Telecom sector in Uganda. Throughout her career she has built a reputation for successfully developing telecom business strategies, incubating new business models and building out customer channel programs for 2 start-up Telecom companies in Uganda; key areas include a passion to driving new data-driven opportunities,  products, processes and customer service improvements in a very demanding, complex, multinational and multicultural environment. Suzan’s experience in telco leadership includes heading up a more than 200 employees spanning across R&D, operations as well as Sales & Marketing.

Suzan is currently the East Africa Regional Manager for CSquared, where she stands at the forefront of evangelizing an industry-wide shift to shared infrastructure, with the key objective of facilitating internet penetration in Region.

Simon Kaheru
Simon Kaheru is an enthusiastic Ugandan Communications professional, and has joined Coca Cola Beverages Africa as Public Affairs and Communications Director for Uganda. He has hitherto been Lead Analyst at Media Analyst, a private Public Relations and Communications Agency based in Kampala, Uganda, where he led a team servicing a wide range of Large, Medium and Small Scale Enterprises.

Simon serves on the Board of the Uganda Broadcasting Corporation, the national broadcaster, as Chairperson. He also serves on the Board of the ICT Association of Uganda, which he co-founded together with a team of fellow ICT enthusiasts and entrepreneurs.

For more than twenty years, Simon has worked at various levels in the mainstream media, with the Government of Uganda in an Executive office, and at corporate private organizations within Uganda, regionally and globally.

Simon is fun-loving and constantly plugged into as many gadgets as possible, all linked to the internet and its various possibilities.

From L – R: Teddy Ruge, Vivian Ddambya, Simon Kaheru, Suzan Kitariko, and Badru Ntege ar the 2017 MTN Innovation Award judges.

Ddambya Vivian
Vivian Ddambya is passionate about what technology can do to transform lives. She is currently the Director Technical Services at the National Information Technology Authority – Uganda (NITA-U). She is responsible for providing technical support and guidance on all matters related to ICT infrastructure, systems and services within Government. Manages the NBI currently at over 2500km across the country connecting over 300 MDA sites and the National Data Centre. Has over a decade experience in taking Government services online.

A Certified Information Security Systems Professional (CISSP), Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA), Cisco Certified Design Associate (CCDA), a Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert- Private Cloud (MCSE). She holds a Bachelor of Computer Applications and a Masters in Management of Information Systems.

Badru Ntege
Badru Ntege has 25 years of management and senior management as both a systems analyst and ICT consultant in the UK and Africa. He has a B.A Manufacturing Systems Engineering degree from Salford University in Manchester, UK.  The Group CEO of NFT Consult a regional managed services company with operations in 7 countries, he has been a member of the Presidential Investment Round table working group in Uganda.

He is the Chairman of the ICT sector at the Private Sector Foundation in Uganda. Regionally he has held the position of chairman for African Network Information Centre (AFRINIC) and he is currently the Chairman of the East African Science and Technology.