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The winners of the year 2016 and 5th edition of the DStv Eutelsat Star Awards were announced on Feb 10 in Nairobi, Kenya. The event celebrated and showcased the rising interest in STEM among students.

The DStv Eutelsat Star Awards organized by MultiChoice Africa, and Eutelsat, received its highest number of submissions yet. Totaling about 2,000 submissions from 18 countries. This year’s winners are:

Ayawen Asuinura – A Ghanaian student that won the essay prize and won a free trip to Paris to witness a rocket blasting into space for a satellite launch. The runner-up in the essay competition was Sara Eribo from Equatorial Guinea who also won a trip for two to the MultiChoice facilities and the South African National Space Agency near Jo-burg. Previously, Ghana has produced two first place winners under the poster category; this is their first, first place winner in the essay category.

Mallon Marume – A Zimbabwean student that won the poster prize category for artistic creativity. The awarded prize is a free visit to the Eutelsat facilities in Paris to get educated on how satellites work and get piloted while in space. The runner-up was Benjamin Ibanda from Uganda. Last year, Zimbabwe produced first place winner in the essay category.

Contestants under the essay category were asked to interpret a quote by Socrates: “Man must rise above the Earth, to the top of the atmosphere and beyond, for only thus will he fully understand the world in which he lives…

The contestants were tasked to show how satellites can help humanity better understand and take care of Earth. The four school attended by the first place and runners-up winners will also got awards; a DStv installation (dish, TV set, PVR decoder and free access to DStv Education Bouquet).

Paolo Nespoli, a European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut was the chairperson of the jury in the Awards for the third time in a row. Nespoli made the following comments on the entries:

As the Jury Chairman of the DStv Eutelsat Star Awards over the last three years, I confirm that this year’s entries reaffirm the high standard of this unique competition. The quality and creativity of the finalists’ essays and artwork underscore the deep interest of Africa’s young generation in science and technology. I am truly honored to be part of a competition that reveals some of Africa’s future thought leaders.”

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