Rachel Hakim: South Sudanese scoops young innovators award

Rachel Hakim: South Sudanese scoops young innovators award
Rachel Hakim Edward, owner and founder, Go-Go Play.

​A South Sudanese entrepreneur beat stiff competition to scoop the East Africa Youth Innovation Presidential Award.

Rachel Hakim Edward, who developed an online streaming platform – GoGo Play, emerged the best among regional innovators, at a recent competition held on Thursday in Kampala, Uganda.

GoGo Play is a video streaming platform that hosts South Sudanese entertainment contests such as music, drama, events, and cultural shows.

The award came with a $5,000 cash prize.

“I am super excited because this award has recognized my hard work, and only in the last two months have I been recognized at the regional level; this shows that there is something beautiful behind it,” she said.

Rachel, 25, added that having been a problem solver in a country instead of the world coming to rescue a young country by doing work to bring the market to it.

She believed that the recognition shows that there is an opportunity for the country to grow and take over.

“So far, I will say that I feel very happy and proud that I have been given a platform to present who I am,” GoGoPlay’s CEO added.

According to her, South Sudan has a very powerful voice out there, although people think that South Sudan is so difficult to grow up in.

“That is not the case; trust me, once you do something with a vision of very great impact, you reach the world,” the EA youth innovation winner stressed.

“Imagine everything we do in GoGo Play is not something new under the sun, but the great brain or great personality behind it made it be recognized and known not only in South Sudan but in East Africa at large, given its own respect,” she added.

Rachel, who is also a radio presenter at a local station, encouraged the youth not to underestimate their powers and urged them to come up with creativity.

“I’d really like to make it a brand that can reach the international market, and at the same time I’m looking into competing with class.”

According to Rachel, the award was the result of hard work rather than chance.

The East African Youth Innovation Forum and Associated Presidential Innovation Awards was organized by the East Africa Science and Technology Commission (EASTECO).

The forum aims to provide a platform for the youth in science, technology and innovation in the East African Community and beyond to share their innovation experiences in generating scientific and technologically innovative solutions to social needs and market demand.

The forum brings together young researchers, developers and innovators, entrepreneurs, finance actors, academia and public policymakers.